I have made many mistakes in this PR, but after several iterations, it got merged into master. And since that moment, contributing to this framework became my regular hobby. I would like to shortly reflect on the past year and say my thanks.
As a fan of Windows and Microsoft, I started developing mobile apps back in the time of Windows Phone, and always loved its APIs. I don’t know why, but seeing your code running on a small device in your hand is just an amazing experience. But when Windows Phone started going away, I had to start looking for another way to bring apps to mobile.
Developing native apps on Android and iOS wasn’t too appealing to me. Their API conventions and mindset were just too different from what I was used to from Windows Phone/UWP. I didn’t like writing android: prefix before each of my AXML attributes, nor I really enjoyed mouse-dragging controls around in the frequently crashing iOS designer.
Xamarin.Forms became my home for a quite long time. It was a nice alternative – giving me a part of the XAML + C# experience, with much friendlier API than the native platforms. But it still wasn’t perfect. The XAML differences, having to write quite a bit too much platform-specific code in renderers, and the fact that UWP support started to feel like an afterthought left me wondering if I really need to choose between building UWP-only apps or mobile-only apps.
And then, I found Uno Platform, which brings my favorite UWP APIs and UWP XAML to all platforms including WebAssembly and hides all of the platform differences. It looks too good to be true, but it really is that good. When I first launched a sample Uno Platform app with a simple
Button in a
Grid on Android, it immediately brought back the feelings from many years back with Windows Phone. Having access to the pixel-perfect design experience across all platforms, full composability of XAML, styling and templating, but also even the non-UI APIs like sensors – was just the thing I always wanted but deem possible. And this team of brilliant people was all-in to bring it to life.
Today, many pull requests later, I can’t even name all the great experiences that this single decision to start contributing has brought. I have learned countless new things and got a first-hand inspiration from the super-smart and friendly people in the team, who are always available to give help when I get stuck, and really show how much they value their community. Thanks to Uno Platform and especially the people behind it, I got an opportunity to give a talk on at DevReach 2019 in Bulgaria, got to attend in person the first UnoConf in Montreal, could join Robert Green on Channel9 for two episodes of Visual Studio Toolbox and even started doing live coding. For all that, I am infinitely grateful, and I have enjoyed every single minute of it!
If you ever considered contributing to your favorite open-source project but did not do so yet, I hope this will be an encouragement for you. Find what brings you joy, don’t be scared, do not worry and just do it! You will learn a lot, get out of your comfort zone (in a good way!), it will help you value all the hard work that’s behind open-source projects, you can give back to the community and you will make great new friends!
A huge thanks to everyone in the Uno Platform team and to everyone else who has been part of this journey.
I can’t wait to see the next year with Uno Platform.