Lost in Translation

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Rick Barraza at Cynergy has a provocative new post, where he claims that Microsoft may missing reality by assuming that there is always a clean separation between designer and developer roles.  Rick is the guy who just built the fun Silverlight game, "Guitar Master Chief" (think, Guitar Hero and Halo 3).

In fact, we do talk about the designer/developer split a lot, and the way that Expression Blend allows the two roles to work together productively.  But we realize that this separation of roles isn't always the norm.  We have done a ton of research on this; from surveys and focus groups to in-depth in-person projects with scores of teams of experienced and advanced interactive developers from around the world.  I've talked with many of these teams personally about their experiences applying their expertise using the new Microsoft tools.

What I've seen is that perhaps half of the teams out there, as Rick does, prefer to mix both design and dev into the same role.  These teams will tend to split up projects by components to avoid stepping on one another's toes.  The other half of teams tend to split the designer and developer roles, and these are the teams who most appreciate the way Blend and Visual Studio work together.

The tutorials often emphasize the split role scenario simply because it's a scenario that was poorly supported by tools in the industry up until now.  But there are many like Rick who want to do both at the same time.  Rick intends to produce more Silverlight development guidance and samples geared exactly to this scenario -- subscribed!

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