Take the Xamarin Challenge!

Posted on March 18, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Dev with 32 Comments

Take the Xamarin Challenge!

I’m excited to announce the Xamarin Challenge, a special promotion aimed at getting developers started with Xamarin’s amazing cross-platform mobile app capabilities. And if you complete the challenge, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win one of two Surface Studios.

I know, right?

Here’s how it works. Head on over to the Xamarin Challenge on Thurrott.com and register. Then, you’ll be sent an email with the first of four steps, or tasks, to complete. These steps walk you through the process of using Xamarin and Visual Studio 2017 to create cross-platform mobile apps that run on Android, iOS, and Windows 10. And as you complete a step, you will receive an email with the next step after a 72-hour waiting period. Complete all three steps and you’re entered in the drawing.

As you may know, I’ve recently returned to the Microsoft development fold after several months of experimenting with Android app development. This promotion is coincidental to that—in fact, I literally had nothing to do with it—but it’s nice timing, for me. So I’ve entered the challenge as well—don’t worry, I don’t qualify for a Surface Studio—because I’ve been meaning to learn Xamarin development anyway. So this is a great start to that effort, and I’ve already completed the first step.

From what I can see so far, the Xamarin Challenge should be easy to complete, even for beginning developers. That is, you do need to be detail-oriented, of course. But I’ve already seen the weather app that you build light up on different mobile platforms, which is pretty amazing if you’ve never used Xamarin before.

The three steps break down like so:

Step 1: Download and modify. Here, you download the prerequisites to complete the challenge (Visual Studio 2017, which is free) and configure the environment for Xamarin development. Then, you download a fully functioning cross-platform app and import it into Visual Studio, and then become familiar with Xamarin by making a few minor revisions to the code.

Step 2: Enhance the app. In Step 2, you add a new page to the app and integrate with an external online service.

Step 3: Test and telemetry. In the final step, you learn about app deployment and configure crash analytics and reporting.

Your total time commitment here, not counting the time it takes to get Visual Studio 2017 up and running, is less than two hours: Step one takes an estimated 45 minutes, for example, and the other two steps are about 30 minutes each. You can do this. Plus, you might win a Surface Studio.


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