Xamarin.Forms learning curves

Recently, I start to redesign the UI of my mobile app for being able to use the Xamarin.Forms framework. Here a couple of link and problems/solutions that helped me.

The last links will be very helpful, if you work with a single business core, and you integrated it into you Xamarin.Forms app.

Out of my confortable zone

Out of my confortable zone, I submit a second webcast on Azure Rocks web site. The subject is about consuming message from Microsoft Azure Service Bus Queue.

The webcast is in french, because my english speaking isn’t perfect, but I promise to go a step forward, outside my confortable zone, and translate it into english.

My first iOS, Android and Windows Phone app project

I’m currently in vacation, and I found time to drop quickly some words about these last months. I’ve been busy on various things, like staying well informed on Microsoft Azure.

But some months ago, I started a project named “Where are my friends ?“. It’s a very simple project, that give the ability to found yours friends through an Mobile App. These project use Microsoft Azure as backend and it target iOS, Android and Windows Phone as target devices.

Nothing are revolutionary here, but the idea is quite simple… Keep track of yours friends, and alerts you when they are around you.. That’s it’s !

Through this simple project, I’ve learn to used various services on Microsoft Azure:

Outside the Microsoft World, I’ve also learn how to use:

But, because we live in a wonderful time, I learn from these different website and podcast.

What was my goal with it ?

Simply learn, learn to design a real case Microsoft Azure scenario used with mobile application constraints. It’s pretty challenging to develop mobile application targeting three different mobile technologies. Xamarin studio helps me very well with those task, the learning curves is not so hard, it’s just demand times.

Outside the development part, the release process can be little bit frustrating. Once you release a version on the apple store, you need to wait around 5 to 8 business days to obtains the status of your release. When something not meet the Apple requirement, you need to start again. So, be sure everything is ok, and plans to not be late in your development.

On my side, I just release the wrong version of my app on the Apple store, and Apple approve this release. On this part, I just fail… it’s my fault and my shame… I’ve been forced by myself to remove my iOS app from the Apple store. I need to wait the fixed release before I can re-put my iOS app available on the Apple store.

At this time, I didn’t work with the Google Android store, because my Android release isn’t ready now, but it’s seems to be little bit faster to get it avail on Google Android store.

For overall, all this is fun and challenging. Once you publish a first release of your first mobile App, you can see that it’s been download not only by your friends, but from people from anywhere in the world. That’s cool… no ? It’s quite fun… so… try it !

Podcast week #5-6

Visual Studio Talk Show

The Azure Podcast

Azure Friday (HD) – Channel 9

.Net Rocks!

My first tutorial online

Some weeks ago, I had discovered AzureRocks.com. It’s an initiative from Guy Barrette to share information about the Microsoft Azure platform. It’s naturally, that I propose to make a quick demo on how using a service bus queue to message. Because, I’m using Microsoft Azure for the “Where are my friends ?” backend. It was a great experience and challenge.

One year later…

My first year as an independent consultant, over my own company was completed one month ago. A first milestone achieved, and to be honest, last year, I wasn’t sure at 100% that it will be possible to success at it, but I did it, because I wanted a real new challenge.

Preparation was the key to succeed. Your work is about writing software and sell any or your technical computer skills, then working with legal issue and/or accountant things about corporation isn’t the same of personal accounting. You need to delegate, why ? Cause you need to sell your time for you expertise… Without time to sell, your expertise worth nothing.

In order, it’s how I started to become owner of my incorporated company:

  1. Registration in a Professional Organisation ( AQIII )
  2. Invalidity Insurance ( Jean Duranleau via AQIII membership )
  3. Medical & Dental Insurance ( MedicAssurance via AQIII membership )
  4. Corporation Registration – ( I pass via a Notary, it’s not cheaper, but you will be sure that everything is really done correctly / Chambre des notaires du Québec )
  5. Tax (TPS & TVQ) Registration – ( View with your government office / Province of Quebec )
  6. Contact a CPA Accountant to maintains financial ledger / GL accounting of your incorporated company ( Ordre des Comptables Professionnels agréés du Québec )
  7. Corporate Bank account ( Any banks have corporate service )
  8. Corporate Responsibility Insurance – ( Dale Parizeau Morris Mackenzie via AQIII Membership )
  9. LinkedIn Networking / Customer Pipeline. ( Some consulting firm and headhunter are waiting for giving you some subcontracting project, it’s your point of start for your own business )
  10. Use a timesheet / billing service – ( I use Paymo.biz )

The best advice, that I can give you, is to be incorporated instead being simply self employed. It’s a little bit complicated, in the process, but with the help from a Notary to register your new incorporated company, it will keep you away from some nightmare issue. They are very professional and will give you some advice about the many advantages around the kind of business you will do.

For my part, I also worked with a lawyer to write two kinds of contracts. One was for a direct customer contract, the other was for subcontracting contract. It also depends on your needs, because if you are a subcontractor, the consulting will sometimes provide them. You can also start with the version found via your AQIII membership.

On the day to day work with the clients, it wasn’t very different than my past job responsibilities, because I was already consultant for many years. Dealing with high constraints, expectation, emergency requests.

The reality about being self-employed or having is own company is about the other stuff outside working with your customers. You will need to stay up-to-date with the technologies. Of course, it’s always changing, but you will need to make the time, every week, to only stay up-to-date. It doesn’t mean to master any new features… But mainly understand what it is, and how to work with it. On my side, I had started a sample project during the first six months, only to be sure I keep my mind on the road. After a six months on this personal project, I started a newly kind of projects with all new technologies to maintain my thinking on the edge of all these new features and best practices. Only for that, since one year, I passed six to eight hours a week on personal projects, and another two or three hours a week to only discuss, chatting and reading about new things.

LinkedIn will be your best friend

This first year as owner of my own company, was a really great challenge, and I definitely never regret it. The start was stressful, and leaving my pass job was really hard, cause I was carrying a lot on my shoulder over my past customers, but it gives me the experience to be able to face with this new challenge. The good side, is in our field of work, it isn’t so hard to find work, and you can easily, if your are professional, well organized and prepared, find greats contracts over consulting firms with linkedin to be a subcontractor for three to twelve months. It’s a really great point of start…

Podcast week #4

Visual studio talk show

Two10 Degrees Windows Azure podcast

The Azure Podcast

Azure Friday – Channel 9

.Net Rocks