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Xamarin, the cross-platform Development software aims to simplify mobile application creation and has an ever growing community of over 1.4 million Developers. We take a look at the benefits of using Xamarin and the challenges associated with resourcing for a Xamarin role in the ever changing Development world.

The phrase cross-platform mobile application often rings alarm bells with developers, “What about the functionality? Surely native application development is the best way to maximise the potential of an app…?” Many consider the cross-platform option a short-cut that will enable them to hack out an app quickly but potentially at the expense of quality. Once this enters the collective psyche of the Development industry, it can be a challenge, to change people’s hearts and minds.

So, why did the number of advertised Xamarin vacancies surge in 2016? What are the benefits, why have Microsoft acquired the company and perhaps most importantly, does the statement,“Anything you can do in Objective-C, Swift or Java, you can do in C# with Xamarin” ring true?

So What Are The Key Benefits of Xamarin Over Native Mobile Dev?

Technical Support – customer reviews are generally positive            

Quick Learning Curve; especially for .NET Developers

Xamarin University; lots of free content and training material

Share Existing Business Logic;  especially if existing architecture is .NET based

Recruiting for Xamarin Developers

Each week, more and more CTOs across the UK seem to be reaching this conclusion – but does supply meet rising demand? Many of the benefits of Xamarin are derived from the potential to cross train your existing .NET Developers. Whilst there is certainly useful information available via Xamarin University, there’s generally no substitute for commercial experience.

Xamarin was founded in 2011 and they released Xamarin.Mac in December 2012. This allowed Developers to build C# based apps for the Apple OS X operating system. By 2015, around 1 million Developers were estimated to be using the language worldwide. A meteoric rise globally, however, as we enter 2017, the vast majority of candidates in the UK have used Xamarin for less than 12 months.

Rates, Salaries & Availability

When demand for a particular skill rises sharply, it often causes an amount of confusion around salaries and rates.  Advertised roles for experienced Xamarin Developers have ranged from £20K per annum to £500+ p/day but the overall trend is remuneration is up by over 35% in 2016.

Whether you are looking for an expert that can cross-train your existing staff or .NET Developers to backfill your existing permanent team, whilst they learn Xamarin, one thing that does seem apparent is that in order to properly resource your project, you are likely to require a blended model that includes contractors.

If your project roadmap for 2017 includes building a mobile app in Xamarin, yours will not be the only rodeo in town. The race for Xamarin/C# talent in 2017 is likely to be hard fought and without the right support, could become extremely challenging. If it does what it says on the tin, Xamarin could become the hottest skill, not just of 2017 but for a few years to come – a veritable era, in the realm of 21 st century app development. 

This post was written by Ben Halligan, Head of the Contract Software Development Team here at Consortia– if you're interested in sourcing or securing permanent or contract Development roles, please get in touch at development@consortia.co.uk or call 0203 397 4565 for more information. 

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