According to Statista, there are over 130 million Android users in the United States alone and the number is growing. This statistic shows the strong growth of the operating system.
Along with that growth comes an increased demand for hiring Android engineers. This career comes with top-notch benefits and incentives available.
So, how to become an Android developer? You can follow the roadmap:
- Synthesize the tools
- Learn a programming language (Java or Kotlin)
- Understanding the application cycle
- Explore APIs
- Write apps
- Distributing the app to the market
To learn more about the detailed steps, continue reading the following article.
An Android developer is responsible for creating and developing desktop or mobile applications to support our daily lives.
The software they design will be specialized for the Android market.
Depending on the domain in which your business organization operates, the programmer will create corresponding applications. They can be simple programs or game applications.
The two main career categories for Android development are core and app programmers.
Core workers will create important software for smart devices such as phones, tablets, or smartwatches. They work for companies that make equipment.
In contrast, application developers focus mainly on third-party applications. You can get these apps at the Google Play store or other supported stores.
With the strong development of the Android operating system, it is not difficult to realize the potential of careers that revolve around it.
In addition, there are still a few notable reasons that make this career even more attractive. These include:
Daily apps appear daily on the Google Play store, and if it ranks high on the list, you will get huge profits.
Google also constantly changes its functions and regularly releases new versions. Therefore, we need the application to continually update to keep up with these changes.
During the update process, developers can add new features.
These additional features will likely be the new attraction for customers. Creating them becomes a creative challenge that any programmer can enjoy.
As an open-source platform, this operating system allows users more freedom than its competitors.
This factor reduces the cost of licensing packages. As a result, the level of investment will decrease, and Return on Investment (ROI) will be higher.
The community of Android users is huge. You can interact with the application developers to ask more about the problems that arise in future versions.
The time invested to learn in developing Android applications is quite short compared to other technology types. It is absolutely a plus for future developers.
You need to equip your key knowledge in Java and scripting languages like PHP or Perl. The rest you can hone in the process.
The Java language is one of the most trusted and popular programming languages globally. If you know this language, developing an Android application will become easy.
While being an Android programmer isn’t too difficult, you can’t just wake up one day and create software.
There will be some knowledge and processes that you need to go through. To discover more about this, let’s refer to the steps below.
The good news is that you can create Android apps on your PC, Mac, or even Linux. Best of all, the tools needed in the development process are free.
First, visit the Oracle website to download and install the latest version of Java SE. Then, visit the Android developer site to download the Software Development Kit (SDK).
SDK is a toolkit that includes command lines, emulators, and a library of Android code that will be useful in your working process.
The best mobile development environment for this operating system is Eclipse. It’s free and highly compatible.
You can download the software from the website. Please select the version suitable for your operating system.
This software acts as a powerful editor providing a rich feature set that programmers can use.
You can find package organization, syntax highlighting, and even API documentation.
Finally, you can’t ignore Android Development Tools (ADT). Application development and debugging will be much simpler when using Eclipse and ADT in combination.
Next, you will need to learn and choose between two types of programming languages, Java and Kotlin. Which language is the better choice?
Java is the official and most popular language for Android development. Google supports it the most, and you can find a lot of apps in the store built on this platform.
This operating system uses Java’s object-oriented programming model. Here, program elements will split into pieces to mimic “real-world” objects.
Kotlin is a cross-platform programming language that you can use as an alternative to Java. In 2017, Kotlin became a secondary Java language.
However, this language has improved and removed its predecessor’s redundant features, such as the null pointer exception. You also don’t need to end every line with a semicolon.
Basically, Kotlin is a stripped-down version of Java, and beginners can learn them pretty quickly.
Mobile and desktop apps are two different things.
The operating system is responsible for managing and prioritizing different apps with PC apps. With Android, however, you’ll need to set up code yourself to instruct your app to respond to external signals.
Some examples are when your phone rings or receives a text message while the app launches with lots of animations. How should it react?
It would help if you had a clear understanding of the “lifecycle” of your app to deliver the best user experience. Otherwise, they will quickly replace your product.
When you use the Java programming language to write software, you need to rely on application programming interface (API) support to add completely new packages to the command set.
These packages allow users to write code that controls everything from the recording feature to the onboard camera to Wi-Fi connectivity.
If the user has a strong command with these packages, you can deploy the functionality of the applications on your mobile device.
Once you have the basics of Android, it’s time to start writing your app.
