Thoughts After Two Years as an Android Developer

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iQlance Solutions
  • Date Published
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There are thousands of Android mobile app developers in Canada in the market.

The android is one of the most advanced mobile operating system across the globe that has given a paradigm shift to the way people use their mobiles. Android is a brainchild of Google and it has carved a niche for itself. There are 2.1 million apps available on Google Play Store as of now.

Two years ago, I decided to learn android development to become an android developer in the industry. It was one of the best decisions that I have taken in my entire life. Developing mobile apps in the Android operating system is fun and at the same time, challenging. However, I learned a lot and it helped me to get a promising job in one of the best companies in the world. Even you will find more mobile app developers in Canada who are android app developers rather than iOS app developers due to the immense popularity of the Android mobile apps.

When I started, I too made many mistakes and from these mistakes, I learned new things that have shaped the developer inside me who is logical, intelligent and creative.

Here, I will discuss a list of tips for mobile app developers who want to pursue a promising career in android app development.

Every Day Is a Learning Day

One amusing thing about technology is that it evolves regularly. If you want to be relevant to development, you also need to evolve with it. There are programmers who still use old techniques to write codes and to develop features and functionalities. When was the last time you have checked new library releases or read new articles related to Android development?

Earlier, I was also too lazy when it comes to reading, but it is a habit that you need to develop if you want to become a good programmer. There are various authentic android blogs that can help you to stay updated with the latest happenings and trends in android app development. All you need to do is to bookmark them in your browser and that is all.

Also, you can discuss new things or new updates with your team members for some brainstorming. Where you can use a particular code, where you can use libraries and where you can use minimum codes to develop functionalities, such brainstorming sessions might help you in the long run.

Some best websites to start with are Android Weekly, reddit.com/r/androiddev/, Fragmented — An Android Developer Podcast, and Android Dialogs.

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

Sometimes, you are overconfident and you don’t apply simple logic to problems. I too had faced such things in the last 2 years and I want you not to repeat the same.

Let’s understand with an example: you are working on an app and at some point in time, you have encountered a problem. If the problem was solved by some programmer a few times back, you should use the same solution to save your valuable time and efforts.

Open source libraries are there to help you out in such critical junctures and all you need to do is to check them out when you are trapped in some problems.

Use these libraries to save your time and efforts. Focus more on the sole purpose of the app and logic required to develop it rather than small functional issues. Get them solved with professional help. In short- make your priorities straight.

Be Cautious While Using Libraries:

Yes, you need to be cautious while using libraries. Some programmers use these open-source libraries blindly and might end up inviting troubles. Not all the libraries solve the purpose. You need to check out the authenticity of the library before you use it. Check out the author name and whether he/ she has developed more libraries or not. Also, check out the number of stars the particular library has got. If the number is less, don’t use it.

Furthermore, sometimes, when you have used the library for certain functionality, it will become difficult in the future when you want to upgrade the feature or functionality. Use your senses and make a decision smartly.

Check out the codes of the libraries and find out about its authenticity. The codes should be bug-free, real, genuine and of high-quality.

Spend Some Time Reading Codes:

Yes, writing codes are important, but reading codes are very important to understand new ways of code writing. There are some gifted mobile app developers in Canada who are located far away from your place, but they write fine codes. You need to ensure that you read codes to understand the basics clearly and to use them in the actual practice too.

Being an open-source platform, Android allows us to check out codes and you should do it more frequently to understand framework implementations and functionalities development. Visit GITHUB that has thousands of open-source libraries for Android enthusiasts. Pick any of them and start reading.

When you are new to android development, such practices will make you more advanced and expert and you will be able to write codes as you have read them somewhere.

Use Architecture All the Time

Even professional Android coaching institutes also don’t explain the importance of architecture in Android projects. Here is the advice, from the beginning of the project, maintain the architecture of the project as it will help you when you are done with the project.

If you have not maintained the project from the initial phase, it might cause bugs when you add everything to the activity. Also, converting your project to have some architecture in it would be a difficult and time-consuming task. Don’t let it happen. Make a habit to maintain the architecture of the project, no matter if the project is very small.

