What I learned from my first Android app

Android


I have done some android programming and still, I love developing and inventing new applications. Applications that can help people in order to make their lives a little bit easier. There are some significant things that I have learned after working as an Android developer and after creating my own application. I want to share with you my knowledge. Hope you enjoy!

Why Android?


First of all, let’s start out with why I started programming in Android. After my first year of studying Software engineering, I decided that it was time to find myself a job as a programmer. After a couple of applications, I could not find a job. I understood that. I was a student and most of the places where seeking somebody who had experience and they did not have a place for a part-time worker.

So after a while, a company did accept me and they wanted me to come over and have a little chat with them. After the interview they accepted me. I was very happy. The thing was that they gave me the job to build something in Android. I had never ever made something in Android. The only thing I had experience with was Java.

But after the project, I felt a bond with Android. I had my own story and my own friendship with this technology. The thing is that I never expected that I would love it as much as I love it right now. Also, a bonus was that the main programming language was Java and I love Java!

Android has a lot of potentials and it has an enormous market. I have a different bond with this technology. So I started inventing new applications that I could make after work. So I decided to create this application and I really learned a lot. It made my bond with Android even better.

My bond with android
My bond with Android is like a father and son.

Research


Doing some good research can be hard and difficult, but I have to say that it is so important for a developer to possess this skill. Most beginning developers underestimate this skill. I have to say that I did underestimate this skill as well. I had no idea that it would be such an important skill to have.

When I was developing my first Android application, I did not know anything about Android. I always thought that you needed to learn anything until you knew everything without ever opening a book or blog again. I was wrong and I will tell you why. We are human and we can’t know everything. This was also the case with me and when I started with my first Android application. I knew a lot of things, but that was not enough to create an exceptional application.

What I learned was that you always need to do some research about things. You will always come across problems which you don’t know how to solve. This is when research comes in handy. Doing the right research will make you better understand some aspects of the technology and it will help you find out new things you did not know.

Actually, when you do good research you will learn a lot of things. You will find new blogs which will turn out to have very interesting posts. Remember that you can’t know everything. Having some good research skills is very important.

Doing research is essential
Doing research is an essential skill.

New skills by developing


Developing an actual Android application made me a better developer for sure. Not only did I step out of my comfort zone, it also made me independent. It really gave a boost of confidence when I first started out with my Android application.

I still believe in the fact that you need to just try creating things as soon as possible. I failed a lot when I started with my project, but the things I have learned from the failures is worth it. The beautiful thing is that I learned how to manage my own projects without the help of anybody. This is a skill that is also very important for a developer. There will be a lot of times that you need to solve problems by yourself. The only thing you will have is your own creativity.

So possessing this skill is a very important one. By developing my Android application, I learned that it is important to keep thinking out-of-the-box. At first, I was very negative. I told myself that the thing I had in mind was not possible and it was too much. As I progressed through my application and doing some effective research, I saw that actually nothing was impossible. The thing that you need to keep in mind, is that nothing is impossible. Except some things will take a little more time than expected. Investing time in thinking out-of-the-box, really made my application better. Not only did it make my Android application better, also the way I thought about things changed.

I dared to think about the things which I thought was impossible. I always surpassed my expectations. This will make you grow as a programmer.

Asking for opinion


The thing I hated the most was asking for feedback. You know why? There would always be someone who says: “Hey the font is not good!”  or “Your application is so ugly”. I hated this from the bottom of my heart. Getting over this feeling is better for you. First, let me explain why we hate feedback. This will be straight to the point answer, so don’t get angry. It is because of our pride. Yes, we are proud of our work and if somebody tells us that our application stinks, we get pretty angry. I had the same problem when I was creating my first Android application.

It will help you broaden the way you look at things. It is not what you like the most, it is also about what the users of your application will like. So when somebody tells you that your application stinks, please don’t get angry at them. Instead what I learned is to ask them what you need to change to make it better. Once they explain what you could do differently, do not change it directly to the way they like it. Find some other people and ask them their opinion also. After you have had your little interview with people, decide for yourself what the best choice would be.

I can tell you that if you do this correctly your application will always improve. I asked family, friends and even colleagues what they thought about my Android application. I even showed customers my application when I was working and I asked them what they thought about my application.

Don’t think you know everything. Broaden your view by asking others.

Libraries


As a developer, you need to invent new things. There some things that have already been invented. So why should you invent it again? This is when libraries come in handy. Libraries are pre-made code fragments that you can implement into your Gradle file. I did not use many libraries, but as I progressed with my Android application, it became clear that libraries can help your development speed up.

You have so many different libraries. The library I love the most up until now is Butter knife. There are also some useful UI libraries which can help you create beautiful charts and everything. So if you are developing an application, this is not only for Android development, you definitely need to do some research for some good and helpful libraries. I am not saying that you should search a library for everything, but find libraries that can help minimize code and help make your code efficient.

Summary


I have learned a lot after creating my first Android application. A real eye-opener was the fact that doing good research is really an essential skill for almost every programmer. You can’t know everything. There will be some times where you just need to do some research before you start to code.

Dare to think out-of-the-box. Nothing is impossible. Sometimes you just need to put in some more time and do some more research before you can achieve your goal. That does not mean that you don’t need to try to do difficult things. Instead, dare to step out of your comfort zone and really think out-of-the-box.

Ask your family, friend, and colleagues what they think of your application. Put your pride away and take feedback seriously. This will really help you broaden the way you think. Also, it will help you to see things from a different perspective.

Don’t try to reinvent the wheel there a lot of useful libraries that can make your life a bit easier. Do some research first and seek some useful libraries.

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