Last Saturday our mobile developers Tom and Iain attended the MvvmCross and Xamarin HackDay hosted by Xablu in Amsterdam.
MvvmCross is a framework build for cross-platform mobile development, it allows for shared behaviour and business logic to be used in a single codebase across multiple platforms, using the Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) design pattern.
MvvmCross is one of the main frameworks we use in our mobile development, so when Xablu announced it was hosting a day of lightning talks, hacking, and learning, we jumped at the chance to take part; contributing to the development of the framework and meeting the team behind it.
The hackday brought together more than 200 MvvmCross contributors and Xamarin developers from around the world and took place on the final day of the two week .NET Summer Hackfest, organised by the .NET Foundation.
The event kicked off early in the TOBACCO Theater in central Amsterdam with keynote presenters Martijn van Dijk and Marc Bruins. Martijn is a Microsoft and Xamarin MVP and lead MvvmCross contributor, and Marc is a MvvmCross contributor and more recently became an Xamarin MVP (congrats Marc!).
They outlined the future of MvvmCross and set out goals to keep development of the framework moving. A highlight for us on the roadmap is the creation of more view presenters for each of the supported platforms.
Nico Milcoff, Xamarin Expert and MvvmCross contributor, talked through the features and future of view presenters. MvvmCross’ new navigation service (which incorporates view presenters) has been a great time-saver for a lot of our current iOS projects, so it was of great interest to us to see where this feature will go.
Ever wondered how to do custom bindings in MvvmCross? Well, Tomasz Cielecki, Xamarin MVP and MvvmCross Lead Contributor, showed us how. He detailed what was needed to allow a custom view to send notifications back in a two-way binding - very useful if you ever have custom controls that need to send information back to the viewmodel. Check out the sample he showcased here.
Most connected mobile apps need a backend infrastructure, and Mike James, Xamarin Evangelist, demonstrated how to connect a backend service using his app BaitNews and Azure App Services as an example. With Microsoft making creating services like these easy and convenient for mobile developers, this was a great takeaway for our future projects.
Keeping with the Azure theme Laurent Bugnion, Senior Global Cloud Advocate at Microsoft, showed the ease of Azure Functions with mobile apps, and how aspects of a backend can be created using them, a popular topic now that Visual Studio for Mac supports Azure Functions.
Once the talks concluded, we divided into two groups for a hacking session - one for developers new to Xamarin, and our group of MvvmCross contributors. By the end of the day we had contributed updates to MvvmCross documentation and sample apps, before heading to Bierfabriek Amsterdam to talk tech over chicken and drinks. You can read more about the afternoon session in our second blog post here.
It was great to hear from leading experts in the MvvmCross and Xamarin community. For anyone looking to learn about cross platform mobile development, or get involved in contributing to open source projects, I would highly recommend keeping up to date with the next MvvmCross or Xamarin events to dive in and meet some great developers!
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