There are several programming technologies, tools, and skills needed to be a perfect Android developer. However, describing all in a single post is out of the scope so you may find only some essential skills needed for a fresher to seasoned Android app developer in the current post.
Someone has truly said that we are living in the mobile era where mobiles are becoming ubiquitous digital devices. The following state supports the statement strongly.
- 2/3 of the world population has a mobile phone
- Nearly 2.1 billion people used a smartphone in 2016
- Android OS has 38.9% market share, and it is more popular than Windows with 36.9 and iOS with 13.45% market share worldwide
- According to Google in 2017, Android OS (Operating System) has more than 2 billion monthly active devices
Based on these figures, anyone can guess that Android is rocking as the mobile OS and have bright future if any software developer thinks of it as a primary skill for a steady career.
To be an Android app developer, one must have some basic skills while to be a perfect or seasoned Android developer one must work hard to acquire additional skills other than essential ones and intensive experiences working on a diverse range of Android app development projects worldwide.
However, skill set varying according to changing needs and introduction of emerging technologies. Therefore, in the current post, I have listed only essential skills that can establish a developer in the Android app development niche.
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Programming Skills to be Android Developer
The Android developer must know the required programming technologies and tools to deal with simple to complicated Android app development projects where integration of various tools, services, and APIs are common scenarios. The following programming technologies are commonly used by contemporary Android application programmers.
Java & XML are at the core of Android application coding. Java is an avid object-oriented programming language with strict coding for data handling. Android app development is dealing with mobile devices where additional programming skills required compared to Java web development.
Mobile devices are a thin client in all respects, so memory allocation, processing power, and battery draining are known issues to face the Android developer. The code must be elegant and precise to bring high performance and intractability. Therefore, Android developer must learn the best coding practices prevailing in the industry.
The XML is helpful for the Android developer to create layouts and act as a foundation for UI definition.
Without IDE (Integrated Development Environment) big scale coding and project management prove a nightmare. Therefore, Android platform has issued an awesome IDE known as Android Studio. It comes with required tools, services, and code templates to start instantly. Android Studio is built on top of IntelliJ like famous IDE and have the support of common Android SDKs.
It has many soothing features like code completion, auto-suggestions, code debugging, memory and CPU monitors, and much more. It makes the life for an average Android developer easy. Mastery over Android Studio for an Android app developer is mandatory.
Android SDKs (Software Development Kits) is a fancy name of prepackaged code in Java. It provides easy access to the mobile device specific hardware and functionality such as camera and accelerometer to offer native device experiences to the end-users.
The Gradle is a library in Android SDK that piece together other external/third-party SDKs and provides seamless as well as smooth experiences in the application.
The integration of external services demands the Application Programming Interface (API) to access the services and use it in a consistent way like data exchanges. For an instant, Google Map API, Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking service integration APIs. Thus, an Android developer must have skills to work on various APIs used in the modern app functions.
Databases are a core part of any application running an Android application requires SQL base databases like SQLite as well as NoSQL and cloud-based databases for data exchanges with external applications or services. Therefore, Android developers must have in-depth knowledge and operational skills for all contemporary database management software and database types.
Designing Skills to be Android Developer
Android mobile applications have front-end interface for end-users. The UIs consist of graphics, control, layout, and animations like components. All need designing skills and tools for Android app designers. If an Android developer is working on a big project with a team consisting of designers, it is good, otherwise small to medium project needs some essential android UI designing skills and expertise on various designing tools.
The designing tools required in the Android app development projects are Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Sketch or other prototyping and wireframe development tools, Unity 3D/4D like mobile animation development tools and much more to provide design components during the app development cycle.
Material Design is an excellent concept on design aesthetic, and Android platform has direct access to Material Design templates and libraries to bring excellent user experiences and elegant look in the Android app development. Material Design principles come with the detailed guidelines and documentation to learn for fresh as well as seasoned Android developers.
