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Featured Author: Interview with Silverlight MVP Andrea Boschin

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Emil Stoychev
Emil Stoychev
Joined Oct 15, 2007
Articles:   23
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0 comments   /   posted on Jan 11, 2010
Tags:   andrea-boschin
Categories:   Interviews

This interview is the first one from our 'Featured Author' interview series. We'll be presenting you the major contributors to the article content on SilverlightShow - Silverlight MVPs, bloggers and enthusiasts willing to share their experience and knowledge with the rest of us.

In this interview we'll be talking to Andrea Boschin - a Silverlight MVP with over eleven years of experience in IT, and a frequent speaker at Silverlight events in his country.


Q. Andrea - please briefly introduce yourself, and your experience with Silverlight.


A. I’m a guy 41 years old from Italy and currently I live and work in Treviso, a beautiful town near Venice. I started to work in the IT relatively late after doing some various jobs like graphic designer and school teacher. Finally I started to work into the web and learned by myself to program in VB and ASP and later in C# and ASP.NET. Since the start of my work, I’ve found I like to learn new technologies and take them into the real world. This happened with ASP.NET, the source of my first two MVP awards, and recently with Silverlight, I have started to use from the v1.0 in some real projects. My most recent work was the development of a solution to track vehicles duties where the front-end take advantage of Silverlight to give a better experience to the users. The application is distributed by a web browser and uses many ASP.NET pages but in the crucial tools it uses Silverlight giving a feedback most similar to desktop applications.


Q. Being a Silverlight MVP is a great achievement, considering there are still a handful of Silverlight MVPs all around the world. What activities gained you this recognition?


A. I was awarded as an MVP for ASP.NET the first time in 2007 for the community activity I did answering to people in the newsgroups, writing technical posts on my blog and building, together with other friends, one of the most active user groups in Italy. The group named XeDotNet organizes currently about 15 events every year on .NET technologies and collects a growing number of persons. When I met Silverlight I started to move all my activities to this astounding platform, and I’ve created the site www.silverlightplayground.org where I propose my real world experiences. Since when I work with Silverlight, my passion take me to double my activities, doing webcasts, writing articles, having speeches and helping people in the forums. So my second MVP award has been converted from ASP.NET to Silverlight and then renewed the last July.


Q. What do you consider as the major advantages or benefits from being a Silverlight MVP?


A. Being an MVP is probably the better thing happened to me in the work field. It gave me some great opportunities to know about technologies before they are delivered. On another side, the Italian MVP lead did a great work to promote the MVP award program in Italy so being an MVP gave me work opportunities I cannot have without and let me meet many people, and they ask me questions and speak me about them experiences, and this helps me to have an important feedback from real-world issues.


Q. One of your recent articles for SilverlightShow introduced the major improvements in Silverlight 4. Which of these improvements will contribute most to the adoption of Silverlight for line-of-business application development?


A. Silverlight is moving towards the building of the line of business applications with big steps since its first release. I think this turn there is really some great features helping people to deliver effective applications. First of all the capability to install out-of-browser apps with full-trust permissions is a great opportunity to simplify the user experience and bring Silverlight applications closer to normal desktop applications. Another important thing, many people asked for, is the printing support that is for sure one of the most needed steps to enable real world applications.


Q. Was there a feature you considered essential to be released, but which did not find its place in this last version of Silverlight?


A. What I would like to see is not a single feature. In my opinion what we really need are two concepts: First of all Silverlight has to be closer to WPF in his features to enable the sharing of code seamless. Secondary I hope Silverlight continue to maintain a strong symmetry in his features between Windows and Macintosh. The introduction of features like COM Automation separates the two platforms but I’m confident that this separation will remain limited to some marginal issues and that the Silverlight team will work to reduce them.


Q. Considering your huge experience with Silverlight, what was the most interesting, useful or advanced Silverlight-based application you have seen or tried?


A. Some days ago I tried the new beta of Bing Maps that is Silverlight based. In my primary job I often use this kind of applications to display traces of vehicles moving during its duty and I found that this new release is astonishing. Putting together Deep Zoom and satellite imagery is impressive and give this platform a big advantage. I’ve used the new Streetside service to watch the places I visited during my honeymoon in Los Angeles and I found it is excellent and give a realistic feedback. But I would remind to developers that the new Bing maps control for Silverlight let us embed these maps easily into our applications.


Q. How do you keep in track with all news and developments on Silverlight? Nowadays there are so many sources of information, both online and offline.


A. The places where I found the most useful information are the Silverlight forums and the blogs. There are plenty of people sharing his knowledge in this technology in both this places. The blogs often speak about new features and the forums are useful to ask questions and having faster responses from people having the same issues.


Q. Which are the next Silverlight events you plan to attend, or speak at?


A. Our user-group has closed the last half-year of activities in these days so I don’t know the dates of the next meetings because we are currently planning them. The better thing is to subscribe our newsletter at www.xedotnet.org to get notified about the incoming events.


Q. What would you wish yourself for the New 2010?


A. I wish myself my dream will continue. I consider myself a lucky man because I can make a work where I enjoy myself so my hope is to continue this way. Also I hope my daughter Gaia will have the same luck because I think doing a satisfactory activity is key to have a happy life. But I would like to wish all your readers to have the same opportunity and a wonderful 2010 not only in the work but also with them private lives. Finally I would like to wish you and your website a successful new year.


Andrea - thank you for the opportunity to speak to you. The whole team at SilverlightShow wishes you a most successful New Year 2010! We hope you will keep being one of the most active contributors to developing the community at SilverlightShow!



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