A good tip is to choose topics that interest you. It will make the creative process much easier and more comfortable.
Continually improve and tweak your app. Start with basic features, and then work your way up to expanding the features each time.
To ensure the application can work smoothly in all situations, test the software carefully and debug any errors you find. Testing should be conducted on both the emulator and the actual device.
You can distribute your app through official marketplaces, third-party websites, or your website.
To be able to distribute on Android Market, you need to join their official list of developers. Every month, it will charge you a fee.
The standards for apps at Google are pretty lax. So, app distribution will be a lot easier.
After learning about the roadmap to becoming an Android developer, you definitely cannot ignore the necessary technical skills for this job.
Make sure you have most of them on your CV before applying for a job. These skills will increase your chances of getting approved and give you better compensation.
The first must-have skill that any Android programmer should master is a deep knowledge of Java or Kotlin. You will not be able to do without this knowledge.
In addition, you should also learn about cross-platform tools. It will allow users to create apps compatible with both iOS and Android operating systems.
Your knowledge of structure and syntax must always be cultivated daily to grow. In addition, you should also have a grasp of the following concepts:
- Object-oriented fundamentals
For those learning Java, taking advantage of the JDK documentation will help you understand different parts of the language more quickly.
Surely the excellent engineers of this operating system need to know the SDK. You will need to know the following areas:
- Data saving
- Method of getting data from website
- Fundamentals of Layout, View Groups, and Views
- Adjust app size for different screens
- User input
To make it quicker to learn the SDK, familiarize yourself with these operating systems and third-party resources.
Most Android apps need to store data, like software or user data. They also need to integrate with the database to function properly.
As a result, many employers demand SQL knowledge from their engineers. Having experience in this field will increase your chances of getting hired.
This skill is not necessary for every engineer, but you will be appreciated by them. You may still have to rely on the help of some version control tools.
Your Git knowledge doesn’t have to be super advanced. All you need to know is to create, use, and change repositories.
Extensible Markup Language (XML) plays an important role in developing website solutions. It is an essential technology for developing Android apps.
Many applications on this operating system require data transfer between web services. So, you need to master this skill.
Knowledge of Integrated Development Environment (IDE) like Android Studio is indispensable. It will help increase your productivity.
Better yet, you can benefit from built-in coding tools and testing to limit errors in your code.
If you can work with backend components in the software, that’s a big plus. Popular backend languages are Python, .Net, or Node.js.
However, it will be difficult for newcomers to learn many other programming languages. You can hone it later.
Every app you develop needs to be compatible with the Material Design language guidelines. These include elements such as shades, colors, or transitions.
If your apps do not meet these requirements, Google Play will not approve their publication and distribution.
In addition to technical knowledge, you cannot ignore soft skills. It will make your job easier.
It would be great if you know the business knowledge of a certain industry. Today’s more popular occupations are entertainment, real estate, education, and healthcare.
This knowledge will make application development simpler and closer to users.
Most organizations work with Agile development methodology. Nowadays, it divides each project into iterations, aka sprints.
The duration for each sprint will be the same and usually lasts about two weeks. During this time, the team will work on a specific piece of functionality.
Depending on the company, the actual practice will vary.
In any context, the gift of writing always plays an important role. You can use it to write technical documents or communicate with colleagues via email, text, etc.
Most employers require their engineers to have good communication and teamwork skills.
They involve your words, expressions, and how you give and receive feedback from your colleagues. They affect the atmosphere throughout the organization.
In particular, it will be a plus if you know how to explain complex processes in simple terms for non-specialists.
If you still have any questions regarding the Android developer career, find out the answers below.
Learning to become an Android programmer is well worth it in the future. Along with the development of modern technology, most fields need the support of Android applications.
A highly skilled and technically skilled programmer can create useful software to solve the problems of millions of people.
These apps will make life easier. So the future of this profession is worth looking forward to.
Android is the most popular mobile operating system in the world. Therefore, the need to find developers for this operating system is still increasing every day.
The whole world uses Android apps to run and manage their work. This development creates an abundance of employment opportunities.
Whether your level is a beginner or experienced, you are always welcome in this field. You can work as a freelancer or full-time employee.
We hope this article has helped you get an overview of Android engineering and the roadmap and required technical knowledge.
The demand for this profession is gradually increasing in the future, leading to attractive remuneration. If you are interested in it, try to find out now.