Testing Skills to be Android Developer
Thorough testing of an Android application can remove the bugs, errors, crashes, and several security-related glitches prior to the final deployment of the app in the Google Play or any other marketplace or use directly.
Testing Methodologies & Strategies:
However, testing is a part of Quality Assurance (QA) process and requires the development of testing strategies as well as need to define testing methods or methodologies before starting the Android app development project.
Therefore, an Android app developer must know testing methods and strategies to implement in the development process.
Software Testing is carried out whether manually or using automated tools or both in many instances. Therefore, Android developers are required to learn testing methods and testing tools to carry effective QA process with testing in different scenarios.
Moreover, Android is famous for fragmentation issues for Android OS as well as hardware or devices. It demands special skills to test, emulators or simulators, as well as techniques to run tests on various actual Android devices with different Android OS.
The cloud services also available to carry remote testing on actual Android devices and developer must accustom to all procedures and processes.
Publishing Skills to be Android Developer
For monetization or publishing for customers or internal staff, Android application must publish at the end of app designing & development process. For Google Play Store submission, Android developer must know submission, design, and programming guidelines as well as should have enough practical experiences with desired success.
Therefore, during all job interviews for Android developer posts, recruiters always ask a candidate a question surly and it is “Can you show a working app on Google Play Store that you have developed and published with your name?” Hum! How can anyone show it without prior experiences?
Android app developer used to deal with a technical product, a development cycle, and the clients. Writing the various technical documents, articles, and blog in fall in non-tech skills required from the developers in all tech niches, so it is also applicable to Android app development niche.
Writing project proposals, user guidelines, reports, analysis, and sometimes tutorials are core writing skills required for seasoned as well as the intermediate level of Android app developers.
Project Management Skills to be Android Developer
The Android developer always belongs to a team whether working as a freelancer or in an agency. It is because unlike the web development, mobile app development is not possible single-handedly and must have adequate team members with different skill sets to deal with intricacies of the project.
Therefore, Android developer must be familiar with following project management related skill sets.
Research & Analysis Skills:
Android application development requires working on the concept and brainstorming is essential to business and designing teams.
A developer must know the target audience and its requirements so Android developer must learn how to carry various surveys and research to gather essential info and data before starting as well as during the project. It needs cooperation with business team and some business analytics skills too.
Internal Communication Skills:
Android developers have to deal with various other team members and internal staff during the entire project so the developer must learn communication skills and used tools in the company or on the web to establish internal communication. Skype and similar tools provide seamless communication as well as tools for data exchange, file exchange, and video conferences to make face-to-face communication possible.
Therefore, Android developer must learn these skills and internal communication conventions to follow.
External Communication Skills:
Unlike internal communication, external or client-centric communication requires additional skills such as fluency in English or client’s language, familiarity with client’s culture and business practices in regional or local sense to provide a compatible application that is focusing on the target audience.
Clients always demand various reports during the entire development process, and reporting skill is essential to learn for the Android developer.
Surveying and Feedback Gathering Skills:
During the Android app development, the developer must carry some surveys or ask for feedback to the clients and end-users. It is common scenario when UX testing is essential like guerilla testing or in-depth UX testing.
Thus, Android developer must accustom to all surveying and feedback gathering skills to carry all in scientific ways and present in comprehensive manner/documents.
Collaborative Skills & Tools:
Collaboration in the Android development project is essential among the various stakeholders. It sometimes requires cloud-based storage or web servers to store the files and databases. The Android developer must learn how to use such tools like Dropbox and GitHub to share code and data.
GitHub is an excellent place to manage versioning issues beautifully. Thus, Android developer must have familiarity with the platform and processes.
The current post is describing various skills on programming technologies, tools, and additional skills to be an avid Android developer in the contemporary market. However, needs of skills changing with the pace of time and emergence of new technologies as well as tools for development.
Therefore, these are not final verses for the Android developers but provide insights to the beginners in comprehensive ways. If you want to know more, the Android app development team at SysBunny is ready to share knowledge and experiences willingly with you, just contact us and start a thread of conversation.