Android is an open-source operating system from Google specially designed for mobile phones. It has garnered significant popularity over the years, which has generated a huge demand for Android developers. Android development is the process that involves developing an application powered by this simple yet agile operating system on android studio with the help of the android software development kit. It is one of the most sought-after career paths as it offers a high success ratio despite reduced resources put to use and lower costs through the development process. If you’re wondering how to become an Android developer, here’s everything you need to know about the operating system and what it takes to become a successful android developer.
Why Choose Android?
Android is a preferred platform as it does not require specific technical experience, making it easier for developers of varying skills to master it. The Google Play Store is replete with an estimated 2.6 million android applications, and most of these applications are either less expensive or free to download. Following are some of the added advantages of choosing Android.
- When businesses plan to launch a new application, android development offers them the advantage of being cost-effective and has a better reach and scope for promotion. As a result, android developers find a broader range of opportunities.
- Yet another advantage of choosing Android over other operating systems is that it does not require you to pay for SDK tools or a yearly expense as a designer. While the process of development encapsulates audio, asset, graphic creation costs, and coding, it is still significantly cheaper than designing an app using a different operating system. With android, you can develop interactive applications using any device for app building and testing, which demands low investment and yields higher ROI.
- Android apps, once developed and tested, take only about a day to be approved and deployed on Google Play Store. This eases the process from development through deployment for android developers.
- Android is a versatile option for application development as it allows you to target different platforms, such as Symbian and Ubuntu. Kotlin is the official language built by Google for android application development; you can develop applications using Kotlin that run on other operating systems like iOS and Java desktop versions.
- Any app developer would want the application they build to be feature-rich and flexible. Being an open-source platform, Android allows you to customize your android applications to easily incorporate features and functions that your users might need.
Who Can Become an Android Developer?
Android development is a fast-emerging career prospect as the pathway to becoming a successful and accomplished android developer is relatively easier when compared to using other platforms for app development. If you have a basic understanding of how applications work, a simple Android development training will help you upgrade your skills and specifically focus on leveraging android for app development. Therefore, any beginner developer with basic skill sets and the drive to excel at building apps using Android can become an android developer as it involves a shallow learning curve.
Guide to Becoming an Android Developer
As Android quickly became the world’s #1 mobile platform, it attracted individuals from both programming and non-programming backgrounds, encouraging them to explore the process of becoming successful android developers. As for any app development platform, android requires you to master certain skills. It is also crucial to know how you can start and progress to become a professional android developer. With that said, here’s a detailed, step-by-step guide on how to become an android developer.
Start With a Programming Language
Software engineering requires you to learn a programming language, and in Android’s case, there are two major programming languages used- Java and Kotlin. Learning Kotlin is a good place to start because the language has been developed by Google as a replacement for Java. It offers a host of features that ease the coding process. With Kotlin, you can code with minimal chances of coding errors and crashes. One of the reasons why programmers well-versed in Java also learn Kotlin is that, besides offering extensive features, it is Java language compatible. With Kotlin, you can use Kotlin codes on Java and the other way around.
When getting acquainted with Kotlin, the three main aspects that should be the focus of your learning are syntax and idioms, OOP (object-oriented programming), and data structures and algorithms. Once you learn Kotlin, it sets the foundation for subsequent steps to become an android developer.
Understand the Android Application Lifecycle
One of the biggest differences between writing an application for desktop and mobile is that, while the operating system can manage the application on a desktop, you code your mobile application for handling external events. This means you need to design your application in a way that it interacts well with other applications on your phone. For instance, your application should be programmed to work the ideal way when the phone receives a text or a call. When you have this understanding, you can create an app that offers the best user experience.
Learn the Basics of an Android Platform
The Android platform has various components, and it is essential to know these fundamental components and how to work with them to be proficient in developing functional android apps. A well-planned android application development training course will familiarize you with these basic components that help in handling the configuration changes of the app, working with the components of the app, testing the units, and following standardized practices for security and navigation. Once you know about these elements of the android platform, you can use various tools to design the app.
Get to Know the Android Tools
Every beginner android developer should be aware of the most significant tools for android development and the knowledge of using those tools. The first tool you need to get acquainted with is Android Studio, which is the official IDE (Integrated Development Environment) for developing android apps.
