Last month, our mates Beatriz, Marcos and Oriol took part into our first iOS conference ever. In this post we will explain why we took that decision and how it was our experience there.
NSSpain 2017 took place from 13th to 15th September at Logroño, Spain. After all of the editions, NSSpain has earned a well-deserved reputation thanks to top-class speakers, a great gastronomy and an excellent and pleasant atmosphere.
This year, on its 5th edition, we decided to help them becoming a Gold sponsor.
DevsDNA is a company focused on building great cross-platform native apps. We want to satisfy our customer’s demands creating products that users love to put their hands on. To accomplish that we rely our main work tools mostly to those Microsoft and Xamarin provide us. We truly believe that at this moment they’re the ones that better fits our needs, as well as those of our customers and final users.
However, we are technology lovers, so we also like to go deep in those frameworks, platforms and languages; we think are important (or they will be) for our purpose, and it´s obvious that iOS has a prominent place in our daily work.
We also love the community. We know from our own experience through last 15+ years that contributing and supporting the community always pays off the efforts. We wanted to introduce ourselves to a new community to learn from it, but also and fundamentally to contribute to it.
We had the privilege to impart the first workshop of this edition. In Expand your skills with Xamarin: from native to cross-platform we explained how can an iOS developer take profit of the features that Xamarin brings to us. We tailored the list of topics to the needs of our audience, who we knew it would be composed of mostly Objective-C & Swift developers.
After an overview of the Xamarin platform and its architecture, we exposed how similar is to work with iOS+Swift to Xamarin.iOS+C#. After that, we explained how easy is to add an Android project to your solution and take advantage of shared code between both versions. Finally, we showed them an app demo we prepared expressly for the workshop (you have access to both the app and the presentation here).
Before starting the talk we were a bit nervous and with some sense of “impostor syndrome” due to being the “Xamarin guys” on an iOS conference. During and after the talk we realized that those feelings were only on our heads, because we felt very comfortable at all times. We think we did a good job communicating the main message we wanted to transmit: Xamarin lets you deliver an “iOS-native” level of quality on your apps, and at the same time it gives you access to a new world of possibilities.
The main insight we took from the feedback we got after the workshop (and during other conversations along the conference) is that a vast majority of people undervalued Xamarin as a real option because they thought it was taking an hybrid approach like PhoneGap. After talking with us they expressed surprise with the quality of the apps we had developed using Xamarin, and they started showing interest in whether Xamarin approach could eventually be useful on their particular circumstances.
We realized at this moment that Xamarin/Microsoft has a real problem in their communication if so many developers are not aware of the real nature of their product. We are so fervent believers in Xamarin solution that makes us sad that a lot of developers surely are not using it at this moment due to some prejudices and misconceptions. Xamarin and Microsoft has a huge opportunity here if they want to expand their user base. Meanwhile, we will continue feeling proud of sharing our love for Xamarin, for iOS and for the community.