Once upon a time, there were two gentlemen waiting for a cab on a snowy evening. It was hard to find a cab and that’s when it struck them to find a solution for that problem. And they did! They created this app called Uber, and now you don’t have to beg autowallahs to take you from Juhu to Andheri anymore!
An app is not a mere technical word these days, it is a solution to most of your problems. Want food at 2am? Go to Swiggy. Want to buy those sexy heels but too lazy to get out of bed? Go to Amazon. The world is just a tap away! And the people who make all these things possible are Android developers!
Umm.. what exactly does an Android developer do?
An Android developer develops applications (apps) for smartphones and tablets which work on an Android operating system. From working on the concept and design phases to planning, coding, and testing, it is an Android developer’s job to ensure that an app has the best possible performance and responsiveness.
You might wonder why there’s so much hype around Android developers. This is because Android is everywhere! From interactive games and e-book readers to media players and navigation software, everything is based on Android these days. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the apps are like the sprinkle of black pepper and coriander leaves that spice up your otherwise bland dish aka smartphone! Also, by 2020, the mobile app market will double its size to $101Bn according to a market researcher app. So, now you don’t need to be a Sherlock to guess why Android developers are highly sought after by employers!
Sounds great! But how to become an Android developer?
An app has two elements – backend and frontend. Frontend is the interface of an app and backend is what keeps it running. In simpler terms, frontend is what you see on your screen and backend is how it works.
Let’s demystify the process of making an app one step at a time.
Learn the languages → Install IDE → Code → Test → Launch
1. Programming languages:
a. Frontend –
XML – It is a markup language that is used to set up design layouts for an app. A meta-language that allows us to create or define other languages, XML simplifies data interchange and enables smart code.
b. Backend –
Java – It has been the most preferred language for Android app development owing to its simple, portable, object-oriented, and secure nature. Android relies largely on Java and the Android SDK is written in Java too.
But Java isn’t the only language you can use to build Android apps. Another language that has set the tech world ablaze is Kotlin.
Kotlin – It is a statically typed programming language that runs on the Java Virtual Machine. It can be used for all kinds of development, be it client-side, server-side, or Android.
Google announced Kotlin as the official Android development language at Google I/O held in September 2017. [Lightning! Thunder! Old Hindi movie soundtrack!] Why would they do that? Well, because Kotlin addressed the limitations of Java and has some advantages over its counterpart – we’ve discussed this in a separate article on App development using Java vs Kotlin.
2. Android Studio: In order to write an Android application, you are going to need a development environment, known as integrated developer environment (IDE). And once again, Google took care of all your needs and developed Android Studio. Being the official Android IDE, it comes with everything that you need to start developing Android apps – software development kit, Android libraries, and infrastructure to download Android emulators.
3. Perseverance and problem solving: Writing and reading hundreds of lines of code will take a lot of time and will also be susceptible to bugs. And the dudes from Silicon Valley aren’t going to help you! So while you struggle to remove those bugs alone, you’re going to have to keep at it. Problem-solving is another skill you need to have. Evaluating and analyzing different scenarios and testing different methods mentally before deciding on the most efficient one is not an easy task after all!
For an overview of other important skills that a developer shall possess, you can check out how to become a developer.
Awesome! Now, how do I learn app development?
We’ve got your back! Register for Internshala’s Online Android Training to learn XML and Kotlin from scratch and build your very own music player app, to begin with. This is your go-to course if you wish to learn Android app development online.
I’ve learnt the nitty-gritty of Android development. How do I start out as an Android developer?
Here’s what you can do:
1. Build your own app – The best way to learn is to do it! Do people keep texting you while you’re in the middle of a conversation with your crush? Do you want to talk to him in peace? Then, build your own texting app! Want to play ludo but don’t like the UI of Ludo King? Well, build your own ludo app with the desired UI.
2. Go charitable – Develop an app for your college – give students a virtual tour of the campus or maybe share notes virtually! Develop an app for that writer friend of yours – an app with notes, reminders, and a built-in thesaurus. Or, simply make an app for your nearby NGO that aligns with their needs!
3. Get your hands dirty – Do an internship or take up a freelancing project. Not only will you get an exposure to the various stages involved in app development but also you’ll gain newer perspectives on the product. Websites like Freelancer and Peopleperhour offer freelancing jobs that you can bid for. Check out these cool Android app development internships!
4. Hackathons – Trying your hand on real-time projects and competing with programmers is a great hack to hone your coding skills. Participate in hackathons and coding contests – Topcoder, Coderbyte, and Codechef are some amazing websites to try! Stack Overflow – For those who are always curious! As a developer, you are bound to be bubbling with questions; this resource is your go-to guide for solving specific problems.
5. Stay plugged in – Keep abreast with information, news, events, and codes with blogs like Google’s official Android Developers Blog, Android Police, and Android Authority. You may also subscribe to Android Weekly.
Now that you’re clear on the conceptual part of Android development, take out your laptop and create an app!
Picture credits: pinterest.com