Hey guys,

I am a wannabe programmer. I am reading as many books and tutorials as possible - (with very limited time - full time job, online college, kids, wife, etc. etc.) such as Programming C#, c# and sql, c# and asp, and AJAX.

I want to get INTO the programming industry. I am in IT but not programming. I WANT to be a .NET programmer and not a Java programmer.

It seems that I cannot keep UP! With this new WPF coming out and Silverlight ( I would love to learn Silverlight ) -- would I look better to a future employer to learn these

**Also - I am using XP so I dont even KNOW if I can learn WPF **

OR should I just keep plodding through the C# learning process My goal is to produce one or two new applications a month. I am on my second one and learning alot.

AND SAGE ADVICE OUT THERE! !! I would deeply appreciate any help.


Re: Visual C# General Should a C# beginner focus on WPF and Silverlight?


WPF and Silverlight development tools work just fine on XP. Both are a lot of fun and a give some freedom from the same look and feel of Windows Forms applications. You can download the free Visual Studio C# Orcas Express editions and try WPF applications. For Silverlight, I recommend downloading the free Beta 2 Visual Studio Standard Edition plus the Silverlight tool add-on.

Can't offer much advice regarding employment but in my area (Atlanta, GA) most job ads seem to indicate that asp/Ajax and Sql skills are most highly valued.

Of course, Silverlight is new but any employer who is developing Flash applications now may want this technology in the future.

Re: Visual C# General Should a C# beginner focus on WPF and Silverlight?


Ya, I have been wondering if I shouldn't have spent more time in Flash. I know with ActionScript you can make fully functioning applications (obviously- we see them everywhere).

But then when I heard of Silverlight I got excited because it seems I can continue learning C# and make the same type of programs that other do in Flash. I just hope it catches on....

THANKS FOR THE ADVICE! I will do all of what you have said. I was just looking for other ways to break out of the mundane Form look and it sounds like WPF is for me!

Thanks a bunch!


Re: Visual C# General Should a C# beginner focus on WPF and Silverlight?

Figo Fei - MSFT

Hi, t

I think practice is important for a programmer, so if you do wanna learn WPF or other cool things like WCF WWF LINQ're strongly recommended to install Visual Studio 2008, Express available here: and Beta version download here:

And here is the tutorial for WPF:

Enjoy it.

Re: Visual C# General Should a C# beginner focus on WPF and Silverlight?

Martin Platt

I think undoubtedly silverlight will emerge as a highly asked after technology, on the wish lists of potential employees.

However, depending upon your starting point, i.e. some programming experience, or none, will depend on how well you get on.

the basics of WPF, I'm sure you could get a handle of, but if I was to consider employing you, for example, I'd be looking for a good programming grounding, then technology like WPF, etc.

Programming in WPF for example, if you can't do the basics properly might not look so good, whereas an awareness of WPF and the basics would be useful, if you also had a very good understanding of C#. The other thing is, that knowing the C# fundamentals, even advanced stuff, would probably mean you'd be better placed to learn hot technologies, and ultimately do a better job.

I understand completely where you're coming from, and I'm just trying to point out that whilst these technologies are interesting, they're a layer on top of other more important skills, and you need to think like your potential employers.

I remember when I first started out, and you try to get into new technologies and stuff, but often tie yourself in knots with the simple stuff. Suggest that you get to know about agile development, and test driven development, unit testing, coding styles, and defensive programming, hopefully during this time you will have picked up some C#, and using all that knowledge, you can then approach the cool stuff

Good luck, and tell me how you get on,


Re: Visual C# General Should a C# beginner focus on WPF and Silverlight?


(IMHO) You need to get the understanding of programming a language such as C# and the principles around it first. That should be your goal. Try to find a Systems Integration shop who will give you your first true programming job away from I.T.. If you try to learn WPF and Silverlight, you will just get overloaded at this time.

As to finding a job with WPF and Silverlight, as a beginner programmer you won't find work. No one will hire you when you say,

"I am a WPF programmer, but I only have experience on my own time."

That won't get you a job; they want real work experiance, and also such jobs are years in the future ... maybe 08, most likely 09/10.

As a Senior Level programmer in a Tech Job market city, there where no WPF/Silverlight jobs out there and only one that did, have a .Net 3.0 need wanted WWF (work flow). (Note I didn't get the WWF job, they wanted more experience than what I, and all the others that interviewed had and went with Microsoft Consulting). Most companies, 90% of them, will not go with a beta/new technology til it has been released and in the market for at least a year.

Once you feel comfortable in C#, then look at WPF and Silverlight. Never stop learning that is an amicable trait! But you need to get your foot in the door and a solid knowledge of C# before you can grasp for the jobs that are in demand.

Re: Visual C# General Should a C# beginner focus on WPF and Silverlight?


AWESOME Everyone! You have convinced me to continue working out the basic of C# -- I have so many books to get through on that subject I really shouldn't get distracted with anything else... thanks so much!!!

Re: Visual C# General Should a C# beginner focus on WPF and Silverlight?

Dmitry Pavlov


IMO, every beginner should focus on real needs, then learn some about the most appropriate technology used for certain task and then - dive into that technology Smile So if you task should be solved with Silverlight - have a good time learning it!