Lunch & Learn: What is Xamarin.Forms and how does one get into it?

Here at OSI we love to eat lunch. And we also love to learn. Hence why we have the Lunch & Learn sessions – every employee of the company can decide to host such a session on an interesting topic and the company will provide nourishment for the weary developers.

This was one such session. It focused on a preliminary introduction to Xamarin.Forms and some first steps into the framework and what it provides for building mobile applications. We decided to hold this session as we have successfully used the framework to build a number of applications and thought it was time to showcase what it can be used to achieve on a basic level. We are firm believers in the Cross-Platform approach to software development so we have embraced this technology as our go-to solution for applications that require multi-platform support. As the session can be useful for many people outside the company as well, we decided to make it available for all to see.

The session was meant to introduce Xamarin.Forms at a more basic level to anyone interested. The first part of the presentation focuses on explaining what Xamarin.Forms is – below you can find a list of points on what was touched on:

  • Explanation of Xamarin.Forms
  • Quick explanation of difference between cross-platform and Hybrid applications
  • Xamarin.Forms community and support
  • Touched on licensing for usage

After that we started on the more technical part of the presentation. From this point on anyone watching would need to have a little bit of .NET knowledge and know what Visual Studio is as we talk about how to get started with a first project and “Hello, World!”.

Then we get onto the purely technical part of the presentation. We dive into an overview of the project structure and get into more details explaining the different possible Layout elements in Xamarin.Forms. This part was mainly live demos and looking at the code for those demos, many times making changes on the fly to showcase what can be achieved.

During the whole presentation there were some interesting questions from people who had either looked at Xamarin.Forms before or who had experience with technologies like WPF and UWP. Overall it was a very pleasant experience and we will probably continue holding such sessions in the future in order to look into more of what Xamarin.Forms can do.

Below you can find some photos from the session, as well as a recording of the lecturer’s screen, the presentation used for it and a link to a GitHub repository with the demo app being shown (as well as a few other demo applications we didn’t have time for and that may be touched on in a following session).

Enjoy 🙂

This post was written by Konstantin Severi