Android is one of the leading operating systems for smartphones, and it doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon. Android app development offers much more flexibility than other operating systems, has an open app distribution globally, and strong interoperability. And while it’s not difficult to become an Android developer, becoming better at the craft takes time, patience, and dedication. There are no shortcuts to becoming a stellar Android developer, and it doesn’t happen overnight.
Start Reading Code
Many developers are so hyper focused on creating code that they forget to read code. Because of this, they miss out on what other developers are writing. Reading excellently written code from developers who have plenty of experience helps open up new doors into the development world. On the same token, you should be reading books about software programming from authors who have been there and done that. Then, you can apply some of the things you’ve learned into your work.
Automate When You Can
Automation is a crucial part of any software development project. Where possible, you should be spending as little time as you can on tasks that can be automated. Using DevOps tools like a Docker registry from JFrog can help you run many of those small, time-consuming tasks on autopilot. Effective automation can also help reduce the amount of manual error in your projects.
Learn About Android Framework Internals
Many developers are wary about getting too in depth with Android framework internals, which extend beyond standard documentation. You can learn a lot about how development works by learning firsthand how various pieces of framework fit together. For instance, why not learn more about how the Android operating system actually starts your application? What’s behind the boot up process?
Learn New Programming Languages
Learning new programming languages helps you stay up to date with what’s happening in the world of Android development. It also helps you to diversify your portfolio and CV, making you a stronger candidate for future positions. To grow as a complete Android developer, you’ll need to open up your perspective to think beyond the Android space.
Contribute to Open Source
If you’ve developed a plugin, code, or library that you use on your own app, now might be a great time to consider contributing it to open source. Doing so offers one of the best ways to increase your value as a developer.
For starters, OSS provides new developers with the ability to gain early experience. It also helps you understand technology on a much deeper, more holistic level. You can even reduce development costs by taking ideas and suggestions from experts who are happy to offer input. If you don’t have anything of your own to contribute, you can write a piece of documentation or fix a bug in other OSS projects.
Follow Android Best Practices
As an Android developer, it’s important for you to ensure that all of your users have a smooth experience. Following some of the best practices makes this much more achievable. For instance, because Android Studio is the official IDE for Android, you should make the switch if you haven’t already. You should also create separate layouts for UI elements that you intend to re-use, use separate resources for debugging and releases, use an HTTP library like Retrofit, and much more.
Learn About Design
As a developer, it’s natural for you to want to focus on writing the best code that you can. However, if you want to become a well-rounded developer, you should spend more time learning about design impacts the user interface and user experience. Doing so will help you look at your code a little differently. Talk to designers about how you can better you code with design in mind, and attend events and communities that allow you to strengthen your knowledge.