MVP Spotlight

Samuel Blanchard

Windows Phone Development
I started regularly participating in the forums about 3 years ago, when I became interested in Silverlight. I really got into it once I saw how I could help people, and I became a moderator a few months later. Currently, I'm particularly active in the forum dedicated to Windows Phone, but I also like to write articles and speak at technical sessions during events such as Microsoft TechDays.
I especially enjoy sharing my Windows Phone experience through technical sessions. I try to slip a bit of humor into my presentations to make sure that the audience not only (hopefully) learns something, but also has a good time.
After developing a Gameboy emulator for Windows Phone, I got alot of messages from users thanking me for making it possible for them to play the games of their childhood again. I think the best compliment for a developer, however, is the number of downloads their application gets. It's what keeps us going and makes us keep updating our apps!
I am, first and foremost, passionate about development. I started out by learning BASIC, then systems integration, then C/C++, and finally, C#. I tried quite a few different careers in IT before ending up in development – machine monitor, system and network administrator, consultant – but development is in my DNA. Now, I'm a development and innovation manager at Naviso, and development is my main concern. As you can probably guess, I'm proud to be a developer!
For me, XAML is the most exciting technology I've ever seen. Its ability to change visuals while still keeping its basic functions make it an extremely powerful tool for graphic interface developers. XAML achieves its full potential when used with Blend and Visual Studio, giving developers a simple and efficient tool and offering users really interactive interfaces.    
Becoming an MVP means being recognized as a person who enjoys sharing their knowledge. These days, being a technical whiz isn't enough. You also have to know how to share your knowledge through different media, like forums, Facebook groups, press articles or speaking at sessions. My advice for becoming an MVP is to be able to socialize with people who share the same passion for Microsoft technologies, and to love doing it!
Like many, I think that development communities go beyond just simple information sharing. You form friendships with the people you meet through them, virtually or in real life. I know quite a few people whose lives have been changed by this, including mine. J