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The Future of Blue Spire

Recently my good friend and business partner, Christopher Bennage, made a decision to move his family to Redmond and take a job with Microsoft’s P&P team. A few people have been asking me what that means for Blue Spire. In short, I’m going to be focusing the company on what I know and do best: UI Architecture and Engineering. To that end there are three big areas I’m working on in the near future:

Caliburn.Micro

Caliburn.Micro is an opinionated framework designed to ease the authoring of maintainable presentation tiers on Xaml-based platforms. There are a lot of apps being built with it and a great support community too. You will see the RTW release along with NuGet support *very* soon. After that, it’s on to work on the next version. I’ve got quite a few improvements planned now, not to mention support for Silverlight 5. In the next few months I’ll be initiating a Caliburn.Micro sponsorship program and possibly some other goodies…

Master Classes

There’s a lot of talk in the .NET community about MVVM. There’s a lot of bad examples on the web of how to do it. Furthermore, the drone on the subject has unfortunately steered many developers away from an honest and deep exploration of UI engineering in general. This may come as a shock to many, but MVVM is not the only way and not always the right way to solve a problem. I’m working on putting together a 3 – 5 day master class that focuses strictly on UI engineering. At first, I’ll be traveling to various cities around the U.S. delivering this course. I have plans to visit Europe in the future as well. The goal is to take experienced Xaml-developers and infuse a very deep understanding of object-oriented programming as it applies to the presentation tier. Sure we’ll talk about MVVM, we’ll work with Caliburn.Micro, etc. but we’ll be talking and working through a lot more things you’ll need to have mastery of to work effectively in this space. In addition to the standard courses, I’ll also be putting together a package geared towards companies that wish to invest in this type of training for their developers internally.

Consulting

As always, I’m available as a consultant. I won’t lie. It’s not cheap to hire me to work on your presentation tier, but all my clients will tell you that they get tremendous value for their money. In addition to traditional consulting, I’m offering two other special services. The first is code reviews. I’ve found that having an expert spend a few hours reviewing your code can make a tremendous difference. It can be anything from “Our application works fine, but it’s been difficult adding new features, how can we improve our design?” to “We have a WPF application and were wondering if/how difficult it would be to port it to Silverlight?” to “We have a complex feature and we need some advice on how we should proceed.” Maybe you would say “We have a brownfield WPF application with no separated presentation. We’re looking at improving things by using Caliburn.Micro. Can you help us gracefully accomplish that transition?” Basically, we time box some hours, I dive into your code and I come back out with some answers to help you on your way. Finally, in addition to the Master Classes above, I’ll be delivering week-long development Bootcamps for companies that want an intense combination of training and focused development on one of their products. Basically, I’ll be on site, developing along with your team, helping in key architectural decisions, teaching UI engineering and helping you to leverage Caliburn.Micro along the way. It might be a brownfeld application that needs refactoring because of maintenance issues or it might be a completely new project that your team wants a really strong start with.

Durandal

I said three things didn’t I? Well, I can’t really help mentioning the Javascript RIA platform I’m working on. If you like the WPF/Silverlight development style and especially if you like Caliburn.Micro…this is going to blow your mind. I’m very excited about it. If you’re going to be at Mix this year, come find me and maybe I’ll give you a little sneak peak :) As you might imagine, when it arrives, I’m going to provide a version of my UI Engineering master class geared around it as well as the bootcamps and consulting services. It’s a bit down the road, but I’m really looking forward to being able to share more with you about it.


Posted 04-07-2011 2:44 PM by Rob Eisenberg

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