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SilverlightShow Interview with Webinar Presenter Gill Cleeren

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Svetla Stoycheva
Svetla Stoycheva
Joined Sep 25, 2009
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0 comments   /   posted on Sep 03, 2010
Tags:   gill-cleeren
Categories:   Interviews


Gill Cleeren, who is Microsoft Regional Director and MVP for ASP.NET, has recently delivered a really successful webinar on Data Binding for SilverlightShow.

Following the active participation of attendees in the Q&A session, and the positive feedback received after the webinar, we invited Gill to deliver more webinars for SilverlightShow in October this year.

In this interview we talk to Gill on why the last webinar was such a success, and what we should expect from his next webinars.

Q. Gill - congratulations for delivering a highly successful webinar for SilverlightShow on August 19th! We had a really good number of live attendees, and an even bigger number of downloads of the webinar recording. You got quite a lot of questions on the topic explained, and also very constructive feedback on the webinar as a whole.
Why is data binding attracting so much interest from developers?

A. Thanks, it was indeed even a bigger success than I had hoped. To start, I think that many developers are “seeing the (Silver)light” and are with v4 making the move to the RIA platform. When learning Silverlight from scratch, it is vital that you have a solid understanding of its core concepts. The most important of these concepts is data binding. While the concept is nothing really new – it already existed in ASP.NET and WinForms development – it’s a much better thought-through concept in Silverlight (and in WPF as well, since it’s basically the same engine). While much content can be found on the web about Silverlight, we sometimes forget that not everyone is already at the expert level and still need to grasp the core concepts as well. That’s why I think a lot of people new to Silverlight tuned in. On the other hand, getting a complete overview of the data binding platform is interesting for the experienced Silverlight developer as well and probably; he’ll learn some interesting stuff anyway.

Since data binding is also the foundation for the MVVM pattern, it’s really something that every developer must grasp 100%.

Q. You plan on delivering two more webinars in October – ‘Let’s MEF: Overview of the Managed Extensibility Framework in Silverlight 4’ and ‘10 Things You Didn’t Know About Silverlight 4’. Could you reveal more about the topics to be covered in these upcoming webcasts, who are they for, and maybe mention a few challenging solutions/topics you will discuss?

A. Sure, although I’m not going to disclose everything just yet! In the MEF session, I’ll be spending about 60% of the time on showing and explaining the core concepts: Catalogs, Parts, Recomposition and those things, the core stuff of MEF actually. The rest of the talk, I’ll be looking at an implementation of a sample built with MEF, called the MEF Marketplace.

In the 10 things about Silverlight session, well, I’ll be exploring some dark corners of the Silverlight framework. But I’m not going to go to deep into this just yet. That would spoil the surprise!

Q. How do you balance between the varying needs of different attendees? For example, in the last webinar we got a comment that you are trying to focus on too many things, rather than go deep into one single area. It is certain, however, that for most attendees the level of detail was fine.

A. That is indeed a difficulty with having a differentiated audience. I see that when I’m giving trainings for my company, Ordina (www.ordina.be), as well. If you have a class of 10 people, in which you have some students that are familiar with the subject and have played a lot with it already, they’ll also have the feeling that I’m going to slow, while for other, I may be going too fast. In a class, it’s easier to get feedback during the class because you can see the reaction of the students. That’s not possible (yet) with webinars.

Still, I do like to touch on quite a lot of topics in my sessions and presentations. I reckon it’s better that you know about something but still have to look it up in your own time than spending a lot of time on some specific topic.

Q. Webinars and articles related to Windows Phone 7 development seem to be quite wanted at this stage. Do you plan to address this topic in an upcoming webinar, article or live event you will be speaking at?

A.I haven’t planned any yet, but I’m doing a launch event for my user group (Visug: www.visug.be) in Belgium somewhere in December, so I think I’ll be doing some webinars there as well by that time!

Q. We recently published a free chapter from your last book, ebook copies of which were given away for free to 3 attendees of your Data Binding webinar. Do you plan to also cover some of the ‘recipes’ there in a webinar?
A. I just might :) I think there’s some topics in my book that really can use some… let’s say verbal clarification. I’m thinking about RIA services, perhaps some more advanced stuff like duplex communication or integration with ASP.NET. Enough things to talk about in the coming months, I’d say!

Thanks for this interview, Gill!
We are looking forward to more and even more successful webinars delivered by you in the coming months!



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