In 2018, when Dan Siegel asked me what I thought about hosting a Xamarin developer summit in Houston, I could not have been happier. The conversations started to grab interest of folks who would support the idea of a Xamarin focused event, including Microsoft team. Once Dan brought Megsoft on board, things got in motion and the rest is history.
Why This Summit?
Since the last Xamarin Evolve 2016 in Orlando, Florida, a void was felt by the Xamarin community worldwide. Even though Build had sessions that covered topics somewhat related to Xamarin, it felt more of a Azure services delivery mechanism to mobile devices. Having a Xamarin dedicated event at a global scale rejuvenates the Xamarin community and assure that Xamarin is still well and alive, and most importantly, still loved by the community. Microsoft has dedicated a lot of resources towards Xamarin and the team has been producing awesome tools and features to make mobile development a breeze for personal and enterprise solutions. It builds further confidence in the product and the company behind it.
For a global tech event to be successful, people must trust the product and technology behind it. Xamarin was a well establish product before Microsoft acquisition in 2016, and grew tremendously since. It did not take long before some of the industry leaders stepped up and offered sponsorship for the event. Uno Platform was the first to realize that this was going to be the most anticipated event since Evolve 2016 and threw their support behind it. Others like Syncfusion, Couchbase, InfernoRed Technologies, picked up Gold and Silver sponsorships. Telerik and GrailKit showcased their offerings as exhibitors on the floor where attendees learned about their offerings.
Of course, this event would not have been successful without the partnership with Microsoft and Samsung Developer Program.
Microsoft was part of Keynote on both days of the summit, and during the Keynote, they made several highly anticipated announcements.
Hot Reload 🔥🔁
One of the most anticipated feature, Hot Reload, was announced. Currently, Hot Reload works only on XAML, but C# support is also coming soon.
iOS 13, Android Q, App Bundles, and more…
Support for iOS 13, Android Q, AndroidX with automatic migration, Android App Bundles are all coming in the near future (Visual Studio 16.3 and 16.3 Preview 2).
Xamarin Essentials 1.3 beta
Xamarin Essentials 1.3-beta is available now and running on more platforms. Not to mention, Tizen.
You can find more information on this, Shell, and more on Maddie’s blog post at https://devblogs.microsoft.com/xamarin/recapping-xamarin-developer-summit/. And on the recorded streams on YouTube.
In my talk on Xamarin.Forms Made Better With Prism, I showed how to make Xamarin.Forms apps better with MVVM and Prism.Forms, and demonstrated some cool features coming in Prism.Forms 7.2 like,
- Auto register pages for navigation
- Auto initialize properties in View Models
- Dialog Service
- XAML navigation
I will have more on these in future posts, and you can find more info on Prism.Form 7.2 in the release notes.
MFractor Coming To Windows
MFractor is awesome tool for Visual Studio for Mac. Matthew Robbins, founder of MFractor, announced that MFractor will be available to VS on Windows users soon 👏. To sweeten the deal, he threw in a 75% OFF discount code for a day so anyone, not just the attendees, could benefit from productivity tools offered by MFractor.
The sessions covered a wide range of topics, all related to Xamarin and mobile development in general. Keynote and Microsoft sessions were streamed live and recorded. All other sessions were recorded and will be available on Xamarin Developer Summit official YouTube channel. So make sure to subscribe to the channel for this year’s sessions and future content.
You can find a list of all sessions at xamarindevelopersummit.com/sessions
We had three hands-on workshops to get your skills to the next level. Xamarin.Forms Workshop, Bluetooth LE Workshop (The Escape Room), and Tizen Workshop. I attended the Samsung Developer Program’s Tizen workshop. And decided to convert my Tizen app to Prism.Forms 😉
For the event, we decided to give our attendees and exhibitors the ability to stay informed with the events and information before, during and after the summit. The app was initially ported over by Megsoft from an existing conference app template that James Montemagno had put together from the Evolve days. Dan converted that app to Prism.Forms, naturally, and modular-ized it. I built the module that exhibitors would use to capture leads during the event, based on the Xamarin.Android app I built for Xamarin Evolve 2016 vendor scanners. Allan Ritchie worked on the backend with Beacons to capture lead info.
I had a lot of fun working with Dan and Allan on this project. I got to learn some neat tricks and got the opportunity to work with BLE Beacons and build Azure Functions.
It was a lot of fun helping organize such an awesome event with Dan and team. From the venue tours, hanging out with Dan and Hector, picking up speakers and guests from the airport, speaker dinners, etc. Here are some cherished moments 😊
You can find all the slides and other content on XamDevSummit2019 GitHub.
And Most Importantly, The People
As you can tell by the collage in the intro, the aspect of the event I enjoyed the most, was meeting people. I have been interacting with a lot of you over the inter-webs, and enjoyed meeting you in person. I loved meeting the Microsoft and Xamarin team, folks from Dominican Republic, my friends from Canada and Europe and many more. I really enjoyed getting to know folks outside of the twitter box and made friendships along the way. I look forward to meeting my friends at other events and keep the conversations going.
And that’s a wrap folks. As you can tell, it was an awesome event and I had a great time. A lot of us can’t wait to do this again next year. If you missed it this time around, make sure you are there next year 😉