Day 1: Finding Android App Development Resources & Preparing Ground

Today it is officially the first day of my journey to becoming a professional Android developer. In my post from yesterday I told you how my intention to become an Android developer was born and how I plan to describe my whole journey here on MobileGuru.LOL.

I feel that I finally found the perfect spin for my blog which, apart from being a blog, will also be my own learning Android app development project and a free source of knowledge for all the newbie developers.

I decided to divide my journey of learning Android app development into “days” as I am planning to learn it every single day until I become a pro (and then take a one-week vacation). One day will usually be one post where I will describe in detail what I have learned. I want each post (day) to be something like a small chapter of a bigger book. I will keep all the posts up-to-date so that you can come back to them any time you want and still find relevant and useful information. 

Enough for the introduction. Let’s start DAY 1.

The Best Android Development Resources

When I typed “android development for beginners” in Google or YouTube search bar for the first time I was astonished at the amount of results. This topic is so hot right now that there are literally  hundreds of thousands of websites offering different types of courses, guides or tutorials. Just take a look at how “android app development” looks in Google Trends.

Android app development in Google Trends

It may be quite difficult or even intimidating to find THE materials we are really looking for. I did small research and I think I found the resources which will be the best fit for me.

It’s obvious that you will learn more and more effectively if you combine different types of materials (e.g. reading material with video tutorials) on the same topic,  have a chance to put the theory you learned into practice and consult what you learned with others. 

Here is how I am going to approach the issue and the materials I will use for starters.

Invaluable Materials Offered By Google

Google, the developer and owner of Android, is probably the best resource you will ever find. Due to the open source nature of Android, all of the learning materials and any software you will ever need is available for free on their website.

Google knows that this segment of market is rapidly growing and it really needs developers (there are way too few of them right now), so Google does everything to make learning app development as accessible and nice as possible. I must say it really does a great job. The way they present material and tasks is engaging, interesting and fun. It has nothing to do with the type of reading materials and exercises we know from school.

Here are the most useful links to Google resources for Android app development:

  • Android Developers homepage. If you are planning to become an Android developer, this website should be your home page and your Bible.
  • Training for Android developers. Here you will find lots of most interesting lessons and exercises how to accomplish certain tasks (together with code samples, video instructions and what not). Don’t get scared with the scope of topics here. You don’t have to learn of all of this at once. We will get to each item together.
  • Android Studio (the official IDE for Android). Just like the Android Developers website should be your Bible, Android Studio will be the most important program you will use in your journey of learning Android app development. This is where you will work with your code, create and debug it.
  • Glossary of Android and Java programming terms. If you ever encounter a term you don’t know, the chances are that you will find its detailed description here. Android is basically Java in a bit different form, so there are a lot of similar or identical terms in these two programming languages.

Online Android Development Courses for Beginners

There are really lots of different (both free and paid) Android app development courses out there on platforms like Coursera or Udacity. Again, don’t let the amount of them intimidate you.

If you are a newbie like me, I recommend you start from these courses (all of them are built by Google):

  • Android Development for Beginners.  This is the course I have just started and it’s awesome. So far everything has been crystal clear to me and I feel that I am already making progress (even though I have just begun).
  • Intro to Java Programming.  Android has a lot to do with Java (it’s Java in fact) so if you have time it will be a good idea to take this course too.
  • How to create <anything> in Android. If you complete the two above courses, it will be a good idea to take this course where you will learn how to add extra features to your app.

Paper Books

Some people prefer learning from traditional paperback books. To be honest, I don’t remember how it is to read a paperback book as all of my books have already been replaced by their PDF versions.

Anyway, it’s still a great idea to have a traditional book where all the material will be just in one place. There are tons of different books on Amazon, so I suggest you order one or two based on their ratings. The book I ordered is:

  • Android Programming in a Day. I haven’t read this book yet, but it seems like an interesting supplementary source, so I will certainly read it and let you know my thoughts.

Live Meetings & Workshops

Since the topic of Android development is so hot right now and everyone seems to be interested in it, there are really lots of specialist groups for Android developers in almost any country in the world. I suggest you simply do a Google search for terms like “Android developer ground + your city or country of residence” and you will certainly find something interesting.

When doing my research I found that there is an active group for beginner Android developers in my city (it’s not a very big city) and I am going for their workshop in two weeks. I will let you know how it went.

Discussing Problems With Other Android Developers

Of course, you can learn almost anything you want on your own but it’s worth little if you cannot consult what you have learned with other developers. If you cannot attend a live meeting, there are, fortunately, a lot of places for discussion on the Internet.  I think there are four must-be places for you:

If you take active part in these two group, you will learn a lot and it will do. I saw there are a lot of Facebook groups for Android developers too but most of them are obsolete and only have some outdated posts or spam.

Supplement This List If You Want

This is my list of the best Android development sources I found. Today I will start to explore them more deeply and share with you any thoughts and reflections I have.

If you know any other valuable sources, please feel free to share them. You can either contact me directly or use the comment box below. I would love to hear from you.

Summary Of Day 1

At the end of each day I will put a very short summary of what I learned and how I feel about it.

What I want to say: This is the most exciting journey I have even taken.
Level of motivation: Extremely high
Level of fatigue: None
Level of experience: 0.001%
What I have learned: I have found the resources that I will use for the nearest months to gather as much knowledge and experience as possible.

– END OF DAY 1 –

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