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Silverlight and a Look Ahead

There's an old saying that goes: Life is about what comes next. And nowhere is that idea truer than in application development. Dev managers must constantly check their assumptions, track competing and complementary technologies and be ready to adapt their plans.

Look no further than today's official launch of Silverlight 2.0, the long-awaited update to the Silverlight rich Internet application (RIA) development platform and runtime that provides an encapsulated subset of the .NET Framework. As Scott Guthrie explained in a press conference yesterday, Silverlight 2.0 significantly extends the ability of .NET developers to deliver robust applications over the wire.

No longer simply a media-savvy competitor to Flash, Silverlight 2.0 offers robust data binding, enables advanced XAML-based UI development, and allows programmers to work with the same IDE -- Visual Studio 2008 -- that they use for general .NET development. And Microsoft is working hard to extend the appeal of Silverlight 2.0. Visual Web Developer 2008 Express Edition is a free IDE for Silverlight development, while the Expression Blend 2 product enables sophisticated development of interactive UIs. Microsoft even announced that it was working with Soyatec to enable Eclipse-based Silverlight development.

The funny thing about the Silverlight 2.0 press conference, the first question Scott Guthrie fielded from reporters was: What comes next? Well, that's a question Forrester Research plans to ask at its upcoming Oct. 24 webinar, "The Future of Application Development." If you are interested in attending the event, you can do so here.

As it turns out, Forrester is anxious to hear from RDN readers about their takes on the developer space, and honestly so am I. If you can take a second to respond to three short questions, we'd love to be able to feature your insights online and perhaps in print:

  1. Compared to five years ago, is development more difficult, less difficult, or the same level of difficulty?
  2. What do you look for when you hire a developer? What are the qualities that make a great developer?
  3. What advice would you give to someone just out of college entering the workforce to make them an invaluable application developer?

Shoot me an e-mail or respond in the Comment area of my blog.

If possible, also let us know what your role is within your organization. We plan to incorporate your insights into an upcoming issue of Redmond Developer News, as well as to share your observations with Forrester for their upcoming event. E-mail me at [email protected].

Posted by Michael Desmond on 10/14/2008

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