102 – Resource for success

The best place to start learning Xamarin is… Xamarin Resources. Go figure. Xamarin even has their own Xamarin University set of courses you can take live on-line as well as pre-recorded classes. Not just on Xamarin, but also C#, F# and a bunch of other stuff. It’s not free – or even cheap. But do you really want a ‘cheap’ education as the basis of your career? I think it was like US$2400/year per person. If you can afford it, it is the fastest and best source available. If you can afford it you will learn 5 times faster and better and that of course has a dollar value to you. If you can learn faster you can be earn faster and that might be important to you. Also, by becoming a Xamarin Certified developer you are granted access to a closed area of Linked-In where companies and developers are introduced. Small companies looking for freelancers, or looking for full-time hire. That alone can be worth the cost.

Remember that Xamarin XAML for building your pages is just a different implementation of XAML, which is the markup language used for WPF. So if you’re not well versed with WPF there is a LOT of free resources for it and it all pretty much applies. Once you have a solid understanding of WPF concepts it translates nicely to Xamarin. The differences are basically “StackLayout” instead of “StackPanel“… “Entry” instead of “TextBox” etc.

The de-facto text/reference book on Xamarin is by Charles Petzold and you can download it for FREE.

Xamarin Forums is a great place to ask questions. I would point out the first step is always to try to learn. Don’t spend 1 day in Xamarin then hammer people with day 1 questions because you’re too lazy to spend some time self-educating. The forums are also a great place to just spend some time reading. Read through the questions others ask because it gives you some insight into problems other had, and how they resolved them. Better to have that in the back of your mind when you get started so you can avoid going down the wrong path.

Stackoverflow has a Xamarin specific area and tag for questions. The good folks at Xamarin monitor it, as well as the general community of Xamarin developers.

Xamarin components – While there are numerous NuGet packages you may want, this collection is always your first stop. It includes components for cross-platform implementation of everyday needs from Compass to File Storage.

Xamarin Bugzilla – If you have found a real bug. A true bug in Xamarin. Not that you can’t figure it out in 5 minutes or it doesn’t work the way you thought/expected. But an honest-to-goodness bug. Here is where you report it. Be sure you have asked around on the Forum first. Be sure you can reproduce it in a small sample, then include the sample in the bug report.

The prep list for doing an upgrade – This step-by-step by James Montemagno will save you lots of headaches.

Visual Studio Documentation at Microsoft

Visual Studio Keyboard shortcuts (2012, 2013, 2015)

Visual Studio (2015) features and tips

The definitive guide to String.Format. Using the right codes such as {0:c} for currency can save you so much B.S. trying to re-invent the wheel when it comes to formatting.