My proposals for the #MIX11 open call

.NET, Blend, MIX, MVVM, Phone, Silverlight, Technical stuff, Windows Phone, Work
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Last year, the MIX team started a new concept with an open call for sessions. People from the community were invited to submit talks about pretty much anything, and the public voted to select which sessions they wanted to see. It was a huge success, since 150 sessions were submitted, of which 13 sessions were picked (don’t hold me accountable for the numbers, they are plucked from my memory Winking smile)

I was very honored to be part of the lucky presenters, with my session about the Model-View-ViewModel pattern titled “Understanding the MVVM pattern”. I was really pleased and humbled to have a packed room listening to my session, with an amazing response. The rest of the week was spent connecting with people in the halls, answering (many) questions, and developing thoughts around the session.

Later, during the year, I had the occasion to present the same session again to a few events, for instance TechDays in Switzerland and in Belgium. Here too, the response was amazing. Since the sessions were filmed, a lot more people were able to see them online, and I still now receive emails regularly talking about the session or requesting additional information.

The voting

The principle of the MIX11 open call is that you, the public, can vote for any session you want to see. Based on last year’s experience, we can expect that a large number of sessions will be submitted and only a few will be picked. So don’t wait, if you want to see a session, please vote for it, and ask your colleagues who might be interested to vote too.

Because all the sessions are recorded in video, and available on the web just a few hours after the talk, you should vote even if you do not plan to attend MIX11!

A deeper dive

In view of this amazing response, I decided to submit a session that is building up on top of last year’s session, titled “Deep Dive MVVM”. The abstract is shown below. This session will take in account all the questions I received during the past year, and offer answers with a lot of code and demos (as usual in my talks). For instance, we will talk about multiple views and viewmodels, and how they can be structured and communicate. This has been a very frequent question! Also, I will show you how to build “view services” that can be used to interact from the viewmodel to the view for various features, such as showing dialogs, collecting user feedback, navigating between pages, etc. Of course this will all be in the spirit of designability, testability, maintainability and should be, honestly, a really fun session.

Talking about Blend

I also submitted a talk around Expression Blend and Windows Phone 7. In the past few years, I have talked to many developers and showed them how Blend can be used in the practice to create a great user experience. With the availability of a free version of Expression Blend to develop Windows Phone 7 applications, the interest has definitely risen a lot, and I feel that it is important to show Expression Blend to as many people as possible, if we want to improve the user experience on the applications in the market place.

The session is based on real life experiences made in Windows Phone 7 application development, where we saw that using Blend with design time data was a sure way to accelerate the development tremendously.

The titles and abstracts

The exact titles and abstracts are:

Deep Dive MVVM

In 2010, the MIX session “Understanding the MVVM pattern” helped you to understand the basics of this very important pattern used in Silverlight, WPF and Windows Phone 7 applications. Building on this foundation, this year’s session will show you with a lot of code samples how to build complex interactive applications using proven best practices and powerful tools.

Laurent Bugnion, a user and promoter of MVVM since the early days, author of “Silverlight 4 Unleashed” and of the acclaimed MVVM Light Toolkit, will help you to deep dive in MVVM and explore topics such as navigation, showing dialogs, collecting user feedback, handling multiple views and viewmodels, and more.

Exploring a Blendable Windows Phone 7 Application

There are many advantages in developing “blendable” applications. Being able to visualize data in Expression Blend speeds up the design of the application tremendously. In this session based on real life examples, Laurent Bugnion (a user and promoter of Expression Blend since the early days) will demonstrate various techniques allowing leveraging the fantastic power of Expression Blend to create beautiful phone applications. Finally, we will also talk honestly about the disadvantages, especially when it comes to performance, and investigate workarounds.

I hope that these sessions will interest you, and look forward to check the results of the voting!



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