An Interesting Journey with a Man Named Ted
As you probably know, I am very serious and passionate about my love for Silverlight and Blend; I love the technology and posses a burning passion for teaching it. If any of you know me you know full well that if you ask me for help I will do all I can to help you understand this medium and to be productive in it.
As you also know I write books on Blend and Silverlight; I do so for a couple of reasons:
First, I do it to help those interested to learn this platform. Silverlight and Blend are amazingly easy to use once you know how. Sadly learning how can be difficult. To facilitate the ease of learning this medium I decided to write books under the Apress/Friends of Ed flagship Foundation series. I have two books already published and currentlyI am writing my third on SL 4/Blend.
The second reason I write books is so that I have creditability as a bonafide SL/Blend expert. That being the case people will listen to my teachings and when I raise issues to my friends over at MSFT I get some very good responses.
What I DON”T write these books for is money; it is all about the passion I posses. To be honest, I don’t make a whole lot of money writing these books; if you were to break it down I probably end up making less than $5.00 per hour.
So, whenever I receive a new review on Amazon I am quick to read it in hopes to understand how the public feels about my publication and how I can improve my next book. As an example of this, I have my book’s Amazon link on my smart phone’s desktop. I click it at least once per day to look for new comments.
The comments thus far have been quite positive (currently the book has 4 out of 5 stars). So, whenever I get a negative comment my heart sinks and I am deeply saddend and concerned.
As it happens just such a comment came down the pike a few days ago (you can read it Here). In this review a man named Ted stated that there is entirely too much code in my book and being that it is a Blend book this should not be the case.
While this review did hurt my feelings I had to admit the guy had a valid point. But to be sure I grabbed a copy of my book and started to thumb through it and this validated what he had stated: there was in fact too much code for a Blend book. So, I commented back and told Ted that his comment “cut me to the core” and that he did in fact have a valid point. I apologized and promised that I would do better on my new book slated to come out this summer.
Ted quickly responded and was a little apologetic that he had hurt my feelings but stuck by his point. He accepted my ap0logy and said that he looked forward to my next book. But I didn’t feel that I had done enough for Ted. Sure I had helped him understand that there are real people behind these books that have real feelings but what had I done to help him? This was a reader that put his faith in me to help them learn Silverlight and Blend and I had left him wandering aimlessly in the woods. Not cool! What to do?
So, I decided that Ted would be one of those readers that is smart enough not to need to be guided through a narrative on how to learn Silverlight and Blend. After some thought it hit me that Ted is one of those that would benefit from a “take one from column A and one from column B” kind of learning regime.
With that, I pointed Ted at my personal blog where I have about 30-40 free Silverlight video tutorials. They range from “how to build a chrome button in Blend” to “how to de-serialize XML into native Silverlight objects.”
The danger of pointing a Silverlight newcomer to these videos is there is no structure, the reader is free to run wild and possibly tutorialize themselves into total confusion.
Which, by the way I think my beginner books are great: I take your hand at the very beginning and then walk you through, step by step how I think you should learn Silverlight and Blend and then when I think you are ready I let your hand go and tell you to now go forth and learn, you are ready.
So, this morning I received an email from a very excited and happy Ted telling me that my videos are what he has been looking for since he started this mission to learn Silverlight/Blend some 15 days ago. Further, he was so satisfied he was compelled to post a comment entitied “Must Watch – Must Read Resources for Blend!” on the Microsoft Expression website, found Here. Below are a couple of excerpts from his post:
“…He explained things I had not seen in any help files or any other videos in 14 days of research. You might be tempted to skip the first video about the UI, don’t do it! One of the HUGE keys to understanding Blend is understanding the interface….”
“…Trust me, if you watch Victor’s videos, you will have about 50% fewer questions on how to do things in Blend. If you work through the self paced tutorial, you will have another 50% reduction. Just think, you will actually be able to do something in Blend, not wait for answers here, and when you DO have a question, it will probably be code related or something pretty esoteric that these experts can really sink their teeth into!…”
So now I have fulfilled my goal of helping one more person who wants to learn Silverlight and Blend. And along the way, I discovered a way to make my new book better and even made a friend along the way. Thanks Ted, my friend.
My last book can be found Here
My Blog can be found Here
Ted’s Comment on my Book’s Amazon page can be found Here
Teds Post can be found Here
Follow me on Twitter at VictorGaudioso
Email me at wpfauthor at gmail dot com