My "YOUFirst" day plan...

So my team has a great initiative, called a YOUFirst day, which is a day reserved for us to do whatever we want to do, without interruption, to better our professional selves.. Everyone in the world can have one if they want one, it's not that unique to have a professional development day, after all, but sometimes it's important on a really busy team to ensure that a day is reserved for everyone to be able to do it.

I do a lot of stuff with Team System (check out resources at if you want), but one of the things that will eventually impact me in the tools space is the impact of Silverlight 2.0. I need to know how Visual Studio and Expression Studio support building Silverlight applications, and while a cursory knowledge of Silverlight 2.0 is required to do the basic product demos, I find that I can provide significantly more value to my customers when I have deep knowledge of the underlying technology.

In the development space covered by Visual Studio and Expression, there's just so much to cover off, and being an average guy, with a wife and kids (3 young ones!), I don't get to spend the time to learn the gory details of every nook and cranny of the Framework libraries- I have to pick my battles.

So, one of the fun things I did lately was create a WPF Alphabet quiz to help my youngest daughter learn her alphabet. I did it with VS2008 and Expression Blend 2.5 Preview, just for fun, and whipped it off in an afternoon. Hey, it's not a glamorous game, as you can see:


(but it has button animations, uses Speech,too!)

So, I've decided to spend the day and convert the WPF version of this app over to Silverlight 2.0 Beta, to get a good understanding of the differences, and get to know the gotchas. I'll also be doing all of this within a TFS environment, using unit tests, work item tracking, TFS source control, build server, etc.

I'll post what I found out, once I'm done the day, next week...