Friday, May 2, 2014

My future is Xamarin

I have been creating software for handheld devices for over a decade now. I’ve seen interesting things come and go and also witnessed a couple of failures. A great part of my mobile development career involved consulting and I had loads of fun working with some very smart people doing all sorts of interesting stuff. But for the past year or so I felt like I fell into a deep whole. Normally I would provide consulting services for up to 6 months then move on to something else, but my last project was not the case. It was retailer solution and was not really interesting, not at all challenging, and was mostly tedious, and to make it worse I was targeting a 10 year old platform and needed to support an even older one. I first went along with this because the company was going through a hard time and could really use some revenue, at that time we had just let go of 1/3 of our staff and I felt lucky that I got to keep my job. I did my job the best I could even and delivered what needed to be shipped. As the project progressed and the requirement changes got out of hand I found myself in an endless loop of fixing then breaking then fixing stuff. Sometimes in life you just have to suck it up and do your job since after all it pays the bills, keeps a roof over our heads, and puts food on the table. This project has taken all of my time and energy. It was the main reason I have not posted a single article for an entire year!

During this time I paid a lot of attention (more than usual) to what was going on in the mobile space and I have grown an interest in Xamarin. I’ve seen more and more people adapt Xamarin and after trying it in a few small projects I could really see why. This means a lot coming from me since I am a huge fan of native platform development. I’ve done Android projects before where I used Java + Eclipse and iOS projects where I used Objective-C + XCode. But after seeing and trying out Xamarin, thanks to my experience with Android and iOS, I found myself immediately being productive. I love the fact that I can just use the official Android or iOS documentation pages and be able to implement it directly using Xamarin.
So after months of considerations I have decided to take a break from consulting and take on a full time position for a company called 24/7 Entertainment where I will be doing Xamarin development. I have worked with the company in the past where I helped them with some Windows Phone and Store music apps. I know the team from past work experiences and I know that they are loads of fun to work with and are very passionate about what they do. They believe in their products and all share common goals. They follow modern software development practices and use the latest and the greatest development tools and hardware. This job is going be fun, challenging, and simply great! I hope to learn, contribute, and have a blast!