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Taking The Right First Steps In Android Development

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“Whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well.”

Philip Stanhope.

Starting a career in android development can seem like taking a single step in a journey of thousands of steps. Well as much as you must take that step, taking it in the right direction is much more important.

So I wrote down a few first steps to take from my experience. Well, I could say I had it easy because I had someone guide me through my beginner android developer phase.

STEP 1: Java or Kotlin?

This is the biggest decision you have to make before you begin your journey as an android developer. Although both languages are supported by Google and Android Studio, they are quite distinct.

Java is one of the most in-demand programming languages in the world, this is because java was originally designed to power software that needs to run on almost any platform. Java has been the official language for android development for a while now before Kotlin was announced as the preferred language for android app developers in May 2019.

Kotlin is more beginner-friendly and should be the choice of beginners, who want to develop android apps only. However, if you are thinking of beginning a career as a professional developer, it makes more sense to learn java.

But here's a thing: Don't get too caught up making this decision, because they are both Object Oriented Programming languages, so once you master one, it's pretty easy for you to pick up the other.

Here are a couple of free resources to learn java:

  1. Udacity: Java Programming Basics.
  2. Udemy: Java Tutorial for Complete Beginners.
  3. Tutorialspoint.
  4. w3schools.

Udacity and Udemy provide very beginner-friendly java video courses. FreeCodeCamp, W3Schools, Tutorialspoint, CodeAcademy to mention a few, also provide great java tutorials.

Resources to learn Kotlin:

  1. Kotlin Bootcamp for programmers.
  2. Udemy: One hour Kotlin guide for beginners.
  3. Udemy: Android Programming with Kotlin for beginner: Calculator App.
  4. Pluralsight: Getting Started with Kotlin.

Resources to learn Android Development:

  1. Udacity: Android Basics: User Interface.
  2. Getting started with Android development - Tutorial.
  3. Android Development Codelabs.
  4. Google Android Glossary.

STEP 2: Download The Tools You Need For Andriod Development.

Google's Android Studio is undoubtedly the best IDE for Android development. IDE is an acronym for Integrated Development Environment, an interface where you write your code and access all the different tools necessary for development. Android studio comes together with the Android Software Development Kit (SDK), so you won't have to download them separately. You can download Android Studio here.

STEP 3: Build As You Go

Android app development is best learned by doing. Try to build little projects around every new concept or tool you come across. That means Changing the message that displays is as simple as going into your XML and changing the line that says “Hello World!” into “Howdy World!”

But what if you want to add some kind of interactive element to your creation? In that case, you might decide to let the user click the button to change the text.

STEP 4: Read More Code

One way to grow and improve in your journey as a developer is by reading and learning from other people's work. You could also edit these codes and see if you can make it do something new. Play around a bit. Lol.

STEP 5: Stay UptoDate

Stay updated on the latest development news, tutorials, events, and all the happenings in the Android world. Here are a couple of sources you should check out:

  1. Android Weekly.
  2. CodePath Android Cliffnotes.
  3. Official Android Developers Blog
  4. Vogella

The first few steps make the rest of the journey clearer. From here, you can take the wheel, and begin a dive into android development.

And yes, never forget: Google is your friend.

Happy Learning!