Since Xamarin’s acquisition by Microsoft in early 2016, it’s shot off like a rocket. The concept of being able to build a cross-platform app in a single code that performs nearly like a native one has made this technology a powerhouse for both developers and consumers alike. Companies are rapidly adopting this technology for mobile application development projects and, as a result, experienced Xamarin mobile developers are now in high demand.
For those looking to hire Xamarin developers either as full-time employees or temporarily through a software consulting company, adhering to this one rule could save you a huge headache:
Only hire Xamarin developers with a native mobile development background.
Because Xamarin uses C#, many developers who are experienced with web development technologies can adopt and use Xamarin with little to no background in mobile development. As a result, MOST Xamarin Developers do not came from a mobile development background. Unfortunately, this can become very problematic and costly for companies if (and when) any issues begin to rise.
Knowing Xamarin is so much more than knowing C#, or web development. Xamarin Forms is just a magic box for web developers so they will feel very comfortable with it, especially if they have experience using Silverlight or Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). However, the overarching mobile paradigm is completely different from the web and desktop paradigms. It is absolutely essential that a Xamarin developer be able to read and code in the native environment in order to optimize all the applications in the original configurations as well as troubleshoot and correct issues.
Therefore, when evaluating a candidate for working on Xamarin you need to explore not only their experience and expertise with the Xamarin platform, but you need to evaluate whether or not they are experienced with either the SDK of Android and iOS. If they have not worked directly with either, that is a clear warning sign. You can also explore whether or not they are experienced using Xamarin Custom Renders, the feature which allows the developer to override Xamarin controls and customize a native platform for the best possible performance. Using Custom Renderers requires native iOS or Android coding experience and therefore is another good indicator of their skill level and expertise with native development. Because, for an inexperienced mobile developer, building effective, clean applications in Xamarin will be an uphill battle and a costly expense to their employer.
As an additional note, if you find several great candidates for Xamarin who have a solid native background (lucky you!), you can add a big bonus point for those who are also experienced in the general UX principles of mobile development. Because Xamarin is so front-end dependent, having someone coding the background who understands mobile UX will be a huge asset to your team add a lot of value to the final application.