This is the fourth post in our Xamarin Evolve 2014 “Speaker Spotlight” series, helping you get to know a little bit more about some of the amazing speakers who will be contributing at this year’s conference.
Today we’re getting to know Laurent Bugnion, the Senior Director of IdentityMine in Zurich, Switzerland. This year will mark his 8th year as a Microsoft Client Development MVP and his second year as a Microsoft Regional Director. He is also the author of the well-known open-source framework MVVMLight for Windows Phone, Windows 8, WPF, and Silverlight. In his free time, Laurent writes for MSDN Magazine and various other publications, as well as on GalaSoft, his blog. Be sure to see Laurent at Xamarin Evolve giving the talk, “Building Cross-Platform Applications with Xamarin, Xamarin.Forms and MVVM Light.”
Why did you get into software development?
I was an electric engineer and started doing low level coding for embedded controllers twenty years ago.
How long have you been doing mobile development?
I started doing programming about 20 years ago and worked on all kind of systems, from embedded controllers to full blown PCs. I am still coding for multiple systems and mobile is, of course, an important part of it. I did some code for the Palm line of devices, but it was more of a hobby. I really started coding professionally for mobile devices when Microsoft released the first Windows Phones.
What is your favorite platform to develop for and why?
After working on many different platforms, I would say that my favorite remains the various XAML/C#. I am able to create UI in XAML that I cannot easily create with other platforms, and XAML/C# is available for many devices, from TVs (XBOX) and phones to computers and tablets. Also the tooling (especially Blend) is just fantastic, especially when you work closely with designers (which I do). Of course, on Android and iOS without XAML, working with C# is nice, too, but I do find the UI on these platforms quite complicated to build for compared to the simple beauty of XAML.
What devices are you carrying around with you right now?
I carry the Nokia Lumia 1020, which is my most trusted companion, all the time. I love this device, especially the amazing pictures it takes, and the large screen.
I also usually carry my Kindle Paperwhite. I love to read and the reading comfort is just fantastic on this device, though I also read on my Lumia when I don’t have my Kindle with me.
I recently fell in love with a Dell Venue Pro 8, on which I installed Windows Pro 8.1. It’s an awesome little device where I can run any Windows application, including legacy ones, and has great battery life.
Finally most of my work is done on my Surface, and I cannot wait to get my new Surface Pro 3 at the end of August!!
What are your favorite mobile apps and why?
I love geolocation, and it still feels somehow magical when an app knows where I am. This can be a huge help, especially when traveling. Also, anything related to photography.
What will attendees get out of your talk?
Users of MVVM Light on Microsoft platforms love it because it isn’t overly complicated and “does the job”. Now, with the possibility to use MVVM Light on Xamarin, too, I want to build a knowledge base for new users. Some of them have never heard of MVVM, some of them know of it but have heard contradictory statements. There is a need for information, and this will help people to switch platforms more easily, as well.