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MIX 2011 - what to expect?

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MIX 2011 - what to expect?

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If you've been active on Twitter or any other social network where Microsoft is present, you should know that from April 12th to April 14th, Las Vegas, NV will be hosting the MIX 2011 conference (by the way, you can follow the #MIX11 tag on Twitter for the latest updates).

According to the the official site:

MIX is a gathering of developers, designers, UX experts and business professionals creating the most innovative and profitable consumer sites on the web. Sessions range from technical, code-based topics to expert advice on content strategy, usability and design.

If you are currently using Microsoft technologies for development purposes (or maybe you plan on using those later on), then this conference is the place where you can find out more as to where these technologies are heading. MIX is different from PDC, in case you are wondering, since it is mostly user-oriented. By that I mean that most of the sessions will cover topics that are related to user interactions with different software and hardware platforms, as well methods that make those interactions more efficient. PDC on the other hand digs deeper into the internals of the Microsoft development platform.

Nonetheless, MIX is more that worth attending. The benefit of being there for such a conference is not only the possibility to learn more about modern technology, but also a chance for networking. Lots of prominent Microsoft employees will be in attendance (some of them will be speaking as well) - John Papa, Mike Taulty and Grant Hinkson will be there among many others.

During the conference, there will be a series of bootcamps that target users who need a head-start in a specific technology. Currently, there are 8 bootcamps available:

  • HTML5/CSS3 Boot Camp - Stephanie Sullivan (W3Conversions)
  • Design, Content, Code: Start-to-finish - Roman Blagovirnyy , Tony Walt, Chad Bakeman, Anthony Franco, and Cindy Vanover (EffectiveUI)
  • Silverlight Boot Camp - John Papa (Microsoft), Mike Taulty (Microsoft)
  • Cloud Boot Camp
  • jQuery Boot Camp - Joe Marini (Microsoft)
  • HTML5 Canvas Mastery - Lanny McNie (gskinner.com), Shawn Blais (gskinner.com)
  • Windows Phone 7 Boot Camp - Grant Hinkson (Microsoft), Adam Kinney (Pixel Lab)
  • Silverlight for SharePoint Boot Camp - Paul Stubbs (Microsoft)

For an updated list, I recommend keeping track of the information on this page. Right now, the open call voting is open, so you can vote for your favorite sessions that you would like to see at MIX. To highlight a few, I would really like to join these sessions:

Getting Started with Silverlight Games Development
Phil Trelford

Silverlight is a platform well suited to retro and casual style games that lets you target both Web and WP7 using your existing .Net development skills. In this talk I will show how you can get started in Silverlight games programming, presenting plenty of tips and tricks gleaned from over a decade of commercial games development. Expect plenty of live code samples in Visual Studio starting with a playable game written in under 200 lines of code!
Using DropBox and Other Services to Solve the File System Problem for Your WP7 Users
Jay E. Kimble

One of the many challenges that a developer who is familiar with .Net Compact Framework development encounters is how to sync user data files with their phone apps. Jay Kimble is the Author of "SharpDropBox Client for .NET" an open source library for Windows Phone 7 that lets your Windows Phone 7 Apps access the end-user's DropBox storage account and sync files between the service and the Application's IsolatedStorage area. We will discuss not only accessing and getting files on the device but also best practices for updating local files from the cloud while minimizing the amount of data flowing back and forth between the device and the service.
Black Belt Windows Phone 7 Development
Steve Saxon

You know the basics of Windows Phone 7 development. You've been through the tutorials, and may have even submitted an application to the marketplace. But what's next? What's the relationship between developing for mobile and Agile/TDD (Test Driven Development)? What does MVVM mean for mobile? How about integrating with the device's sensors, integrating maps, deep zoom, and syncing all of this using cloud based services on Windows Azure? In this rapid fire session, you'll learn "black belt" tips from the developers that work with customers every day to deliver solutions on Windows Phone 7. You'll walk away with a deep understanding and knowledge of what it means to take your WP7 based application to the next level.

I should mention that there is no guarantee that these sessions will be active during the actual conference - it all depends on the voting. Only the most popular subjects will be selected. 

As it was expected, the conference will be focused on three main "trends of the year @ Microsoft":

  • Windows Phone 7
  • The Cloud (Windows Azure)
  • Web Standards (IE9) 

Of course, there will be plenty of topics but the same way as it was with PDC this year, it will be targetting specific groups of developers and advanced consumers who are directly involved in product integration.

For details regarding the registration, you should visit this page.

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