Are you passionate about all those mobile apps hitting the scene each day and interested in becoming a proficient Android app developer? Good. I’m going to give you some useful hints on how to advance your skills and get hired for your dream job.
Also, I’ll shed light on some of the best resources that will help you quickly learn Java, Kotlin and acquire other soft skills required for Android developers, as well as some websites that will help both trainee and junior specialists get hired by the best worldwide companies. But first things first, and let’s delve deeper into some facts and statistics.
In brief, yes. Android lets app developers generate new ideas and work with an infinite range of smartphones (from cheap to high-end devices) to open up hardware options as a free and open OS. Today, Android powers over 3 billion smart devices in every corner all across the globe. And according to the latest statistics, the average Android owner uses 10 apps per day and 30 apps per month, which results in more than 100 thousand new apps releasing to the Google Play Store each month. Agree, this is a strong reason to consider that Android developing skills will always be in high demand and will guarantee your great future employability.
Actually, popular job websites like Indeed and Glassdoor offer about 5,000 job openings for Android developers in the USA. And if we’re talking about the whole world, the number of job opportunities for Android developers is almost infinite.
As for the salaries, an average Java Mobile Developer in the United States makes $96 000 annually. The average salary level varies from $64k per year as the minimum to $140k a year at the peak. According to ZipRecruiter’s data, the salary of a Java Android Developer in the USA is $105,453 a year or $51 an hour.
More and more businesses are investing in app development since they help both big and small companies increase their sales by giving users quick and easy access to the products. Having an own app also allows companies to be more competitive in a specific market.
So, with the rapid evolution and growth of Android technology, Android developers will definitely stay at the forefront of the industry. That naturally brings us to the next question: who is an Android developer and what responsibilities will you need to take on?
So, if you’re interested in becoming a competent Android app developer, you should know what essential tasks a good specialist should be able to do:
Build app functionality and UI. You should be able to design your app in a way that enhances the user experience. Ideally, an app should be simple, fast, flexible, and secure because most app users prefer an intuitive and safe UI that makes the app more responsive and engaging.
Collaborate with other team members. As a large staff often makes the majority of apps, you better have good communication skills to convey your ideas to your team and interpret other people’s ideas correctly.
Deal with databases and APIs. Of course, you have to make an app that will be able to seamlessly “communicate” with other apps. In other words, you ought to be able to create or use a set of programming codes that allows for data transmission between your software product and others.
Perform unit testing. Needless to say, testing is crucial before releasing any app or any other software product to make sure your product works flawlessly and is intuitive to use. So, it is essential to test each module during the development phase, meaning you should be familiar with the most commonly used testing libraries like Mockito, Junit, and more.
Fix bugs. During the testing process, it’s essential to face some problems and bugs. And a good Android developer should be able to fix them quickly and efficiently.
Stay up-to-date on new technologies. As a developer, you should try to constantly develop your skills and be open to something new. No pun intended.
Well, as you already know what the core skills are, you’re probably interested in how to become an Android developer and find a good job (once you’ve mastered all those skills, of course). Let’s explore what it takes to become a good Android developer.
It goes without saying that with the rise in demand for developing advanced Android apps, the need for highly skilled developers has also increased. And, below, we’re going to watch out for the top technical and soft skills needed to become a proficient Android developer:
Java. Java is one of the two official Android application programming languages that are essential to kick-start your career as an Android app developer.
Going deeper into details, Java is one of the earliest programming languages and computing platforms released by Sun Microsystems in 1995. Yet, it remains one of the most secure, fast, and reliable platforms. Moreover, you can find Java everywhere, from laptops, tablets, cell phones to game consoles and even scientific supercomputers.
It’s widely applied to enterprise apps, business apps, mobile apps, Web-based apps, scientific apps, distributed apps, cloud-based apps, gaming apps, as well as big data technologies.
Kotlin. It’s the second official Android programming language that is considered to be a bit more concise, modern, and safer than Java. It’s called the language that “makes developers happier” since it’s pretty easy to pick up and, thus, it allows you to create powerful applications quicker.
Overall, it’s a perfect starting point for newbies. Kotlin is usually applied in Android development, desktop development, and web development.
Besides the knowledge of the aforementioned programming languages, you should be proficient in:
- Android SDK (software development kit).
- Tools like Android Studio, AVD manager, and Android Debug Bridge.
- Working on REST APIs development and integration.
- Spring, MVC, Web Service, Hibernate, HTML, CSS.
- Integrating with 3rd party libraries (monitoring, analytics, notifications, etc).
- Git and other version-control systems.
When it comes to soft skills, the main requirement for candidates is that they should have excellent communication skills and work in a team. Additionally, they need to be adaptable, creative, and open to learning. Agile methodology and business knowledge of the industry will also add some extra points to your portfolio. In a word, you need to sharpen your non-technical skills to boost your career in Android development.
When it comes to starting a career, many websites offer you online jobs. Among the most popular ones — Upwork, Hubstaff, and Fiverr that are known worldwide and crowded with lots of hot vacancies and freelance jobs. However, if you’d like to place your resume on your own, you can benefit from using such well-known websites as Dice, Indeed, and LinkedIn.
The right courses are what can help you boost your skills and become proficient in your area (even if you’re starting from scratch). And, below, we’re giving you some of the most efficient sites that can help you quickly master different programming languages.
Java. If you’re going to start with the basics, CodeGym is an extensive web portal that can help you on that front. It’s a multilingual course (available in English, Chinese, German, French, Polish, Hindi, and many more) that includes more than 1200 practical tasks with different levels of complexity and is suitable for both newcomers and actual programmers who’d like to advance their skills. The course is particularly great for learning the basics of Java, and the first two quests (among four) give a good base for becoming a successful Android developer. The CodeGym course strikes the perfect balance between theory and practice (includes the basics of the Java language, OOP, multithreading, and collections). It also offers step-by-step detailed descriptions of any issues that might occur during the programming process, as well as tips and hints for solutions. As a nice touch, CodeGym is available both on desktop and mobile devices to let you master your skills wherever and whenever.
Kotlin. Yet, if you’d like to learn the Kotlin language, you may benefit from another source — Developers. It consists of various training classes that describe how to perform specific tasks with code samples which you can further re-use in your app. Also, you’ll find many project samples, as well as design and behavior guidelines, on this portal to get ready to create your high-quality app. What’s more, there are some recommendations that can help you launch and distribute your app successfully.
Android. Want to advance your skills in Android? Then, the Udacity course is definitely something worth trying. The course blends theory and practice and involves real experts that can help you build a cloud-connected Android app step-by-step. Also, you’ll get an opportunity to learn best practices of mobile development and, particularly, Android development.
SQLite for Android. Those who’d like to code for free can take advantage of FreeCodeCamp with thousands of helpful videos, articles, and interactive coding lessons.
Git. If you’re after learning Git, then look no further than Learn Git Branching. This interactive visualization tool is very informative when it comes to introducing every concept of Git commands. It’s made in the form of a game that gets you through different levels to help you find out more about various Git commands. This fun development tool is great for both beginners and intermediate users.
Wrapping everything up, I’d like to stress that a typical Android developer knows how the apps work and how to program them; however, a real professional can do much more than that. From coming up with fresh ideas and bringing them to life (i.e. turning them into codes) to communicating with other experts and creating something unique, a good Android developer should deftly combine theoretical and practical knowledge and experience.
First published at JavaRevisited.