What better a subject for my first Conchango blog post here than the kickoff of the Silverlight UK User Group? Well, I helped facilitate the inaugural event here in our London office (Notcutt House) last night with Michelle Flynn and our main frontman Paul “awesome” Dawson.

Firstly, a massive thanks for all that attended because it was a really interesting and a very interactive evening – exactly what was wanted. Then I would like to thank Microsoft UK who presented but more importantly, provided the beer and pizza midway through.

We a had a number of presentations but it was not all stare at the screen and fall asleep at the back, the audience participation was brilliant.

In ‘pole position’ we had the tag team of Richard Griffin and Felix Corke showing a Formula 1 website that they had knocked up in a couple of days for a real project that required RSS, news feeds, audio, video, Flickr, Twitter and DeepZoom! They were very keen to explore the experiences of the audience, with regard to the Developer-Designer relationship and how others had got round the technical problems they had faced while building the site.

Second up and possibly the highlight of the evening was a open discussion with Microsoft Evangelist Tim Sneath (over here from Seattle on a customer tour) who gave a status update on Silverlight 2 and WPF. Open questions from the floor got a fair and candid response too, reinforcing that Microsoft does want feedback for the product teams.

Finally, were all wowed by Mark & Alex from Shaxam who demo’ed some of their 3D work in WPF and Silverlight… Silverlight? YES! They did a fantastic job at showing off their 3D animating of MRI scan data – zooming in and out of the human foot slice-by-slice (very CSI). If you want to do some funky 3D in Silverlight then talk to these guys!

I’m now trying to get the next meeting organised, get a community site planned and a mailing list too. One interesting straw poll revealed that we were Developer heavy… out of the 50 people present only a handful were Designers. So, come on Designers… Silverlight is all about getting both designers and developers working side by side producing dazzling, sexy, interactive web applications… come and join the discussion!

This is a cross post from my EMC blog, mainly for backup duplicity and to aggregate some of my past postings. My EMC blog used to be under the Conchango brand but was acquired by EMC so I’ve also retrospectively refreshed some of the old links and maybe a tweak a bit of content too.
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