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For a developer wanting to transition into the world of design, this was the place to be.

Robby Ingebretsen’s ‘Design Fundamentals for Developers’ workshop was truly inspirational.  Design skills can be learned, one doesn’t have to be a gifted artist to start with.  Check out his blog at  If you ever have a chance to catch one of his sessions, don’t miss it!  I’m looking forward to the release of his book, ‘The Zen of XAML: Designer and Developer Collaboration in WPF and Silverlight’, due out in May.

In the afternoon, I caught Molly Holzschlag’s ‘Cascading Stylesheets’ workshop.  Her deep dive into specificity and floats was invaluable.  Just that presentation alone was worth the entire cost of the conference.  As one of our greatest web standards advocates, we have a lot to thank Molly for.  For all you web developers, if one of her books is not already on your bookshelf it should be.

Keynotes/Sessions/3rd Place:
Usually, I get fidgety an hour into a keynote.  Not this time around.  I was totally captivated.  Between all the numerous product announcements, sneak previews and business application demonstrations, there was not one dull moment. Take a look for yourself!  For me, the SketchFlow functionality surpassed everything else.  All I could think about was how it will completely revolutionize the design phase of any project.  Long before my employer embraces Silverlight, I’ll be able to use SketchFlow in designing our ASP.NET applications.

Although it’s not technically relevant to Microsoft products, I also recommend watching Deborah Adler’s keynote presentation on Day 2 as she describes the creation of the ClearRX prescription system.   It’s an inspirational example of how one person can really make a difference.

Favorite sessions?  So many.  No disappointments.  I plan to spend a lot of time reviewing all the session videos.  It’s now apparent to me that Silverlight is the future direction.  Seriously, if you haven’t been working with Silverlight, WPF or MVC, now is the time to start.  With all the session material freely available online, the MIX09 content is a great place to begin.

Hanging out in 3rd Place was definitely a must.  What you get out of the conversations can be so much more than what you pick up in a session.  Nothing quite like sitting around on a couches in an informal setting listening to the likes of Scott Gu or Bill Buxton! 

After Hours:
I heard such great comments on Objectify screening that I tried to follow up later.  I’ll have to wait for the DVD release though I already fell for the ‘Objects’ logo and had to buy a couple t-shirts,

Finally, no conference is complete without the parties and there were several.  The cocktails were freely flowing every night and the conversations were priceless.  For location, it’s difficult to beat the patio deck at the top of TAO. The V Bar and LAVO clubs were popular as well.  But the premier event of the week was John Papa’s Silverlight Mixer!  Imagine rubbing shoulders with about 80 of the top Silverlight influencers.  For me, it was quite an honor.  For the rest, it was all about having a great time and these guys and gals know how to play!  The party was expertly organized, held on Dal Toro’s outside patio with a clear view of the strip on one side and the Lamborghini Las Vegas show room on the other (my eye was on the little black Porsche Spider downstairs).  The sponsors were very generous.  The raffle at the end of the night included a MacBookAir and a Kindle 2.  What could top that?  Included in everyone’s gift bag was an 8MB Zune, color-Silverlight blue!  Kudos John for a memorable evening!!!

Special note to everyone I met, you’ve greatly expanded my horizons!   Hope to see you next year at MIX10.

Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2009 8:42 PM | Back to top

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