Today, seems like the perfect day to celebrate what was 2015, the Year of the Goat. Additionally, to usher in and celebrate a new year, the Year of the Fire Monkey!!!!
Just over a year ago, I wrote a piece about Developer Evangelism and recapped my first full year working at Xamarin. I am so happy to be able to take a break from coding to reflect on all of the amazing things that happened last year and everything that is coming up this year. While I am sure I could write paragraph on paragraph about what was 2015, I would rather break it down into a few sections for the key highlights.
My name is James Montemagno, and I am a Developer Evangelist at Xamarin now for over two years. I fell in love with Xamarin over four years ago when I wrote my first cross-platform app and boy has mobile development advanced since then. As mobile grows, Xamarin grows, and so do our products that we offer. Develop, Test, Monitor, and of course Accelerate is now the full end to end solution including Platform, Test Cloud, Insights, and my favorite, University. Each product truly speaks to our mission to make it fast, easy, and fun to create great mobile apps.
Xamarin of course is more than the products, it is the people that I have the honor and pleasure of working with each and every day. One of my favorite little stunts was getting to help fill Nat’s office with balloons and then partake in hosting meetings and live streaming a Q&A with fellow Xamarins.
We feel like one big family, because we are one big family. I love walking into one of the offices and passing out hugs to my Xamarins and having genuine down to earth conversations. Of course I can’t forget riding the Seattle to Portland bike ride with Bryan and Glenn (205 miles!). I continue to say this because it continues to be true, Xamarin is the best company with the best group of co-workers I have ever worked for in my life.
Xamarin Dev Days & You
My favorite part of my job as an evangelist has to be interacting with our amazing developers on a nearly daily basis. This year we started something extremely unique, a full day event full of sessions and hands on coding called Xamarin Dev Days. Throughout 2015 we had over 20 events in different cities around the world that I was able to help setup, present, and make a whole lot of monkey apps live! It was extremely special to be able to present and help so many developer make their first (or second or 18th) mobile app in C# and hang out and have a blast. I can’t wait to do it all again.
Conferences & User Groups
If it wasn’t a Dev Day event I was all over the place at conferences and user groups. In fact I was actually only home in Seattle about 20% of the year! 80% of the time I was on the road and in one of your cities! In 2014, Nat asked me to come on stage at the Xamarin Evolve keynote, one of the highest honors I could imagine, but 2015 came really close to beating that. I mean I got to create an amazing application called Kinder Chat and present on stage at Microsoft Build WITH Miguel de Icaza!!! HOW CRAZY IS THAT!
Then of course there was Twilio Signal where they plastered my face on billboards all over San Francisco!
Honestly though there were just so many amazing events such as .NET Fringe, Dev Intersection, VS Live, Dev Week (IN LONDON!), Ignite, NDC Oslo, AWS re:Invent, .NET Unboxed, and the list continues to role on.
Being able to travel to so many conferences is amazing, but getting the chance to talk at user groups while going to those conferences is even better. This is why in total I spoke over 110 times last year digitally or in person. I love it, and I really love being able to connect with every Xamarin developer out there.
Coding & Plugins
While there was a lot of presenting, there was also a lot of coding happening. I mentioned earlier Kinder Chat and there have also been a few other apps I go to work on, but I am super excited about my open source contributions this year on my GitHub:
The largest source of contributions by far has to be Plugins for Xamarin. Abstract away all of those APIs for iOS, Android, and Windows and give developers on simple cross platform API from shared code.. that’s Plugins. I love them and so do you from what I can tell! Plugins were my mission for 2015 and with a plethora of NuGets published by our amazing developer I have to say Mission Accomplished!
I also want to say thank you to each an everyone one of my followers on Twitter and all of my followers on GitHub! Because of you I am now one of the top 15 followed C# developers on GitHub! I hope that one day I will reach my good friend Paul Betts on page! Oh and C# 6 was finally released!!!
I was all over this year, I am not going to lie. My longest streak was about 25 weeks straight at airports and away from my apartment for nearly 3 months straight. It was CRAZY, but I LOVE it! I got to explore brand new countries, a plethora of new cities, and interact with truly amazing developers all over the world. When I wasn’t traveling for work I was traveling for pleasure #WithHeather, my love and soulmate that I met and immediately fell in love with last year. Truly making 2015 the best year of my life.
The Year of the Fire Monkey
So here comes the year of the monkey! It is going to start off with a bang with Xamarin Evolve right around the corner down in Orlando!
There is a bunch of exciting conferences and events that I wish I could talk about, but you will just have to wait for now! Thanks to each and everyone that made 2015 simply amazing.