I represented Xamarin at Microsoft’s BUILD conference last month. I attended the event, which took place at Microsoft’s Redmond campus, with my coworker Craig Dunn. We had a booth on the second floor of building 92, in the section dedicated to Visual Studio partners.
BUILD offered us a great opportunity to spread the word about Xamarin and meet lots of .NET developers. Our booth, where we handed out t-shirts and plush Xamarin monkeys, was very popular. There was so much demand for the monkeys that we had only a few left by the end of the week. We also conducted a daily raffle during the conference, giving one winner a Xamarin license on each day.
At our booth, we demoed our Android development add-in for Visual Studio and showed developers how they can use Xamarin to build cross-platform mobile applications that work across Android, iOS, and Windows 8. We also talked about the launch of our Xamarin.Mobile update with Windows support.
Many Xamarin customers came to our booth during the conference to tell us about the apps that they are building with our products. It was gratifying to hear so much positive feedback and enthusiasm from actual users. I’m always impressed by breadth and diversity of the mobile development landscape.
It’s especially interesting to hear about the kind of mobile apps that companies are building for internal use, because it offers a glimpse of the enormous application ecosystem that exists outside the realm of conventional consumer app stores.
One of the highlights of the event was the unofficial MonoGame meetup, which attracted a considerable audience of developers and XNA enthusiasts. At the meetup, Xamarin’s Dominique Louis and Tom Spilman of Sickhead games explained how developers can use MonoGame to make games that will work across multiple platforms.
Tom’s team at Sickhead is largely responsible for porting MonoGame to Windows 8, opening the door for porting XNA games to the Windows 8 Modern App environment. Sickhead used MonoGame to build ARMED, which it is now bringing to a number of platforms including Windows and iOS.
BUILD is the first Microsoft event that I’ve attended. Although running a booth for four days at such a busy conference proved exhausting, it was a very rewarding experience.