You don’t necessarily have to know everything there is in CSE’s (Computer Science & Engineering) course curriculum to be a sound android developer. Sure, it’s always good to know stuff but CSE has a lot to offer than just android programming. Let’s stick to Android Development for now. So a degree in CSE, well not required. Let’s go through what all’s required of an android developer and how it can be achieved.
An aptitude in programming
Importance of developing an aptitude in programming, if it doesn’t naturally come to you, can not be overstated. This is the first step towards Android Development. To start off, you have to choose a Language you’d want to code in. According to one of the classifications, there are two types of programming languages vis-a-vis Procedural Programming Languages & Object Oriented programming Languages (e.g. Java). Most of the Android development is done in Java – a strictly Object Oriented Programming. But, To be able to appreciate the motivation behind the latter type, it is best to start with a language of former type. One of the most common procedural programming languages is C. It’s always good to start programming experience with C. For this you can refer to Let us C, a book by Yashwant Kanetkar or you may explore the other sources mentioned in this post.
If you’re already well versed in C programming, you can move forward with training yourself in Java.
Java is the most popular android development language. Be it entry level or otherwise, this is true. Learning a new programming language is very much like learning a language in communication. So, you have to refer the material from a lot of resources – books, websites etc. You have to experiement a lot with your work. Few introductory books suggested by the pros are Head First Java, Thinking in Java. Later you can move on to read Effective Java which is a good intermediate level book in Java.
Other than the books, Internet is also a great source of knowledge in Java Programming.
This is an online platform which floats technical courses. You can explore courses in Java from Android development point of view depending on your level, here.
Enroll in the The Complete Java Tutorial with Java program of Udemy or Java tutorial for complete beginners, depending on your current level of expertise. You can also enrol into the Design Patterns & Architecture to better design & structure your java codes.
One of the biggest e-learning platforms, Coursera also offers a certified & comprehensive course in Java programming.
During the learning process, you’d encounter many doubts. Stack Overflow is the place where programmers from all around the world ask their questions. Whatever questions you have, it’d most probably already been asked here. This accelerates your learning.
There are many other sources as well such as EdX, WiBi.Net, InfiniteSkills, Treehouse & many more.
1. IDE (Integrated Development Environment) – An integrated development environment (IDE) is a software application that provides comprehensive facilities to computer programmers for software development. An IDE normally consists of a source code editor, build automation tools and a debugger. You can choose between Eclipse or Android Studio as your IDE depending on which you install ADT or you don’t. Choice of IDEs varies from programmer to programmer. So, it can’t be clearly said which one’s better.
2. SDK (Software Development Kit) – The Android SDK contains the tools and related files necessary to build an Android application. This is a must to register important updates in your IDE.
3. ADT (Android Developers Tool) – Eclipse requires ADT to be able to use libraries and tools in the SDK.
4. An Android Device – This is required to test your work in android. You may want to test your product on different Androids.
5. Design – You can install design plugins to customise the tangibles in your product & work on its aesthetics.
Commenting & Documenting
Commenting & Documenting is the most underrated practices of programming. Since you are on a path to become a programmer, you will be writing long codes. If you don’t comment the code, it would become very tedious to debug the code or refer it later. So, commenting is of utmost importance for convenience. Documenting sets the targets you want to achieve. You can also document your learning as you move forward. Documentation will make you ready for the commercial world since it is through your documentation that others will understand your product.
One very important thing for a programmer is to test the program they’ve written. This is a part of Debugging and a very important aspect of building an Aptitute in Programming. Fail testing should be done rigorously on every code you write. Because, there’s always something you miss.
Take up projects
The best way to learn is to find projects that’ll help you grow from your level. You should, in fact, take inspiration from existing apps and try to achieve targets set for yourself by you.
Without Android Documentation, it’s not possible to understand terminologies used frequently. To make sure this doesn’t curtail your learning, keep referring to the Android Documentation. This is also important because updates always keep coming.
To learn how you can get a head start at coding from a young age, read on here.