# Friday, 15 May 2015

Xamarin is a familiar name to mobile developers. The company is known for its tools that allow developers to build applications that will run the same code-base on Windows, Android, and iOS devices, making it easier and faster to build cross-platform applications. This spring, the folks at Xamarin are travelling across America delivering a series of Dev Days - a combination of classroom training and hacking.

The tour kicked off Saturday in Chicago, where I was happy to attend and participate; and Microsoft was happy to sponsor by providing the space.

James Montemagno of Xamarin began with an introduction Xamarin development, followed by an introduction to Xamarin forms. Afterwards, I showed the audience how to use Azure Mobile Services build a backend data store for a Xamarin app. Finally, Michael Stonis - a local Xamarin MVP and instructor at Xamarin University - delivered a presentation on applications for wearable devices.

Of course, there was plenty to eat - most notably Chicago-style stuffed pizza.

You can learn more about Xamarin Dev Days, see in which cities they are scheduled, register for these events, and even request a Dev Days event in your town at http://xamarin.com/dev-days.

Most of the afternoon was spent hacking. Attendees could either build an app of their choice or they could work through a set of labs provided by Xamarin. A few people left after the lectures ended, but many stuck around until the end of the day to put to use what they learned in the morning.  About 70 people attended and most came away with an improved understanding of the platform. And with a full belly.