Integrated Development Environment is a software that brings together the most common tools used by developers in the form of a single graphical user interface. IDE is used for writing and testing software through different phases of development, such as building, coding, and testing. Android Studio helps enhance your productivity as it lowers the setup time while standardizing the process of development. You can write android apps for different devices like mobile phones, watches, TVs, etc., using Android Studio.
Another tool you need when developing android apps is a Version Control System tool, preferably Git, which is used for coordination among developers, keeping track of changes in the codebase, and going back to the older versions when needed. One major advantage of learning to use Git is that it offers you the flexibility of handling both small and large-sized projects with efficiency and speed.
Finally, you should be familiar with Gradle- a build automation tool which is part of the Android Studio. Gradle allows you to compile, build, and publish android applications.
Start With Small Projects
When you have a basic understanding of the android platform and common tools useful for developing an application, contributing to open source is a good way to put your knowledge to test and practice. However, make it a point to start small as a beginner and make slow yet meaningful progress to bigger projects. When you contribute to open source, you can interact with your peers and the community, which can also bring opportunities your way.
You will find a range of projects on GitHub, which are generally open to the public. These projects are of various types, such as bug fixing, reviewing a project, and much more. You can open an issue and start working on the project to master your coding and app development skills.
Distribute Your Project
Once you work on small projects and come up with your own complete android app with the help of your knowledge and experience fixing various projects open to the public, the next big step is to distribute your android application and let it be known to the world. There are various ways through which you can do this, such as going to the official android market, having it on your website, or using a third-party website. If you plan to distribute your application through the official Android market, you need to register as an official Android developer and pay $25, which is a one-time fee.
Share Your Journey as a Beginner
Becoming an android app developer is a journey that presents you with hurdles and hassles. However, it is natural for every beginner to struggle during the learning process. What makes it easier is talking to the community about your pain points and struggles through your learning journey. You can try various platforms, such as Twitter, Reddit, Meetup, or other local groups and seek help and know how other app developers go about their app development process to improve your ways.
Job Roles and Responsibilities of an Android Developer
The basic responsibility of an android developer is to design and develop Android-powered applications and integrate them with back-end services. Android developers are also required to coordinate with various other teams and individuals, such as the design team, engineers, and other developers, to work on the multiple layers of the infrastructure. They also add new features and tweak an existing android application to update it and make it more user-friendly. This also involves fixing bugs and reconstructing the performance of the application. Finally, being an android developer is a lifelong journey of learning and exploring new ways to add efficiency to the application development process and evaluating how technology can be leveraged to enhance the features of the app.
As a budding android developer, you can choose to freelance or work at a start-up or for an established organization. While the way you work in different settings might differ with respect to the work culture, your roles and responsibilities would be more or less the same. Some of the common job roles that Android developers are hired for include-
- Mobile App Developer
- Mobile Architect
- Android Engineer
- Embedded and Lead Software Engineer for mobile
When android was first launched, it ranked 5th among the most commonly used operating systems for developing applications. Later, as it offered various advantages and was an open-source platform, it soon catapulted to ranking as the #1 mobile platform with time. This has definitely increased the demand for proficient android developers. As per the latest trends, the demand for android applications is on the rise, and this has generated a growth in opportunities for android developers. With approximately 25,000 openings for Android application development in India, the scope in this field is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years.
Salary of an Android Developer
As per Glassdoor, the average base pay for an Android developer is INR 5,30,000 in India, with an estimated take home salary of INR 29,000 to INR 30,000 per month. The salary of an android developer varies based on the company, city, and whether you’re an entry-level developer or someone with experience.
A career in android app development is lucrative in today’s day and age when most businesses rely on android applications for better promotion. While going through this guide on how to become an Android developer will give you a thorough idea of what it takes to become a successful developer. With intensive training, practice, learning, and a well-designed course curriculum to shape you into an android developer with the right skill sets, you can become a successful android developer.
With greater opportunities comes greater competition; opting for a good training course such as Simplilearn’s Full Stack Java Developer program can help you perfect your coding skills and accelerate your career. This Full Stack Java Developer Program is designed to give you the essence of front-end, middleware, and back-end Java web developer technologies.
So, understand the basics of the android platform, what it takes to become an android developer, and master the art of developing user-friendly, feature-rich android apps to become a seasoned android developer.