How to Become an Android Developer

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What would Android smartphones be without its apps? Would it still be called smart without them? These apps are the brainchild of android developers who put in months or even years to complete. If you have always wondered how you can create an android application, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s your guide on how to become an android developer.

An Android developer is an expert who builds applications for the Android marketplace. Mainly, it involves creating Android mobile apps of social media, merchants, mobile games, productivity tools, and more. Many companies actively hire Android developers in high paying roles. The job responsibilities consist of the following:

  • Designing an Android application
  • Coordinating with design and test team to improve features and fix bugs
  • Working with various APIs and data sources
  • Adapting to the newest technology and integrating it to applications

Why choose Android app development?

If you are choosing between iOS and Android, the latter will give you many exciting opportunities since it dominates the operating systems for mobile devices. In fact, there are more than 2.5 billion active Android devices, whereas iOS has 1.5 billion.

The popularity paves the way for the significant demand for Android developers in the job market. IT professionals who go down this route have major opportunities and positive job outlook. With 2.56 million apps in the Google Play Store as of 2020, there is no sign of a downfall for Android apps and developers anytime soon.

Lastly, Android is an open-source operating system and is free to use. This means that learning to develop an Android app won’t cost you much since it is totally free. You don’t have to purchase any kind of license to get your hands on it. Also, check here how photoshop can be used for mockups.

How to become an Android Developer

Here’s a breakdown of the steps you need to take in building your Android app:

1. Get acquainted with Android development tools.

Android development can be done on your Windows PC, Mac, or Linux. This versatility allows you to work on whichever hardware and operating system you have. The tools and software you’ll need are all free as well, making it even better. These include the Android SDK, Eclipse IDE +ADT plugin, and Java. 

First, download and install the latest release for Java SE. Then, download the Android Software Development Kit (SDK) that consists of the Android code libraries, emulator, and necessary command-line tools. Next, download and install the Eclipse IDE for Java Developers. Lastly, install the Android Development Tools (ADT) plugin. 

2. Learn to code with Java and Kotlin.

There are two main programming languages used in coding an Android app; these are Java and Kotlin. Java has been in the industry for more than 20 years, making it the most used language in Android app development. Kotlin, on the other hand, was officially announced to support Android app development back in 2017. While the latter may be new, it boasts cleaner and more comfortable to decipher codes than Java. 

You don’t need to master both languages, but you need to grasp the basics upon developing your first Android app. The aspects you need to focus on when learning these languages are the basics of programming and object-oriented programming. To help you in this area, these are online classes that can bolster your coding journey:

3. Learn the Android API.

Whether you will use Java or Kotlin, you need to pair it up with the Android technology that allows you to interact with the underlying Android system. This technology is called the Android Application Programming Interface (API). It lets you write Android code that controls everything.

When you have familiarized yourself with Android API, you will know exactly how to fully control device hardware and key features of Android devices in the mobile apps. 

4. Explore IDE.

Android Studio is Google’s official Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for developing Android apps. This is where you will write your Android code, create the user interface, test emulator, fix bugs, and more. It is a powerful tool that offers powerful features to boost your workflow and productivity.

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5. Pick your Version Control Systems.

Version control systems allow you to record the changes made in the codebase and recall some past versions when needed. This makes writing code easier since you can track all changes and pull up some previous versions when you want to visit them. Some common version control systems to explore include GitHub and Udacity.

6. Seek help from the experienced.

App development is hard enough, but learning it your own will be much more tedious. If you don’t have anyone to get firsthand advice from, you can opt to join online forums that discuss Android app development.

You never know what valuable lessons you might reap from joining one. You will meet other Android developers who also experience the same struggles and those experienced who are more than willing to share advice.

7. Write your Android application.

Now that you have gained the knowledge of the prerequisites of Android application development, it’s time to start writing it. Start writing from the basic features and slowly move up to more advanced capabilities of the app. Remember to test and debug your app multiple times to ensure precision and effective functionality.

8. Distribute your finished Android app

When your app is ready for public release, there are several avenues where to distribute it. You can distribute it on the official Android market, Google Play Store, or your own website. 

However, before you can officially distribute it, you will have to register as an official Android developer. Google requires a one-time registration fee, which costs $25.

To be an Android app developer is not for the faint heart. It may be challenging, but great rewards are waiting in this time of demand for mobile apps. Instill the perseverance and thirst for knowledge to cultivate a successful career as an Android developer.

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