Learn Android App Development in 7 easy steps

Learn Android App Development in 7 easy steps
Learn Android App Development in 7 easy steps

Over the last few years, there have been numerous advents in the development industry. Many arguments have been over, development being more important than coding and vice-versa. But, all these arguments are nothing, but myths.

To be precise, you never need to stick to one among development and coding. In real-life technical scenarios, development and coding are two converging aspects of software development. Development and Coding run simultaneously and work hand-in-hand. Coding is a pre-requisite for development and development is an application of coding.

For learning Android app development it is advised that the person should be familiar with the basic mathematical concepts and should possess sharp aptitude skills. Since the entire development process revolves around logic building and algorithm designing, the developer is supposed to be familiar with the various graphical paradigms and logic-building strategies.

Getting started with Android app development might be a challenging task, particularly if you don’t have any prior coding experience. Although, Android app development seems to be effort-taking, yet it can be accomplished with dedication, inquisitiveness, and motivation.

The Android Studio a decade old now, the reference resources and tutorials are very immaculate and well-structured. A well-written document and a dense community make it very undemanding for beginners to get through the complexities of building their first app.

Nowadays, apps are dominating every sector of society, be it commercial or media. In every sector, there is a show-stealer app. There are around millions of Android developers globally, working for multinational corporations (MNCs), start-ups, or as freelancers.

You might end up developing the next revolutionary app like Netflix, Whatsapp, Twitter, or Flipkart. You can even create any productive app, which is employed as a tool for students such as the Adobe Scanner or the Microsoft Lens.

Earlier the Android Studio was just confined to its operating system, but now it is compatible with iOS as well, creating more opportunities for beginners. The Android developers’ community is one of the densest communities worldwide.

There are experienced Android developers, who are eager to share their knowledge and experience with their fellow Android app developers. To learn about any sort of development, there should be a sequential learning strategy.

Read below to know about the 7 most significant steps to learn Android App Development:

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Step 1: Foremost, get hands-on knowledge about any programming language

Coding should never be considered distinct from development. Coding and development are the two aspects of software development, but they are not independent of each other, rather coding is a pre-requisite for development. The Android Studio is driven by two programming languages: Java and Kotlin. Both Java and Kotlin are object-oriented programming languages. Kotlin has a very dictating advantage over Java; it can be used for developing cross-platform applications.

The decision of selecting now from Java and Kotlin totally depends on the target audience of your project. If your target audience doesn’t include around one million iPhone users, then you can go ahead with Java, else you can spare some time and learn Kotlin.

If you know C++, it will be smooth for you to switch over Java, and then you can go another step higher and move to Kotlin. But if you don’t know any of the programming languages, then you opt for Kotlin as it the latest, most user-friendly, and least bug-prone programming language.

In the year 2019, Kotlin substituted Java and became the preferred language for App development in the Android Studio. To maintain the integrity of Java Developers, Java is still supported in the Android Studio. The documents related to the use of Java libraries in Android are quite in-depth and extended. The Android Studio comes with an in-built feature that allows developers to typecast the Java codes into Kotlin, without any explicit effort.

There are two ways for converting a Java code into Kotlin:

  • To convert Java code to Kotlin, open the Java file in Android Studio. And select Code > Convert Java File to Kotlin File.
  • Alternatively, create a new Kotlin file (File > New > Kotlin File/Class), and then paste your Java code into that file.
Image depicts code conversion feature of the Android Studio
Image Source: Stack Overflow

Step 2: Collect all the relevant learning resources

If you have no prior experience with Android, you don’t need to worry. You can refer to the myriads of tutorials, blogs, and courses available online. We highly recommend that your first stop should be the developers.google website is the official website hosted by Android itself.

Each of its libraries, their functionalities, and implementation procedure are explained very distinctly here. Apart, from these, you can check out the blogs written by various experienced Android developers. These developers have been through the learning stage and guide the beginners, referring to their own journey of learning.

However, many learners grasp more quickly if the content is delivered through any media elements such as video tutorials. If you are one of them, then you might get enrolled in any of the professional Android development courses. Nowadays, many courses are available online, some of them have been really fruitful for budding developers and have a wide set of accomplished alumni members.

If you intend to purchase any course, make sure that the course provides you a certification of completion and there should be a decent number of assessments, assignments, and projects for self-evaluation, exploration, and growth.

