Free Blend 3 Online Workshop Saturday June 13 1pm to 5pm PST

Doing a lot of Silverlight and WPF consulting lately I realized that hardly any developers or even designers know how to use Blend. This slows down production and makes simple tasks much more difficult than they need to be.

Personally, I use Blend about 40% of the time and Visual Studio about 60% of the time. For example, I usually import a screenshot of the design of say a button into Blend and then use rectangles, gradients, ellipsis, etc to re-create the design in vector form. I then turn those visual elements into a custom UserControl. I then go into Visual Studio and provide the functionality for that user control in code-behind. To me, it only makes sense to do visual tasks visually in Blend and then provide the functionality in the code-behind using Visual Studio.

I feel that this slow adoption of Blend is hindering the adoption of WPF and Silverlight among developers (both .NET and Flash/Flex). And, because I love this technology so much and want to see it survive I thought I could do my part by offering a FREE interactive Blend 3 workshop! I am going to hold this workshop over Gotomeeting on Saturday, June 13 from 1:00pm-5:00pm PST. In this workshop you will learn:

1. The Blend toolbar;
2. The Project panel;
3. The Properties panel;
4. The States panel;
5. The Objects and Timeline panel;
6. The Data panel;
7. The Resources panel;
8. Content Controls (Grid, StackPanel, Canvas);
9. ItemsControls (ListBox);
10. Creating sample data in Blend;
11. Binding data to ItemsContorls;
12. How to create a State Group and States;
13. The Animation Workspace v the Design Workspace;
13. How to create and fire a Storyboard using a Timeline;
14. How to create a custom, styled UserControl;
15. How to create a Media Player using the MediaElement.

If I don’t get enough attendees than I will cancel the workshop, so even if you know a little bit about Blend and you think this workshop can help you, do you part to aid WPF and Silverlight adoption rates among developers and sign up. Please email me if you will be attending and I will send out the Gotomeeting information an hour before the workshop begins.

Please RSVP to wpfauthor at gmail dot com (written this way to avoid bot detection…if you cannot figure out how to email me this workshop is probably not for you 😉 )

If time allows we will go over more features but the list above will cover the basics and make you comfortable enough to start using Blend.

What you will need to participate in the workshop:

If you don’t already have the Silverlight 3 development environment set up go to:

Download and install:

1. Visual Studio 2008 SP1 or Visual Web Developer Express 2008 SP1
2. Silverlight 3 Beta Tools for Visual Studio
3. The Windows Silverlight Beta Developer Runtime
4. Microsoft Expression Blend 3 Preview



Look forward to seeing you there!

    • victorgaudioso
    • June 8th, 2009

    Some have suggested that I split this workshop into two Saturday sessions, so when emailing me with your RSVP please let me know if you would like it to be one or two sessions.

    Thanks, Victor

  1. Hey man.

    I’m in! Great idea. I’m definitely going to concentrate more on Blend over the summer, make some more screencasts/tutorials.. only thing hindering me is the code; I’ve got about 1% knowledge of how to do veeeeeeeeery basic stuff 😛 So that’s probably something I should have a stab at over the coming summer 🙂

    I think 2 sessions would probably attract more people, since 4 hours is a pretty long time to be working on it, but then again, if you split it into to 2x2h, people might come to one, forget the other/forget what they did previously/etc

  2. Hey all,
    I am going to do this in one 4 hour session. If you are there then you can participate as I will have a moderator taking questions and will give you the floor to ask your questions. At the end we will do a Q&A and if anyone wants to stay on and just keep ‘playing around’ with Blend 3 it is fine with me, I will hang out and keep it going. If you cannot make it I will record the entire session and make it available on demand.

  3. Victor,

    This is a great idea, I hope you get good turnout!

    I find the same issue whenever I speak on Blend: the adoption rate is terrible, even though more people are moving towards WPF and Silverlight.

    I think one problem is that Blend is not as readily available as Visual Studio since there are no Express versions. Also, Microsoft has not done itself any favors by billing Blend as a Designer’s tool. If they are not going to offer a free version, then the least they could do is bundle Blend with Visual Studio (maybe Pro or better?) – this would put more copies of it in the field at the most influential level: the developers.

    I think we can turn the tide if we keep demoing, teaching, and evangelizing. Best of luck for your event!

    • I do understand and agree with what you are saying Joel, however, Blend 3 Preview is free at this time. I think that eventually they will bundle Visual Studio and Blend but that is just a guess. I think it only makes sense and Microsoft is pretty smart and I think they will figure out that the best way to get this technology out there is to do so. But we will see. And, I do agree that Blend is a designer’s tool but so much more than that…kind of like a designer’s tool on steroids! And SO much better than Blend 2. People are going to blown away at what it can do. And in my workshop I am going to show how to use this amazing tool to it’s full potential. Just watch!

  4. For us, in Europe, it’s also better to do it in 2 sessions of 2 hours. Because here it starts at 10pm and that’s very late 🙂

  5. Hello Joeri,
    I have decided that I am going to do this workshop in one session. However, I am going to attempt to record it and then make it available on demand so you can take it in as many sessions as you like. Also, if this is a big hit then I plan on doing more mini-sessions throughout the year. So, please attend and when you get tired, drop off. I just need to get the inital number of atendees high enough that it is worth my time. I want and love to help the community but if I only get a few people joining then it does not seem woth it. So, please join!

  6. Hi Victor,
    This is a great idea. I am glad that you are recording it. I will definitely join. Great to see more exposure to Silverlight. If you need any help with the workshop, let me know.

    • Håvard Meling
    • July 6th, 2009

    Agree with Joeri. But a recording will be good as well.

  7. I am no Audio/Video guy and I don’t have any good software for taking a HUGE AVI and breaking it down into smaller chunks. Is there an AV person out there who would like to voulunteer to do just that and then I can post the smaller videos? Let me know, 818 4551994


  8. Hi Victor,
    I can help you split the files. Email me.

    Rupak Ganguly

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