People who know me know that I love Silverlight. Just ask my wife or my 10 year-old daughter. Ask any of my previous employers whom I consistently begged to let me use the technology to solve their problems. I was there at MIX07 when Silverlight was first announced and I changed my life and bet big on this technology. I started the PDXUX.Net User Group right after MIX07. In 2009 Erik Mork helped me migrate that group into the Portland Silverlight User Group. We worked with Microsoft and got a busload of 40+ user group members up to the Silverlight Firestarter event last December. Like others, I started my own Silverlight consulting company. I aspired to one day be awarded as a Microsoft MVP in Silverlight (yeah, that never happened). I now create apps and games for the Windows Phone using Silverlight. I have absolutely no regrets with how I've integrated Silverlight into my life. Why should I? Silverlight will continue to be a big part of my life.
Now, before you read any further you need to go watch this video where Mike Angiulo shows off Windows 8 and talks about what's coming in hardware (majority of the video) and hints at what is available for apps (29:40 in video).
I don't know about you, but after watching that video I am super excited about the opportunities coming in Windows 8. I mean, seriously, how can you watch that video and not be excited? Did you watch the video? GO WATCH THE VIDEO! Please. :)
Let's be clear here, I'm aware that Microsoft's favorite new catchphrase is "hardware accelerated HTML". They aren't mentioning Silverlight very much when it comes to Windows 8. Meh, whatever. I'm assuming Microsoft is trying to speak to non-Microsoft devs and get their attention. Good for them. That doesn't alienate me as a Silverlight developer. However, this change in language is starting to pique my interest. I mean, what if they are actually trying to speak to me? Are they hinting at something new that I could benefit from?
Honestly, it's time to stop whining and start learning. You remember all the cynics back when Silverlight was first announced? You remember how hard it was to get your boss to let you do a project in Silverlight back then? You remember how it seemed they would say anything to fight this new technology? Do you realize that is exactly who you have turned into?
Opportunity, my friends, it's all about opportunity. That's exactly why I am attending BUILD, and exactly why you also need to attend. If you decide to stay home and remain ignorant then you will be increasing my odds of success (I'll have fewer competitors). But I'm a community guy and I run user groups and I try to help those around me. All I'm saying is you need to take a hard and honest look at this and think about what this could mean to your future. When .NET came on the scene there were plenty of VB6 developers who chose to pass on the opportunity before them and were slower in their adoption. There's nothing wrong with that. Just be honest with yourself about realize what this could potentially mean to you.
My recommendation for you is to do exactly the same.