Maintain Proper Coding Standards

Bad handwriting and bad code writing might produce some enemies in your life. When you are writing codes, keep in the mind that people will read this as you read someone else’s codes. Hence, it is of utmost importance that you take care while writing codes.

Keep it short, clean and readable code that people might enjoy. Don’t write too lengthy codes that are not understandable. Read codes of expert android developers and check out how they write codes and which things they keep into consideration to write useful and meaningful codes.

Code Testing Is Also Important

There are many android mobile app developers in Canada who might laugh out loud when you discuss code testing with them. They might advise you against it, but forgive them, they don’t know anything.

Code testing will take you to a long way and it will make you realize your mistakes. There are chances that the number of tests might reduce once you become an expert at the craft, but at the initial stage, you need to test the codes written by you.

Start with some basic unit tests such as UTILS package and JUnit 5 that will not change the data and checking views.

Use ProGuard

A common mistake that rookies made is they release the app on the Google Play Store without using ProGuard. It is all about security and you need to ensure that your codes are not vulnerable to understanding, replicating and manipulating. ProGuard will minify your code and also obfuscate your code to secure it. An exercise worth doing!

You don’t have to worry about money as it is absolutely free and available with Android SDK. What is the reason that prevents you from using it? Just use it to secure your app.

Hackers can manipulate your app in just no time if it is not protected with ProGuard. Don’t make such a rookie mistake.

A Smooth Interface Is the Need of the Hour

Though it is a task of the UI/UX developers, you need to pay attention to its details. The interface is a very pivotal thing when it comes to app development. It will be the sole reason for the success or the failure of the app.

When you are a freelancer who develops own apps, you need to understand the importance of the interface. There are mobile app developers who make stunning apps with splendid features and functionalities, but when it comes to interface, they suck. User experience is important and it is directly related to the user interface. Remember to come up with an interface that is simple, robust, clean and beautiful. A developer also has to work as a designer sometimes, you know!

It is the user interface that will lure users to come back to the app again and again.

Not Every New Idea Is Implementable

There will be new trends and updates and hypes about the procedures, tools and android development, it is not necessary that you read and implement all into a real practice every time you make an app. Take a seat back and relax!

There are open libraries and you might need them to become an expert, but when you are new, you don’t need to implement everything that has been used by the experienced developers.

Come up with new solutions, but there is no absolute need to adapt every solution to your current projects. It will make things confusing.

Analytics Is Your Best Friend

There are various app analysing tools that can help you to measure the performance of the app and to get more insights about its use, acceptance and other things. Some of the best app analytics are crash reporting and app usage tracking that will give you in-depth insights about the app performance.

You might start loving your app, but real users are the real players who are going to use the app. They will use the app on different android versions and they will have feedback that might dishearten you sometimes.

These analytics tools can help you understand the issues with your app and to fix them as soon as possible.

Furthermore, user feedback and reviews will help you to make further amendments and upgrades to the app. What have you made and what they really want is the gap that you need to fill? Analytics will make it possible for you.

Use GIT

There are android mobile app developers who still don’t use Git and if you are one of them, start using it now.

I used to save my project on a hard drive and clouds until I came to know about an amazing tool called Git that I now use every day. It will surely improve your workflow and make things smoother for you.

Kotlin Is There for You

As per the announcement made by Google in 2017, Kotlin is the new official language for Android development and believe me, Kotlin is amazing with some best features that make app development easy for you.

Some of the cool features Kotlin offers are null safety, lambdas, superior higher-order functions and interoperability.

Android Studio Converter can help you to move to Kotlin. Forget about Java 7 now, Kotlin is the official.

Learn Design Patterns

If you are working as an android mobile app developer in Canada in some company, you might miss learning about app designing as there are designers in your office. However, in the long run, if you want to become an independent android app developer, you need to learn about developing a superior user interface and user experience design patterns.

Invest some time in it and it will help you in the long run.