Geeks With Blogs
Thorvald Bøe
So, as any good dev geek, I can't help but play with geeky fun stuff at night. And as a creative person, I constantly get ideas for new apps or web sites that would rock the world if I just got around to develop them. For many years, I suffered the pain of brilliant ideas trickling down my mind while unable to act upon them. The greatest obstacle was the strange, unfamiliar world of iOS and Mac, which seemed like an impenetrable wall between myself and unforeseen glory and wealth. Yes, I admit the money perspective is a dominant factor behind my geeky activities. And the apple app store is allegedly where the money is to be found. And it doesn't hurt that I own and love an iPhone either. 

So in order to overcome my troubles, I finally went and bought my first mac. It was a mac mini, with just enough power to allow for some creative development activities. I fired it up, eager to start building awesome stuff. But the road to glory was never easy. Not having even touched a Mac before in my life, the new platform was all but easy to work with. I managed to install Xcode, and ran a few tutorials on objective c, but if the platform itself was confusing, it was nothing compared to the utter strangeness of this new language. I realised this was not going to happen, and the mac was left alone for a long time.

But of course, as time went by, new ideas came flowing all the time. Of course, I could build a web application of some kind. But it felt a bit too much like work, and the monetisation was also troublesome. I realised I wanted to create an app. An iPhone app. 

I checked out a few cross platform frameworks. They did not seem to be good enough at delivering the native powers of the platform. I came close at giving PhoneGap a try, but in the end that framework either did not have the right appeal to me. Then I heard of Xamarin. I was stunned. I actually first picked it up from the dotNetRocks podcast show, where somebody had developed a game using Xamarin. I almost could not believe how amazing this platform seemed to be. Developing on iOS and android, access to all native features, and last but not least, you could actually do it in C#! 

I decided to fire up my (now) old mac mini, and set up a Xamarin trial. I started investing some night time learning the nuts and bolts of Xamarin.iOS. Of course I got a few slaps in my face. For example they advertised with "develop in Visual Studio", but the part where you had to do GUI in Xcode was not so well communicated. Or when I discovered that you need separate licenses for iOS and Android development. To their defence, they have fixed the GUI part now with the new designer. Of course you need the enterprise license to work in Visual Studio, so I opted for the cheaper Indie license. I have to work on the mac, but I manage, after all I can program in C#. 

I bought my developer license a few weeks ago, and I realise I have a lot to learn. But I am on my way! I hope to keep posting as I go forward from total newbie to Xamarin guru some time in the future! :)

Posted on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 11:12 PM xamarin , mobile | Back to top

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