DAY 11: Defining My Android App Development Workflow

In this article you will get to know my Android app development workflow I have just come up with for myself.

Even though it’s been almost two weeks since my decision to become an Android developer, really a lot has been happening and I have made (at least in my eyes) enormous progress.

Two weeks ago I was thinking about how cool it would be to become an Android developer. Today I know how to use Android Studio, how to set up and use device emulators, create (or write) new (still very simple) apps, and test them. If I manage to keep up the pace, I will be very far from where I am in a year’s time (both when it comes to my knowledge about Android app development and growth of MobileGuru.LOL).

Today I have been learning Android app development sice I got back from work (so it’s almost for 5 hours and I won’t stop until this post is ready). I have completed the first practice set in the Udacity course on Android Development for Beginners where I had to create my own card app and stick to certain workflow. I liked this workflow so much that I am going to share it here with you so you can adopt it in your projects as well.

The below Android app development workflow is my own proposition for junior developers. If you want to delve deeper in the subject, read Developer Workflow on Google Developers. 

Draw your app on paper

In almost any challenge or project the most important part is planning. Without a good plan of what you want to achieve and how you are going to achieve it, you don’t stand any chance of success. It turns out to be especially true in the case of building apps.  All you need to do at this stage is:

  1. Take a sheet of paper and a pen.
  2. Draw your app on paper (all the buttons, images, text).
  3. Describe what you want the app to do and how you want it to behave (e.g. when a user clicks a button).
  4. Optionally, you can take a photo of what you’ve just drawn (below you can see the photo of my drawing for the purposes of the course).
My Android App Development Workflow

This is my app on paper. I know that my handwriting is horrible.

This is how I planned my app to look like. Naturally, the next step is to move to the practical part.

Build the app in Android Studio

If I have the plan, I can now decide what types of Views I am going to use, what types of ViewGroups, how I’ll style them and so on.  This is exactly what I did.

If you still haven’t installed Android Studio, read this post where I will tell you how to create your first hello world app in Android Studio (and how to set up the environment correctly). 

For the needs of this very simple app I needed to:

  1. Create a new project in Android Studio with the default settings (i.e. setting minimum SDK to API 15 and using Empty Activity).
  2. Add two TextViews and style them accordingly.
  3. Add one ImageView with the logo of my website and also style it.
  4. Set the ViewGroup to be RelativeLayout so that it’s easier to position TextViews below and above the ImageView.

This is my code (not so long, fortunately).

My Android App Development Workflow

My lines of code. I showed them in the form of an image for a change.

Run the app in Emulator or real device

Once you have finished writing code and the apps looks OK in the preview, it’s time to test in either in Emulator in Android Studio or using your real device connected via USB to your computer.  This is how my app looks on Nexus 9.

My Android App Development Workflow

This is how Emulator displays my app.

As this is a rather very simple app, everything seems to be working fine!

Create a video or written tutorial where you explain your app

When I at first saw this requirement in one of the quizzes in the course at Udacity I thought it’s a waste of time. However, after a moment I realized that this is exactly what  I do here on MobileGuru.LOL after each Android app development learning session. I brainstorm, learn, do practical exercises and then turn my fresh knowledge into posts which other Android developers can read and use.  

For me it’s a brilliant way of memorizing stuff. I remember every single thing I have so far learned in Android and it’s thanks to the tutorials I am creating. This point is absolutely crucial. 

For the needs of the quiz at Udacity I shot a video where I explain my app. However, I will not add a link to it here because it looks too amateurish (I recorded it with my phone as they asked us to) but if you are inquisitive enough, you should find the video without any problems.

Share your app or code with the world & listed to feedback

The last task in the above-mentioned quiz at Udacity was to share all I did with Android development community. I was a bit hesitant at first but I collected all my materials and shared it here with other learners. Of course, this is not the only way of sharing what you have done.

I realize that a professional Android app developer wouldn’t finish their workflow at this point (but rather somewhere at debugging their app and effectively monetizing it). That’s why I am finishing the workflow of a junior Android developer at this point because this is the moment when new developers need to meet other developers and listen to what they have to say (and simply use their knowledge).

Summary Of Day 11

Day 11 of my Android development journey has come to an end  (and it’s after midnight). I have been learning for more than 6 hours, which is a good result because I have a regular job. I feel a lot more independent now and after competing practice set in the Android development course I am taking I came up with my own Android app development workflow.

What I want to say: I am sure I will have trouble falling asleep and will be in the “zombie” mode for the whole day tomorrow. 🙂
Level of motivation: Extremely high
Level of fatigue: Low (even though it’s after midnight).
Level of experience: 0.0040%
What I have learned: I created my own app development flow which lets you learn and memorize stuff much better.

Share Your Thoughts

Are you an Android developer? Did you notice any errors in this post? Do you have any questions or comments?

I am only beginning my journey of becoming an Android developer and I would really like to hear from you (and learn form you). Feel free to either contact me directly or leave me your comments in the comment box below.

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