Smartphones have become an indispensable part of our lives and offer endless features that were previously alien to its predecessors.
Smartphones allow people to read, play augmented reality games, share files, manage businesses, get directions, connect with people, watch movies, shop amongst numerous other things.
This has become possible due to the advent of mobile applications. Mobile applications have opened the doors to newer methods of learning, communicating, living and conducting businesses.
Android is the market leader in mobile application platforms and enjoys 88% of the total Smartphone market. As far as the statistics are concerned, there are over 2 billion active Android devices as of May 2017, and over 3 million applications are available on Google Play store.
The number is increasing every day and is bound to grow in the coming years. Covering the diversity of devices it can run on, Android is here to stay. This creates a huge demand for skilled and proficient Android Developers.
How to learn Android Development?
There are several ways to initiate learning Android Development. Besides standard education, there are several android developers who have taught themselves android development with online reading material, videos, online courses, communities and forums, etc.
A successful Android Developer needs expertise in the following areas.
1. Computer Basics
It is essential for any Android Developer to have a strong grasp of computer basics to create a problem-solving approach. This is extremely important for Android developers as they will be finding ways to solve problems in android development and create efficient mobile applications.
Computer basics for someone who wants to build their career as an Android Developer involve efficiency in Algorithms, Encapsulation, Security, and Software Engineering. The material for all these subjects is available online in a large quantity.
2. Java skills
Java is the building block of Android development, and Android developers need to pick up this skill set to enjoy a successful career. Using Java is fundamental to Android development since Android Software Development Kit includes several standard Java libraries.
There are thousands of articles, videos and websites that provide through light on Java and teach Java from scratch. Learning Java will enable people to code efficiently.
It is new language that runs on Java Virtual Machine and is becoming used increasingly in Android Application development. It is compatible with JDK 6, ensuring it can be run on older devices as well. The language’s clearer syntax and newer advancements in programming give it an edge over Java in terms of ease of usage.
Android developers can make use of this new language to create more opportunities for themselves. Being a new technology, it does not have as many developers who know this language. Knowledge of Kotlin can help Android developers in getting more jobs.
4. SQL and XML
Structured Query language and Extensible Markup Language is a skill set that is used to gather data from databases and describe the data. For SQL, Android uses the SQLite version of it which has minor differences in comparison to the general MySQL. XML is primarily used to design the application and for integrations.
This makes learning these two concepts so essential. Basics of these two languages are available on the internet, and a basic understanding of these two languages will enable developers to handle databases quickly and with ease.
5. Android Basics
Mobile application development is now a completely different skill set than website development. It is essential to understand how Android devices behave while developing a mobile application. The various features that are offered in Android mobile applications are vastly different to website development.
Android development gives the coding part of development the most importance as the code handles every part of the mobile application. To allow users to experience a seamless experience, it is important to gain an understanding of this aspect.
6. Android Tools
The tools that are required to develop an android application are not only free for use but are also easily available online. Android applications can be created easily by everyone without any college degree who know how to use the Android Software Development Kit and Android Studio.
Android developers can make use of the several pre-developed codes, software, and tools to create a functional application. Tools
7. Android API
Expertise in Android API is needed to create strong and powerful Android applications that control smartphone features such as allowing audio and video recording, sending SMS, using WIFI connectivity, using the camera, etc. Integrating them makes your user’s experience better. These skills can be honed by using online resources that are focused on learning API.
Creating Android Applications
When you have gained proficiency in above-mentioned skill sets, you can practice application development by using Android SDK and Android Studio and publish your application on Google Play Store with nominal registration charges. These charges are just one time registration fees.
Developing a strong portfolio of work
Once you are confident in your skills, you can develop a portfolio on GitHub and Behance and also showcase your work on Linkedin. With continuous learning, android development can become your lifelong career without any formal education.
These portfolios can also help you fetch some freelancing work. They are the best mediums to learn real time android application development.
Android has been growing immensely since its start. Every update or micro-update comes with new features, patches, upgrades etc. Therefore, it becomes really essential for any Android developer to stay updated on the recent advancements of Android. You can follow some reliable sources like Android authority, Gizmodo, TechCrunch etc.
Contributions and Discussions
Being a part of the Android Developers community will help you learn and grow. Also, it acts as a best place to test your product or beta application. You can join Android based communities or forums and contribute to it.
A few resources could be XDA, Android Forums, Android Community etc. Being a part of a healthy developer network is beneficial.