How Do I Get into Android Development?
This training is now critical — companies want results, and many have been burned by developers who promised great apps but delivered mediocre mobile products. Organizations are taking the time to evaluate developer qualifications and skills before they extend job offers to ensure timelines and outcomes match expectations and budgets.Wondering how you get into Android development and jump-start your mobile career? We’ve got you covered.
Should I Choose Android or iOS?Before you get started with Android development training, it’s worth asking the question: Android or iOS? Both are popular mobile operating systems, and both are now part of the mobile-first development strategy adopted by many large enterprises. So which is your best bet?While Apple enjoys higher name recognition thanks to familiar naming conventions (iPhone, iPad, etc.) and the closed-system nature of iOS, Android has a larger market share. Here, the open-source origins of the Android operating system make it more adaptable, in turn allowing multiple manufacturers to leverage Android as their primary OS. Although Android suffers from version fragmentation across both current and last-generation devices, it’s much easier to customize and specialize, making it ideal for use across multiple device environments.With more than 2.5 billion active Android devices worldwide2 and OS parent company Google ramping up the scale and scope of their business-focused offerings, Android is now the system of choice for both small development firms and enterprises looking to create their own in-house applications.
What’s the Career Market Like for Android Developers?As the mobile market diversifies, skilled Android developers are in demand. Those with minimal coding and design skills often find work as application testers for UI/UX design and security, while in-situ IT experience opens the door to more complex Android development work such as programming and feature testing. The combination of in-depth Android training and experience, meanwhile, can help IT pros find careers as full-time application developers responsible for every step of the design and deployment process.While entry-level Android positions offer salaries comparable to their front-line IT counterparts, trained developers typically earn more than $115,000 per year, plus bonuses. Industries such as finance, law, and healthcare that were historically slow to adopt mobile technologies — but are now racing to meet increased consumer expectations — often advertise positions that approach the $200,000 mark.
What Do I Need to Know Before I Start?With a wealth of materials available online and hundreds of new Android apps being created every day, it’s tempting for new developers to jump right in and attempt their first application build. In many cases, it’s also their last.Instead of expecting perfection the first time out, prospective app developers should start with the basics, which include:
- Java training — Java is the most popular programming language and widely used by Android applications. Self-directed or course-based Java training provides the coding foundation you need to create great Android apps.
- OOP experience — It’s also worth learning Java’s Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) concepts, which are critical in creating user-driven mobile app experiences.
- SQL knowledge — Structured query language (SQL), along with experience in Git and GitHub, is recommended to help streamline your application design.
- Effective test environments — Testing is essential to application success, especially when Android developers are just starting. Current-generation devices with at least 4GB of RAM storage are necessary to ensure you can design, build, and test applications anywhere.
How do I Learn Android Development?Once you’ve got a basic understanding of Java, OOP, and SQL, you’re ready to take on the more technical challenge of mastering app development skills such as creating layouts, developing context, connecting services, and defining activity lifecycles.If you have the time and self-discipline, it’s possible to download Android Studio and then leverage free online resources to develop your skills through trial-and-error. If you prefer more official help, the Android Developer’s Blog provides critical insight for aspiring application developers.If your learning style is more suited to a structured approach that focuses on creating, refining, and then publishing Android applications, consider fundamentals-based online coursework. For example, the Android Development Fundamentals course from Cybrary provides module-based content that helps you master key concepts, including:
- Android app componentsUI elements
- Recycler views
- Android intents
- Shared preferences
- Processes and threads
- Android architectural components
- Material design
- Publishing your app
- Android development career tips