Xamarin University Mobile App Dev Training Program Launches

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2014-02-12

Xamarin University Mobile App Dev Training Program Launches

Xamarin, a provider of cross-platform mobile application development tools, announced the launch of Xamarin University, its new training program for mobile developers.

With Xamarin University, developers receive a year of unlimited access to live, online, expert-led training, as well as a host of other benefits, including eligibility to become a Certified Xamarin Mobile Developer.

Xamarin University offers an extensive catalog of classes, with sessions conducted every day spanning many time zones. The training is aimed at new developers, but also is useful to help experienced developers stay on top of new features and advances.

"Xamarin University is designed to ensure developers have the ability to stay on top of emerging mobile technologies, and make sure their skills remain current," said Nat Friedman, CEO and co-founder of Xamarin. "We know of no other company providing this level of expert online training at this type of price point. We expect in the future most mobile development training will be delivered in this way."

The Xamarin University just-in-time training model is in contrast to traditional fire-hose developer training in which developers are expected to absorb mass amounts of information in one sitting. With Xamarin University, developers can drop into classes any time, allowing them to learn exactly what they need, when they need it and at the pace that works for them.

"As a developer, this is exactly the kind of training I would want—what I need, when I need it," said Bryan Costanich, head of Xamarin University, in a statement.

All classes are based on interactive labs taught by mobile development experts, and the small class sizes ensure that developers receive the attention they need to successfully acquire new skills and update old ones. Additionally, each class is recorded and class materials are readily available, so developers can return and brush up on concepts and skills as needed.

Another advantage to the unlimited online format is that Xamarin University is able to constantly roll out and update classes, ensuring that developers always have an easy way to stay up to date with platform updates, new OS versions and new features. Developers can also take advantage of included one-on-one access to Xamarin experts during Office Hours, which provide scheduled times for developers to have their questions answered, as well as get code reviews, architectural guidance and general mobile strategy advice.

Xamarin University is $1,995 for an annual subscription per developer and has no limitations on the number of courses attended or reviewed in the online archive.

With Xamarin University enrollment, developers are eligible to become Xamarin Certified Mobile Developers by attending a series of specific courses and passing a rigorous examination. Xamarin University will ensure that the value of certification remains high. This provides enterprises with a tool to more easily hire mobile development experts, and also peace of mind knowing that Xamarin University developers have immediate access to the training that will keep them abreast of the fast-paced changes in mobile technology.

Xamarin University Mobile App Dev Training Program Launches

"Xamarin University gives you unlimited access to live, online classes led by mobile experts six days a week for an entire year for only $1,995," Costanich said in a blog post. "The classes are small—most of them are twelve students or less, and they're based on interactive labs so you get to learn and explore concepts by writing actual mobile apps. And each class is also recorded, so you can go back and brush up on concepts or re-run the labs anytime you want."

Earlier this month, Xamarin partnered with platform-as-a-service (PaaS) provider built.io to provide an end-to-end development platform for mobile app developers. The partnership gives developers a complete solution for end-to-end mobile development, while also making built.io available to Xamarin's developer community.

"Enterprises typically have two choices for mobile development: established but cumbersome legacy platforms, or fast-to-launch but untried players that aren't built for enterprise needs," said Neha Sampat, CEO of built.io, in a statement. "Our partnership with Xamarin allows enterprises to get the best of both worlds: rapid mobile innovation on a platform that's proven in the enterprise."

Driven by the demands of BYOD and the consumerization of IT, companies and developers are demanding and building mobile apps more than ever. Gartner predicts that by 2016, 70 percent of the mobile workforce will have a smartphone, half of which will be purchased by the employee, and 90 percent of enterprises will have two or more platforms to support.

"Mobile democratizes access to information, improves collaboration and enables new ways of working that were not possible before," said David Mario Smith, research director and lead analyst at Aragon Research. "The pace of mobile development will be crucial to capitalize on the use of mobile by employees and business partners."

built.io takes care of all the back-end heavy lifting involved with building and deploying a mobile application—including servers, cloud infrastructure, database structure, push notifications and scaling—to dramatically cut mobile development time down from months to weeks. On the client side, Xamarin empowers developers to create fully native apps for iOS, Android, Windows and Mac from a single shared code base.

Developers can now use Xamarin to build native mobile apps that leverage all of built.io's back-end services, expediting app development end-to-end. In addition, Xamarin developers can access built.io's suite of analytics tools to better understand how and where people are using their applications.

"Companies today are looking for scalable ways to mobilize their business practices and customer interactions onto multiple platforms," said Jo Ann Buckner, vice president of product marketing at Xamarin. "Our collaboration with built.io will accelerate mobile app development for our community, while ensuring mobile apps have a solid and secure back end."

built.io offers tiered pricing so users can choose a plan that fits their needs. Plans start with a free tier or a free trial that supports 5GB of storage, going up to $399 per month for plans supporting large-scale deployments and providing access to the platform's most advanced enterprise features. In addition, built.io offers enterprise-level support, including custom SLAs. The Xamarin integration is available at no additional cost.

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