What is Xamarin and why are a lot of developers using this platform to develop mobile apps?
10th Oct 2017
What is Xamarin?
Xamarin is a Microsoft –owned company based in California. It is a relatively new technology which is causing quite a stir among the software development community. In layman’s terms, it enables C# developers to write native Android, iOS, and Windows apps with native user interfaces and share code across multiple platforms. Although the Xamarin product has only been created in 2011, over 1 million developers were using Xamarin's products in more than 120 countries around the world.
How is Xamarin beneficial for recruiters?
From a recruiter’s point of view, this is good news as there are more developers in the marketplace who would specialise in C# programming than iOS or Android. This is also a benefit for software houses who find it difficult sourcing mobile developers and it enables them to widen the talent pool, but are there any other benefits from a commercial point of view?
How is Xamarin beneficial from a commercial point of view?
Richard Harris from App Developer magazine recently interviewed Eric N. Shapiro (ArcTouch’s CEO and Founder) to specifically discuss Xamarin. Eric wrote his first computer program in 1978 and his first software company making a profit before he turned 21 and is an expert in his field.
Eric stated ‘in one recent Android and iOS project, we estimated we saved 35 percent of our engineering time by writing the app only once with C# and the Xamarin platform. That’s a huge gain - especially when you think about the time pressure to get mobile apps into the marketplace quickly.’
This is a massive saving. Of course, Xamarin can’t be used for every mobile app project e.g. if you wanted to take advantage of specific device features or specific interactions with a particular device, it is best to use native platform tools for iOS or Android.
Microsoft bought Xamarin in February 2016 since all the market suggests that enterprise apps designed for a specific workforce are set to explode. Also, it makes sense for Microsoft as the Windows Phone has struggled compared to the iOS and Android platforms partially because developers tend to stick with either platform.
Now with Xamarin under the Microsoft umbrella, it makes it more affordable for a business to roll out Windows apps as well. It also makes it easier for business and developers to sell Xamarin based products to their clients now it benefits from the Microsoft brand.
Xamarin is keeping up-to-date
Xamarin is moving with the latest technology and supports wearable technology. Supporting new devices such as the apple watch and android wear. You can add plugins from the Xamarin component store to aid more functionality such as popular authentication and payment methods.
Where are the Xamarin developers in Northern Ireland?
The drawback at the moment is since the technology is so new it can be very difficult finding experienced Xamarin developers. I'm currently in the middle of a recruitment drive for developers, there are only 2-3 developers in Northern Ireland who are experienced Xamarin developers. Employers will have to take an undertaking to hire C# developers who have a passion for mobile app development and then invest 6-8 months in training them on the platform. However, once your team is trained and ready to go, the commercial advantage of using this piece of technology are clear to see. Xamarin is a real commercial advantage in the mobile app development industry.
If you’re a developer seeking a new role in Belfast or around Northern Ireland, please get in touch for a confidential chat on 028 9091 8528 or email me to say hi on firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior Digital & IT Recruiter