About the Author
Ryan Nguyen

Ryan Nguyen

Ryan is a Software Development Consultant for Keyhole Software. His passion for computers and software development started when he was young. He graduated from UNL and has 8+ years of professional development ranging from a variety of technologies. He is a technology geek and enjoys learning about new technologies.

Getting Started with Xamarin Forms and Prism

Ryan Nguyen .NET, Mobile, Technology Snapshot, Xamarin 2 Comments

In this blog, I’ll show you how easy it is to create an Android and iOS application using Xamarin Forms while utilizing Prism.

What are Xamarin Forms?
Xamarin Forms is a platform that allows developers to create native Android, iOS, and Windows applications while using the beloved C# programming language. 

An attractive feature of Xamarin Forms is that it uses a shared C# codebase to create a native user interface specific to their platform. Out of the box, Xamarin provides large collections of controls to get started. It also has the ability to access native platform features, such as camera access, GPS, text to speech, etc, by using the Dependency Service.

What is Prism?
According to the Prism website, Prism is defined as “a framework for building loosely coupled, maintainable, and testable XAML applications in WPF, Windows 10 UWP, and Xamarin Forms. Prism provides an implementation of a collection of design patterns that are helpful in writing well-structured and maintainable XAML applications, including MVVM, dependency injection, commands, EventAggregator, and others.” In other words, Prism helps users to write better code…. 

Creating A Custom Amazon Alexa Skill

Ryan Nguyen .NET, Azure, Conversational Apps, Programming, Tutorial 1 Comment

With the explosion of the internet of things (IoT), many companies are competing to create the best smart home ecosystem for consumers.

Amazon Echo, for instance, is a robust system that allows the user to interact with their smart devices via voice command. Alexa is the application that the Echo communicates with, essentially the brain of the Amazon Echo. It controls how your Amazon Echo communicates with your other smart devices and services. It can sync with a variety of smart devices including switches, thermostats, garage doors, sprinklers, door locks, music streamers, news outlets, and more. It also allows the third-party companies to create custom skills which are then accessible through the Amazon Echo.

In this blog I will discuss the Amazon Echo and its Alexa application. We will go through the process to create a custom Alexa skill about the Keyhole blog, paying particular attention to keywords you’ll need to understand when you create your own Skill. From there, we’ll show how to test a Skill via simulators and deploy it to your Amazon Echo.