2014 was a great year, with a lot of excitement in the Microsoft community, a lot of awesome news. Microsoft released a few interesting hardware offerings such as the confirmation of the success of the Surface Pro 3, the release of the Microsoft Band and the Miracast wireless display adapter (I have one of each and they work great), a few exciting announcements such as the open sourcing of the .NET core, the release to the public of the free Visual Studio Community Edition, the preview release of Windows 10, continued activity in the WPF team, and more. Microsoft Azure is continuing its expansion in features, and is also becoming more accessible to small business and hobbyists. On the client side, we continue to see a unification of the platforms that will reach its best in Windows 10 with the universal applications running on Windows, Windows Phone and XBOX. And of course the extended partnership with Xamarin (which makes me very happy on a professional and personal level) allows to leverage an ever large portion of that code and run it on iOS and Android devices.
For me personally, 2014 was my 6th year at IdentityMine, with many projects in Windows Store, Windows Phone, WPF… and Xamarin! I took the Xamarin University courses and was happy to confirm my impression that Xamarin V3 is ready for production! Yes, the tools are sometimes a bit unstable but with experience, it is fairly easy to overcome these small issues. Xamarin allows building native iOS and Android applications in C#, and to compile, design and debug them using Visual Studio and other common.NET tools. Most importantly, in the contrary of other cross platform technologies such as Cordova, it create fully native applications, with a completely familiar user experience for the users of iOS and Android devices. No compromises!
While learning Xamarin, it was quite clear to me that the Model View ViewModel pattern that we apply in all XAML technologies makes a lot of sense in Xamarin too, especially in order to share even more code and leverage existing frameworks. It was only natural to port MVVM Light to Xamarin, and extend it with a few additions such as a data binding and commanding framework, and observable adapters for list controls, using ObservableCollection as sources.
I was really happy this year to be invited to talk about this at Xamarin Evolve in Atlanta. The yearly Xamarin conference was a really wonderful experience which reminded me a lot of the early MIX conferences where Microsoft had released advanced technologies such as WPF and Silverlight. Having had the honor to speak three times at MIX, it was great to feel the same mix of technology, community and excitement that was present at Evolve.
MVP again :)
Yesterday I received the hoped-for-email telling me that I was renewed as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for 2015. This is my 9th award, and I am really proud to be recognized again for my contributions to the community. Even though I talked at less conferences in 2014 than in 2013, I had a few good ones, like Techorama in Belgium, and of course Xamarin Evolve in Atlanta. I also had the chance to attend the Build conference in San Francisco in April, the MVP summit in Redmond in October, and to take part to numerous feedback sessions with Microsoft. I really value the relationship I built with the product groups at Microsoft, and the trust that they put into my feedback, year after year. It is a great pride and a great motivation to be a member of such a talented group, something I still have to pinch myself about :)
And Regional Director
The Microsoft Regional Director program is a lesser known partner program at Microsoft. It consists of about 150 Regional Directors worldwide. Its small size and the profile of the directors gives us the chance to get first hand access to more people within Microsoft. I was lucky to get selected for this program in 2013 and to take part to as many meetings as I can.
In 2015, a question mark is raised, because the Regional Director program is going through some changes, and a new batch is selected. No one is safe :) in the sense that we all had to resubmit nominations and there is a whole new selection process. I am crossing my fingers, as I think that this program is probably the most exciting group in relationship with Microsoft technologies. I am really humbled to be in the same room as these experts and I hope that I can continue this adventure. We should know more soon so stay tuned.
And Xamarin MVP!
I just received the news that Xamarin is awarding me Most Valuable Professional too, in recognition of my work on MVVM Light for Xamarin, and my talks and articles! This is awesome and exciting. I can’t wait to collaborate even more closely with Xamarin on upcoming projects.
Upcoming talks and trips
In 2015, I will take part to more events than in 2014, where I had decided to stay home a bit more and study Xamarin and other new (for me) technologies. Now I feel full of energy and ideas for new talks.
Already confirmed, I will be speaking at Techorama again in May in Mechelen, Belgium. Can’t wait to be at this conference which is organized by some of my very good friends from the Belgian community. It is really a conference from developers for developers, and very much in touch with the most exciting advances in the software development branch.
Before that, I will be talking at VSLive in Las Vegas in March. I have been wanting to speak at this illustrious conference forever :) but somehow it never was the right time. Now I managed to submit a nice (I think) selection of talks and was asked to give two. For more details, refer to the badge below! And if you want to register for the conference, you can use the code LVSPK06 to register and save 500 USD for the 5 day all-access Best Value Conference Package!!
Finally, I just started the year speaking to the good people at the MS Dev Show podcast, and you can listen to it here.
It is a real pleasure to be active in this wonderful community of developers. Expanding the reach of MVVM Light and of all my other topics of interest from the Windows-only community to the cross platform adepts of the Xamarin community is a thrill. More than ever, I am excited about the work in front of us, and how we can use our skills and our passion to make the users’ life even better with software. I wish you all a fantastic 2015 and I really hope to see as many of you as possible in person at events.