- Android is the leader of the global smartphone market share, creating a high demand for Android Developers
- You will need to learn programming languages like Java and Kotlin, gain knowledge on databases, and learn how to use Android SDK and Android Studio.
- Getting the basics of APIs and XML can also be useful for you
- Soft skills such as teamwork, perseverance, problem solving, a thirst for knowledge, and good communication skills will turn you into a well rounded Android Developer.
Our world today is mobile. We depend on our phones and the apps on our phones for everything from banking to messaging, fitness trackers to navigation apps, and so much more. These apps have changed the way we do business, purchases, communications, consume entertainment - they have basically changed the way we live.
What do these apps all have in common? A Mobile Developer.
But how do you become one? Well, the first step is to pick a platform. The most common are Android, iOS, or Windows Mobile. For now, let’s focus on Android.
Android is the leader of the global smartphone market share. According to data from Global Stats, the Android Operating System is used by almost 75% of all smartphones worldwide, as of May 2020. This market leadership means a high demand (and even a high job security) for Android Developers.
The Android developer ecosystem is also very dynamic and collective, since the platform is open source. The entire source code is browsable (except for proprietary software like Google Play), so Android Developers can share tips, tutorials, or even answer questions across the community.
What technical skills do you need to learn?
As with any job (but especially one in the world of Computer and I.T.) you’ll need to learn the technical skills. Android Development can be done on a Windows PC, Mac, or Linux computer – so choose your weapon. You will also need an Android device. You can use emulators for development but at some point, you’ll want to test on a real device.
Once you’re ready, dedicate yourself to learn and master some of these essential skills to become an Android Developer.
Java is the programming language used for Android development. Familiarize yourself with Java concepts such as lists, loops, variables, and control structures. The great thing about Java is that it is one of the most popular programming languages in 2020, which means you can find other jobs beyond just the Android platform.
Kotlin is an Android-compatible language that’s quickly gaining popularity. It is a concise and expressive language that’s designed to be type- and null-safe. It’s also compatible with Java, making it a great second programming language to learn. Kotlin can make Android development faster and even more fun.
You will be working on databases within Android apps. Learning the basics of SQL will help you properly organize your databases.
Android SDK and Android Studio
Android Software Development Kit (SDK) and Android Studio are two tools you will need. These are both free to use and easy to download. Android Studio is the main program where you can write code and assemble apps, while SDK has sample codes, libraries, and coding tools that help you build, test, and debug your applications.
XML is used to describe data. Learning basic XML syntax will help you through tasks like designing the user interface and parsing data feeds.
APIs are useful to help you interact with other services. The APIs you will use will most likely depend on your company. Google makes it easy to connect their APIs from your Android apps, so that’s another option for you. Try to get used to different APIs since no two APIs are alike.
Google has recently released interface guidelines and standards, which they call Material Design. It is being used across all of their products, so it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with these guidelines. Although not required to follow, at the very least, the document (which you can find online) can give you a good understanding of Material Design principles.
Don’t forget the soft skills
Yes, technical skills are important for a technical role such as an Android Developer. However, soft skills showcase your interpersonal skills, which a lot of hiring managers and recruiters are putting an emphasis on more and more these days.
Work on these soft skills to turn you into a well-rounded employee.
- Teamwork and collaboration: You will be working with many different people on multiple projects, so being able to coordinate with everyone is an essential soft skill to have.
- Perseverance: You will encounter bugs and mistakes – lots of them. Perseverance will help you not quit during the times you really want to.
- Problem-solving: Again, you will encounter lots of problems. Knowing how to solve them will make you a strong developer.
- Thirst for knowledge: Technology changes all the time. You need to be curious about the latest trends and developments to stay up to date with what’s new.
- Communication: This is a vital skill needed by all jobs out there. As a developer, you need to be able to communicate your ideas and solutions.
Where to learn the skills and how to showcase them
There are plenty of resources available online where you can learn all you need to learn. You can start with industry favorites such as Stack Overflow, Android Weekly, and the Android Dev subreddit. There’s YouTube with thousands of free lessons and tutorials and Google’s official Android Developers Site.
Techph.org also hosts learning sessions with topics that vary from AI and machine learning, to Android Native, Game Development, and so much more.
If you are trying to look for new job opportunities, it’s important that you showcase the skills you have as an Android Developer. Show your work through an online portfolio, or on websites like Xing, LinkedIn, GitHub, or Behance. Try meeting other Android Developers through meetups and conferences – even online. You’ll never know if the next person you bump into is actually a hiring manager or recruiter.
These days, mobile apps are high in demand, making it the best time to launch your career as an Android Developer. The demand will only continue to grow as Android expands to different industries and more uses. So it’s time to learn these skills, build your profiles and portfolios, and apply to the best jobs you can find!
Want to learn more about being a Mobile Developer?
Visit our Career Guide to learn about what a Mobile Developer does, other skills you may need, how much you can earn, and other useful information. Just click here.