Love Visual Studio? All we are saying…is give Blend a chance!

VisualStudioLogoMany of us work in Visual Studio every day, but have never taken the time to learn Blend. Adding Blend to your toolset will make you a more productive developer. so check out the MVA Blend Jump Start!

I have worked with Visual Studio for longer than I care to admit (do you remember when you could view the clipboard ring in a window?). I have worked in Blend a little bit here and there, but never had a chance to sit down and really figure out how it can help me with my coding. Mickey MacDonald tried it last year and in one day not only started learning Blend but built an entire game using just Blend! (read Mickey’s story)

So as you look at the long list of technologies you want to learn, if you are doing anything with XAML, I highly recommend bumping Blend to the top of your list. There is a really good Jump Start for Designing your XAML UI with Blend on Microsoft Virtual Academy presented by Jerry Nixon a Technical Evangelist and Unni Ravindranathan a Program Manager from Microsoft.

The jumpstart covers

  • XAML development in Visual Studio 2013 (there are some nice new features in 2013!)
  • XAML Design and Styling in Blend
  • How to build Windows Store Apps with Blend
  • a little Developer Candy 🙂
  • Some great suggested resources and next steps.

Don’t forget If you are a student you get Blend when you download Visual Studio 2013 from DreamSpark!

If you are in Canada, don’t forget that watching videos on Microsoft Virtual Academy could earn you rewards through Developer Movement!

Put aside some time, and learn how to make the most out of a tool you already have in your toolbox!

Comments (4)

  1. DonAlienware says:

    What a fantastic idea. Microsoft should in fact give Blend a chance.

    Let's see how that works…

    The top search result is a fantastically interesting blog "The Official Team Blog" "" that redirects to an ominous looking End Of Live page:…/eng

    Ok, maybe they just moved the blog to MSDN……/expression

    But that points to and hasn't been touched in 2 years.

    Ok lets find the product site:…/expression

    Another ominnous looking End of Life page.

    And some tabs with interesting but ancient links:…/cc136522…/cc295789.aspx

    And if you can think to search MSDN with the words "Visual Studio Blend" you get:…/jj171012.aspx

    Which at least indicates it exists….

    Any chance you know anyone in Microsoft that can put their thinking cap on and figure out how to Give Blend a Chance?

    I would like to see that happen.

  2. Susan Ibach says:

    @Don – They have rebranded it as Blend for Visual Studio. A couple of current URLs for documentation would include

    MSDN Getting started with Blend for Visual Studio 2013…/jj171012.aspx

    New features in Blend for Visual Studio 2013…/new-features-in-blend-for-visual-studio-2013.aspx

    There are also specific sites for building apps such as…/jj683071(v=vs.105).aspx

    In MSDN I found searching specifically for the phrase "Blend for Visual Studio" fairly effective.

    It can definitely be a challenge sometimes trying to find the right resources!  So much stuff out there to sift through!

  3. Glen says:

    Have to agree with Don here. Everything we've heard is that blend is dead and the useful parts are being incorporated directly into VS.

    I doubt anyone is really going to bother looking at it now with all the confusing messages about it.

  4. Susan Ibach says:

    @Glen – yes as of Visual Studio 2012. Editions of Blend are now part of the Visual Studio toolset, hence the slightly different naming "Blend for Visual Studio".

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