Thursday, 3 April 2008

Inaugral Silverlight UK User Group Meeting

Earlier this evening I attended the inaugral meeting of the UK Silverlight User Group at Conchango's offices near London Bridge.

The group got off to a cracking start, with over 50 people in attendance (and several more who wanted to attend having to be turned away because of lack of room). The only problem I can see the group having moving forward will be finding a space big enough to hold all those developers and designers who want to attend.

I came away with about three hours of video, in spite of having to stop filming at certain points to avoid capturing 'confidential' or 'controversial' information which is fine for attendees who are known, but can quickly escalate into a mess of a situation if broadcast to the world at large via the web.

To say this was one of the best user group meetings I've attended is a bit of an understatement. What impressed me most was the experience of many of the people present, and the depth of the questions being asked.

Microsoft's Tim Sneath was the main presenter, although we got several quick sessions from others with some great Tips and Tricks from people who've been working with this stuff 'in the real world'. I thought the quality of presentation was really high, and this was a fantastic 'inaugral' meeting for the group, whose organisers have some serious plans ahead with regard to helping the community of Silverlight designers and developers.

Tim's session was excellent, mainly because he very quickly 'deviated from the script' when he realised that what people really wanted was a good Q & A session, rather than a repeat performance of the demo's shown at MIX 08. Lots of good stuff came out, and it was good to see Microsoft staff able to good-naturedly laugh at themselves and the company they work for in the way Tim did.

For those who missed the event, hopefully the video will soon be made available for all to see. Visually there's not a lot going on (especially when questions are coming from people's backs of heads!) and, as with last week's Vista Squad meeting, the lighting in the room was so poor it was hard to get high quality high definition footage. But thanks to the use of radio mics the sound should be decent and the sessions are absolutely worth listening to if you have any interest at all in Silverlight

There are tentative plans for the user group to hold meetings every 8 weeks, but details will become clearer as discussions take place, initially via an email list that will apparently be set up over the next few days. I'll post a link to the videos here on this blog (assuming the group's organisers decide to publish them) once I've finished rendering all the footage.

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