In this article, we are going to look at the top-level steps you should take when learning android development.
Whether you are about to start a full undergraduate degree, attempting to learn development via an online course, or just utilizing YouTube videos, what follows are the important areas you need to concentrate on.
By the time you have read this, you will have an actionable “roadmap” towards your goal as an Android developer.
So if you are ready, let’s jump to it…
Key Steps to Take on Your Developer Journey
1. Become well acquainted with the official Android Developer website
The official Android Developer website is a mecca of information that all developers no matter the experience level, should be well aware of.
Take time to read the whole website so that you develop an innate understanding of the Android ecosystem.
By getting to know the developer site inside and out you will be introduced to the wide range of concepts, ideas, and technologies associated with Android.
From here you will be able to delve deep into the specifics, giving yourself a vital foundation of knowledge from which to build your skillset.
2. Deep Dive into Java
Basic knowledge of the Java language is essential for beginner Android Development. Thankfully, this widely used language is extremely well supported online.
You will be able to find books, courses, videos, forums, and developer communities based around Java.
Jump in and start absorbing as much information as you can, and then put it into practice by writing some code.
Java is the nuts and bolts of android development and is the first coding language you will need to learn as you progress on your developer journey.
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3. Download Android Studio IDE
The best IDE for Android is Android Studio built and supported by Google no less.
This is an environment that you will be using extensively as an Android Developer so you should download this as you start learning.
Some will argue that Eclipse is the best entranceway into Android, however, I disagree.
You will spend valuable time becoming comfortable with the Java-based IDE, Eclipse, only to need the superior functionality of Android Studio as your skills develop.
Why waste that valuable time? Learn with the best from the start.
4. Familiarize yourself with Material Design
Another resource you will be spending a lot of time with as an Android Developer is Material Design.
This is also from Google and gives you the components and tools to make sophisticated Android apps using its massive library of interface designs.
The material design website is free to signup for. Comb through the site looking at all the materials available.
Becoming aware of the sheer amount of options available to you will only help you become a more advanced developer.
The materials are backed by open-source code, making collaborations between designers and developers possible.
Through this network, you will begin to build great products with real-life applications.
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5. Take a look at Kotlin
Kotlin is an important tool in Android app development. Google has officially supported Kotlin as a “first-class” language for Android since 2017.
Check out the Kotlin website and there you will be able to find guides on Android Development. You will also be able to try out your first Kotlin language attempts via the online developer’s module.
The fact is, Kotlin is increasingly being used by commercial applications in the development of Android apps. It is not enough to rely solely on Java.
The earlier you become familiar with Kotlin, the better.
6. Take a Developer course
We already mentioned that you might be lining up to take a course in Android Development.
This is a very important step on your path to becoming a working, fully employed developer.
The good news is there are a ton of options available. A full course on Udemy will definitely get you started on the right foot. These are not expensive either.
Youtube has a lot of resources as does the web in the form of sites dedicated to providing information on Android Development.
That being said, a carefully built course with modules, coding exercises, and tests is the best way to learn.
7. Theory into Practice (Write some damn code)
Finally, you should get down and start writing code as soon as you can.
There are many simple exercises that you can take on with small snippets of code. This in itself will help you with relevant syntax and become familiar with the rudimentary elements of Java (or Kotlin) and Android development.
As you learn the theory your recall of that knowledge will be greater if you put it into practice with code.
The Android website will help you here too (as will a course). Head to the Develop and check out the training courses and Codelabs section.
These lessons are a fantastic way to sink your teeth into your first coding attempts.
The API Reference section of Develop is another great resource. There is a lot there, but the content is fundamental to Android Development.
Learning a new skill can be difficult, however, the results will be very rewarding. By breaking down your learning into chunks such as those listed above makes things a lot more manageable. It will certainly feel less daunting.
We wish you all the best on your journey.
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