This is the third post in our Xamarin Evolve 2016 “Speaker Spotlight” series, helping you get to know a little bit more about some of the amazing speakers who will be contributing at this year’s conference.
Today we’re highlighting Xamarin’s own Jason Smith, who has been working on UI and front-end development for the past decade, touching on almost every major UI toolkit in the process (don’t worry, his hands are clean). Jason’s most recent endeavor at Xamarin has him leading the Xamarin.Forms project to create a truly cross-platform UI solution.
How long have you been doing mobile development?
About five years. Before Xamarin I worked at Canonical on Ubuntu and contributed to the Unity interface concept, which had mobile aspirations. After Canonical I came to Xamarin where the mobile world really opened up for me.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
There’s an easy mistake to make when you come to mobile. I think I tried for a year or so to treat it like the desktop, but smaller. It’s not the desktop, it’s not a pocket computer. What it is is something much more personal, it’s their life in digital form.
This gives you so much more power on these devices, but the margin of error becomes so much smaller. You might put up with minor issues with applications on a desktop, but on your phone where your photos and videos and apps live? Not so much.
What is your favorite platform to develop for?
Windows 10 is such a lovely platform, and Microsoft has done a great job setting themselves up for a much better future for their developers. They have consistently innovated and improved their technology, and with their recent commitment to Open Source I think its a very exciting time to be a Windows developer.
What are your favorite open source libraries?
libdbus and its brethren. It’s not a mobile library, I don’t even think it could be made to work on mobile. It’s a method for doing IPC, not unlike COM, but there is a beauty to how it works that I never really managed to get over.
I find myself having to re-implement portions of its functionality in applications all the time. Whoever designed it did an absolutely fantastic job.
What are you looking forward to most at this year’s Xamarin Evolve?
I already know all the secrets, so I’m there to talk to users and just solve as many pain points as I can. There is a feeling of satisfaction when you solve someone else’s problem that you really can’t get any other way.
What is a take away from your talk that will change the way attendees do mobile development for the better?
I’ll show people how to utilize Xamarin.Forms to produce those experiences that are able to please, even delight their users. Walking away, anyone watching should be armed with the tools to make an incredible app without compromise, and hopefully take advantage of all the features we have built into the product.