**Hi everybody. I'm new to Xamarin and wanted to ask a couple of detailed questions I hope some people can answer.
I am an experienced developer that is 60 years old and want to _completely _get away from web programming. There are just too many technologies that you are forced to keep up with along with the pace that they are released as opposed to Xamarin or WPF (read below for more details).
I have anywhere from 5 to 10 years left to go before I retire. Even after retirement, if I get bored, I would like to be able to possibly do some freelance or contracting work. I got into the industry working with IBM mainframe computers and COBOL. I taught myself Visual Basic and C#, and obviously moved onto different technologies from there; mainly web. I am not interested in doing any more web technologies at all. Mobile would be completely different since there are a lot less technologies to learn and master (see below).
I have figured out that I definitely want to be able to learn Xamarin which targets iOS, Android, and UWP (see the attached file for links). My problem is with the UWP or WPF (see more detail below). Which way do I go?
After I finish reading about the docs for Xamarin, I plan to enroll in Xamarin University which costs $83 / month rather than take a one time class for $1700 dollars from another vendor. This would keep up my technology and keep current with Xamarin since the certification lasts for a year at a time. You just have to take 6 other classes a year to keep your certification (let me know if different). Since Xamarin is now owned by Microsoft, I feel this would be a better learning experience. The courses are live instructor led with many variations on the times you can take the class. After taking about a dozen classes, you can take a test for a certification for cross platform knowledge. After another dozen classes, you can take another certification for iOS & Android knowledge.
After I'm finished with initially learning the respective technology and creating a sample app or so, I plan to redo my resume and get myself out there only targeting one or both of these technologies (Xamarin and or WPF). Probably won't happen for another 9 months or so....
The problem I am encountering is with the 5th link from the top going down. I am very unsure whether or not to proceed with learning WPF (UWP is the successor, but certainly has mixed reviews as you will see in the links plus some excerpts i coped and pasted in the attachment). If you could browse briefly through the attachment, you could hopefully help me decide. Also, Xamarin University only has 2 modules on MVVM and the WPF class I'm scheduled for (late September) has it in its entirety. However, the WPF class is $2600. Maybe I should just transfer to a MVVM class instead of taking the WPF class? Don't know....
When searching for WPF jobs in southeast Florida, it was discouraging to see such very few jobs, which has me somewhat concerned.
A manager I used to work for at FPL 15 years ago is still in the building where I work at a different company. I went out to lunch with him yesterday. We talked more or less about how difficult and frustrating it is to keep up with the web technology and the advantages of WPF for its ease of use and powerful desktop applications, which he uses. He said he would keep me in mind when he needs to hire another developer. If he does, it would seem I would need to know something about WPF, which is why I'm scheduled to take the class in late September. **However, do I forego this class, take an MVVM class instead, and concentrate solely on Xamarin which his company is not using? They are only using WPF. Taking two separate classes on two distinct technologies (except for the XAML, which both share, albeit a little different) would be kind of tough. If I learn WPF, I think I have a pretty good chance of getting into his company. Learning Xamrin on the other hand with no practical experience and trying to get a FTE or permanent mobile position at 60 might prove difficult.
Note that one of the main reasons I would be looking for another position and learning Xamarin and or WPF is because the company I'm currently working for is in the process of consolidating their IT staff to another geographic location and I don't want to move.
Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to make sure I included the details someone else would need in order to help me make a decision. Your thoughts would be very much appreciated. Please take a brief look at the links in the attachment. I really appreciate it. I'm very confused what to do....**