You can also refer to the pre-existing GitHub repositories for learning the various implementation strategies. Before forking any repository, go through their README file and ensure that the necessary hardware and software requirements are fulfilled.

Do not publish any of these repositories that there are copyrights associated with them. But you can always learn from them and get an idea. GitHub also allows you to connect with the owner of the repository.

Step 3: Install the android studio and a few productivity tools

There are a number of open-source Developer productivity tools that assist collaboration and accelerates the overall development process, this makes the projects scalable and narrows the overall critical path of the project in progress. Before installing the productivity tools, make sure that you have got the essential tool, which is the Android Studio.

You can download the Android Studio from its official site.

The Android Studio is a complete package of Android development tools ranging from code editor to emulator. Before, the ingress of Android Studio, Eclipse was used as the primary IDE for native Android app development. The Android Studio is compatible with the major operating systems including Windows, macOS and Linux systems.

This eradicates all the compatibility issues. For elementary development, Android Studio is the most recommended software, but for graphics designers and game developers, highly configured platforms such as Visual Studio with Xamarin or Unity, are recommended.

There are numerous productivity tools that accelerate development procedures such as the TimeToggle, Cloud app, Jamboard. These keep developers on their toes, and allow them to keep a track of the time and the deadline; this confines them from fleeting their time.

In the actual scenario, multiple developers work on the same project, in this case, collaboration plays an intrinsic role. Therefore, it is necessary to have collaborative tools such as GitHub, SourceTree, Meld, TeamViewer, AnyDesk and so on.

Step 4: Get familiarised with data structures and algorithms

Before taking the major leap of creating your first Android project, you need to get familiarised with various data structures used in Java or any other programming language. Learning any object-oriented programming language can help you in understanding the Android Studio better, but doesn’t ensure that the app you are going to create will be an efficient one.
For increasing the efficiency of any Android and making sure that it doesn’t crash, the developer should be familiar with the following concepts:

  • Algorithm Design: Algorithm design refers to a method or a mathematical process of problem-solving and creating algorithms. The design of algorithms is part of solution building or logic designing, such as backtracking, dynamic programming, greedy technique, and divide-and-conquer. The algorithm should incur the minimum space and time and must be consistent for any given input.
  • Time Complexity: The time complexity of an algorithm depicts the total time required by the programme to run till its completion. The time complexity of any given algorithm is most widely expressed using the asymptotic notation, big O.

There are three possible cases:

  • The best case is the function that performs the minimum number of steps on input data of n elements.
  • The worst case is the function that performs the maximum number of steps on input data of size n.
  • The average case is the function that performs an average number of steps on input data of n elements.
Image depicts big-O notation for time complexity
Image Source: Dev Community
  • Space Complexity: The space complexity of an algorithm or a computer programme is the amount of memory space required to solve an instance of the computational problem as a function of characteristics of the input. It is the maximum memory required by an algorithm to execute a programme and produce output, throughout its lifecycle.
  • Data Structures: There are numerous data structures in Java and Kotlin such as arrays, vectors, graphs, trees, trie, linked list, stacks, queues that have the potential of compressing the time and space complexity exponentially. The use of data structures reduces the run time of any app and saves memory units. There is a significant reduction in the number of floating-point operations, which prevents the app from getting crashed during execution.

Step 5: Locating the files and folders

You need to understand the contents and locations of the various files and folders present in the Android Studio. The most significant file is MainActivity.java or MainActivity.kt, changes with the programming language being used.

You also need to understand the various XML folders and the folder which is responsible for hosting the Gradle files. Getting lost between the activities, will lapse time and delay your project.

Step 6: Enhance your debugging skills

Once you have learnt working on Android Studio, you need to learn to read the logcat and working on the back stack. This allows you to locate the thread that contains the bug. Many times if your code logic has any other or segmentation fault, it is not highlighted not the code editor, but it causes system failure. During app execution, your app will crash due to space complexities.

If you know how to read the logcat in the error and verbose mode, you can trace the bug and fix it. Else, you might end up scanning a thousand lines of app code.

Step 7: Become a part of the android community

Finally, you must become a part of the global Android community. The Android developers’ community is the most remarkable community in the world consisting of millions of developers. Some of the members of this community are the creators of the Android Studio itself, freshers can post their queries when they stumble across anything on the Android studio and get instant assistance from the experienced developers. This creates a friendly as well as competitive environment, in both aspects, you grow as a developer.

