Tech Blog

Jay's Technical blog

First Project

07 December 2009
Jay Kimble

[WARNING! This is an archived post and as such there may be things broken/missing here.. you have been warned.]

This weekend I began working on my first project. I'm taking my DTBanking/MiniMint app that I use in my Intro to jQuery talk and converting it to a Silverlight4 app. Eventually I'm going to be taking the data and taking it offline; not sure which Silverlight Offline DB I'll use (probably either HSQL or SQLite --If I do this I won't be storing in Isolated storage but will use a fully offline app with the improved permissions which means I'll be doing some clean up on the aforementioned samples and will publish if I come up with something decent).

Some things I've learned

I know more than I thought. Seriously. I do a lot of research keeping myself up to date, and I think many of my lack of confidence in myself was really lack of experience. I jumped right in.

I think the other thing is that the mentality that I have when building an Ajax/Web 2.0 app carries over. When creating solutions for either, I find myself mapping out the service model first then moving toward coding up the UI to take advantage of my service model. I think oftentimes in terms of the amount of data being pushed down or rather I think about how I can avoid sending gobs of data all at onces. 

Linq To SQL + the Repository pattern is a timesaver!

Linq To SQL + a Repository pattern (as taught by the ASP.NET MVC Team) really can help get you cut over quickly... I was able to build an ADO.NET Data Service (aka WCF Data Service... still pronounced "Astoria service") from my Linq to SQL model and then change the DBContext in the repository to using a Astoria Service context (will post code soon on this in a separate post)

The Beginning

04 December 2009
Jay Kimble

[WARNING! This is an archived post and as such there may be things broken/missing here.. you have been warned.]

I have spent the last several years a local Ajax/Web 2.0 guru. I have been paid to do training for companies as well as have spoken at many, many (local) events. Last year I started an UX focused user group not really fully understanding UX. My intention was to learn some Silverlight while imparting my Ajax knowledge to our users. During the whole process I learned that my understanding of UX was wrong -- UX IS NOT just about UI design nor is it about using Silverlight and Ajax technologies; it is not just a fancy name to woo designers to my user group (I seriously thought all that last year). At the heart of all that I do, I want to help people. So it almost goes without saying that my quest to learn Silverlight was not the success that I wanted; I did learn a few things, but for the most part I'm an advanced beginner; I know enough to get things done, but not enough to do the fancy stuff Bill Reiss does. Additionally, Ajax/Web 2.0 possesses my life and I'm really good at it, and it is a focal point for me... prying it away is going to be a little difficult.

Comfortably Uncomfortable

So I decided to upend the apple cart. I've decided to go cold turkey.

I'm doing a couple things. First of all I'm one of the guys starting a Silverlight in the Tampa Bay area. We considered a RIA group, but after some discussions with a good friend I decided that if I truly think Silverlight is the future for business development on the web (and I do) then I need to put up or shut up. So we are starting a Silverlightgroup.

The next thing I have done is that I have stopped all Ajax/Web 2.0 reading except where it's necessary for a paying project. That one hurt. BUT, my goal is Silverlight or bust. I'm the second speaker at our new group. I will be doing the first beginners tutorial. I will be showing off Silverlight as a business development platform.. no spinning logos.. probably not a lot of fancy stuff. It should serve as a good intro to DataBinding as well.

I will be documenting my progress as I move along the trail. In the next year or so I will be at least an intermediate Silverlight developer with a couple of Silverlight applications under my belt.