MIX 2011, the Bootcamps

While you might think that we’re on a holiday in Las Vegas, after the last two blog post, we’re actually here for hard work 🙂 We’re here for MIX 2011, a large conference held by Microsoft about UX/front end design and development. It covers all sorts of technologies, such as Silverlight, HTML5/CSS3, IE9 and Windows Phone 7. My primary focus is mobile development, so I’ll attend a lot of sessions covering WP7.

Today is the first official day of the conference, starting with a keynote by Scott Guthrie, Dean Hachamovitch and Joe Belfiore at 9.00AM. But yesterday there were pre-conference bootcamp sessions, which we also attended. I did the Silverlight Bootcamp by John Papa and Mike Taulty and the Windows Phone 7 Bootcamp by Adam Kinney and Grant Hinkson.

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Both were very nice and comprehensive. No rocket science if you’ve already done some coding in both platform, but I found the WP7 bootcamp especially useful as they built a real life app (Feedrat, also in the App Market) from start to finish live on stage. They covered basically all of the aspects of the WP7 design and development cycle and I learned a lot.

After the sessions, Microsoft had organized Open Source Fest, a nice way for developers of open source initiatives around .NET, Silverlight and WP7 to show their stuff. The RestSharp project by John Sheehan got voted as the winner by all of the attendees. The Open Source Fest was a nice opportunity to talk to some of the people in the software scene.

The Mono team, represented by Miguel de Icaza and some of his team members, were also present showing their excellent MonoMac initiative. Imagine using C# and .NET (well, it’s Mono) for writing native Mac OSX applications! Since my main focus is mobile development, and development for iPhone using MonoTouch in particular, I was very glad I had a chance to talk to them. We learned that they’re busy improving MonoTouch and Mono-android, fixing some of the problems we encountered into as well. Very nice! I also ran into Chris Hardy, a very active contributor to some of the open source initiatives around MonoTouch. Very nice to be able to talk to him as well.

So yesterday was nice and inspiring already. I’m getting ready for another day. Rumours are that either today or tomorrow, some amazing stuff is going to be announced in the keynotes. Looking forward to be blown away!

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