As you know if you've been reading my blog for long, I've been writing software for a while. It seems I always gravitated to the user interface side although it took me a while to realize that.
I visited my family in October of 2008 and my Mother's boyfriend asked what the 'payoff' was for writing software. He is a long-time woodworker and the payoff for him is holding something in his hands or seeing it put to use.
My response to him was to ask about running an application an pushing 'buttons'. Those aren't 'buttons' ... it's flat artwork made up of pixels on a screen. But through some magic of shading and actions those of us that do this for a living have tricked everyone else into actually seeing 'buttons'. If you've ever actually built a new control or subclassed an existing one to give it 'new clothes', you'll understand ... it's a kick in the pants to see it work!
I've done menu systems with DOS batch files to MenuBars in C for DOS with
│ Buttons │
made of ASCII line draw characters. When Windows 3.1 arrived and I was able to program it using C and the Borland tools, I jumped on it. That quickly changed to "Visual C++" and MFC.
This all culminated in a skinning toolkit for Dialog boxes in Win32 that used artwork with puke pink as a transparent area on Bitmaps that my code produced ImageLists from with accompanying ImageLists of Regions. I then ripped off all the borders and put on borders from the ImageLists with transparent areas and opaque boxes on timeouts.
But then I transitioned into .NET and web apps and for a time I was back to doing interfaces that looked a heck of a lot like Windows 3.1 again.
December of 2006 Microsoft CTP'd WPF/E and although I dismissed it at first, I kept going back to it, and finally realized that was the piece that was missing from the web apps I'd been doing.
Of course WPF/E became Silverlight at MIX '07, and I got awarded MVP in July of that year for my WPF/E and Silverlight work. Microsoft had no 'Silverlight' competency for MVPs so I was officially titled "Visual Developer: Client Application Development" ... wow... put THAT on a business card :)
Things have now changed and sometime since the MVP summit in March of this year, Microsoft has added Silverlight as a competency to the MVP ranks. You can imagine the problems this causes for all the MVP leads and all the changes that have to be made on official records. Bill Reiss was officially titled as the first Silverlight MVP on the heels of the summit, and then we all waited.
A bunch of awardees and re-awardees on April 1 became Silverlight MVPs, and I'm fairly certain everyone else thought as I did that we'd just have to wait until we (maybe) got re-awarded.
The wait is over, because they've pulled a batch of us into the Silverlight competency last week and I am very proud to say that I am one of the bunch! You can see the list on the MVP website. I know some of those people by reputation (and blog) and some I consider personal friends... all very knowledgable and helpful to one and all.
I know Pete Brown says that "Silverlight has rekindled my love of software development and UI design " and that's cool. I've never lost the fire... it's like something I caught back in '67 that I just can't shake off :) I will admit that playing with Silverlight has supplanted practicing card sleights to the detriment of my deck-handling abilities... so that says something!
Thanks to Justin Angel for keeping up with all of us and pushing whatever buttons needed pushing to get this going, and also my MVP Lead Suzanna Moran for kindly modifying records while she's in the midst of deciding on the July 1 awardees.
You never know if you'll get re-awarded, so I'm very happy to be a Silverlight MVP right now. Check back on July 1... I'll be pressing that "check mail" button once a minute that morning :) Between now and then I'm very happy to be lumped in with Bill Reiss, Michael Washington, Page Brooks, Pete Brown, Jose Fajardo, Chad Campbell, Andy Beaulieu, and Erik Mork just to name-drop some!
Stay in the Light!
Technorati Tags: Silverlight SilverlightCream
posted @ Monday, May 4, 2009 9:04 AM