Why android development is a good career option?

Android development is a highly recommended and promising career opportunity as:

  • A large number of emerging start-ups are hiring Android Developers at a very large scale for app development.
  • The top-notch MNCs also need Android developers for the maintenance and testing of the pre-existing as well as internal applications.
  • Even a fresher Android developer with no prior industry experience is paid well.
  • There are plenty of resources and documents available to learn Android development.
  • You just need to know any of the two programming languages, Java or Kotlin to become an Android Developer.
  • The Android developers’ community is dense and inviting.
  • The Android Studio is backed by Google. Therefore, its reliability can never be questioned.
  • The Android Studio gets updated at a very frequent pace. It is a decades-old platform, so it is not subjected to depreciation.
  • There is a scope of exponential growth in this field. The more experience you have, the higher is your base package.
  • Enormous market shares being offered to the beginners.
  • The freedom of working as a freelancer.

How long does it take to become an android developer?

There is no restricted timeline for becoming an Android Developer. However, it takes more than one year for a person to be categorised as an Android Developer. You can only be referred to as an Android developer if you have worked on a large variety of projects including server components such as SQL, SQLite or Firebase.

You must have a very high proficiency in Java or Kotlin, at least four out of five. Apart from the development skills, a proficient android developer must possess standard debugging skills such that he/she can prevent any app crash or system failure.

To be regarded as an Android developer one must make sure that he/she has a sufficient number of Android projects, at least ten from the different zones of Android Studio. If the developer has done any internship, this adds industrial experience to his skill.

After learning for a while, self-assessment is very essential; one can register for the Android certification programme and clear the exam for achieving the globally valued Certificate and Title of Android developer.

Top reasons for the high demand for Android Developers:

  • The pre-existing apps need regular maintenance.
  • To stay in the market, the companies need to extend their features for surpassing their competitors.
  • The E-commerce industry is ruling the era, most of the franchise is being app-driven.
  • Start-ups are becoming extremely profitable, with a very high value of market shares.
  • The daily-needs commodities such as milk, fruits are also being sold online.
  • Apps have an edge over websites, as mobile phones are handier than laptops.
  • Many companies and institutes need apps for their internal applications.

The average salary of Android Developers:

Analogous to any other technical post, there are various ranks of an Android Developer. The annual gross salary that an Android Developer receives is determined by various facts, whether he/she is working in a multinational corporation (MNC), a start-up, or as a freelancer.

Usually, fresher are hired as interns first, and after completing the threshold probation period, they are given full-time employment opportunities. While many talented developers even seek lucrative pre-placement offers (PPOs), even in the second or third year of their degree programme. Recently, Flipkart launched its Pre-placement programme and hired a bunch of Android developers at an annual package of fifteen lakhs per annum.

Amazon has various ranks for hiring, the annual salary of the developers varies according to their experience for fresher it is around twelve lakhs per annum, along with a joining bonus of three lakhs per annum. Apart from these exceptionally high fresher packages, companies like Deloitte, Cognizant, Cisco also hire Android developers for around ten lakhs per annum.

  • The average salary of an Android developer in India: 6,00,000  per annum.
  • The average stipend of an Android developer intern in India:20,000 per month
  • The average salary of an Android developer, Globally: $90,000 per year
  • The average stipend of an Android developer intern, Globally: $1000 per month
    (These figures are with respect to a fresher and are approximate values)

Top companies that are hiring Android Developers

With the number of apps present in the Google Play Store reaching a million and still increasing, the demand for Android developers is increasing tremendously. Not only for the development of new apps, but Android developers are also required for the extensions and maintenance of the pre-existing Android apps.

Nowadays, the software industry is driven by Agile methodology, which signifies, continuous maintaining of apps. Therefore, each company is required to have app maintenance and testing team.
The top-notch companies hiring Android developers in 2020 are:

  • FLIPKART
  • AMAZON
  • CISCO
  • COGNIZANT
  • DELOITTE
  • UTILITY
  • JIO SAAVN
  • KAGAZ
  • CHINGARI
  •  IBM

Assumptions are made about the Android app being a daunting task, but if you follow the correct learning strategy, it is as elementary as any other programming language or software. Android development carves your way to thousands of opportunities out there. The journey might be challenging, but the results are quite promising.

Learn steadily and explore more about our Android Course today.

By Vanshika Singolia