As the most popular operating system in the world, the demand for Android apps and skilled Android Developers has increased. Here is a list of Skills you should brush up on if you want to be a Developer on the Android Platform
As the most popular operating system in the world, Android boasts a 2.8 billion strong active user base, covering over 190 countries. An open-source alternative, created to offer higher customizations than the iOS and Palm OS, Android quickly became the favorite OS of mobile manufacturers from early 2012. Industry titans such as Samsung, LG, Motorola, and HTC swiftly adopted Android as their OS of choice, thus hitting 1 billion users by 2014.
By early 2020, 2.87 million apps were available on the Google Play Store. This number has now grown to 5 million in 2021. The number of users has increased, and so has the demand for Android apps and skilled Android Developers. Moreover, Android Developers also find the role quite lucrative for the following reasons:
- Open-source technology
- A commanding market share
- Ease of market entry
- Numerous job opportunities
- Freedom to work remotely
- Android development is easy to learn through a multitude of affordable online courses
Here are the five essential proficiencies an Android developer must possess to fulfill the expectations of the said role:
1. Extensive knowledge of Java and Kotlin: Both of these languages are the backbone of Android development. Google has already announced Kotlin as its language of choice when it comes to programming. Java and Kotlin are quite similar and these factors must be considered while picking up knowledge of both:
a. Familiarity with the latest version (more than 54% of the systems use Java 8)
b. Thorough understanding of the syntax
c. Familiarity with the latest structures of programming (for eg, the allocation of precious memory resources)
Codes need to be precise and execute functions in the most efficient manner possible. Java codes are also used to modify the layout of the UI after the app has been launched, making it even more critical to have a thorough understanding of the language.
2. Expertise with XML: XML enables the encoding of data in internet-based applications. Most features of XML overlap with HTML that is a structured language. XML facilitates the quick exchange of information between devices in a manner that makes it easy to interpret and understand. It is also used to create the framework of the User Interface (UI) that the app sports.
3. Keen sense of UX/UI needs: Most of the app users today prefer an intuitive UX/UI which makes the app more engaging and responsive. A study observed that the majority of the users judge the app based on the first impression it creates, thus making UX/UI one of the most critical aspects of Android app development.
4. Comfort with Android SDK: SDK or Software Development Kit is a set of pre-written codes that execute a specific task efficiently. Android SDK codes are written in Java and provide developers with access to device hardware such as the camera and accelerometer.SDK codes add functionality to an Android app and piecing them together in various ways takes a significant level of understanding about the working of the code.
One of the most vital components of SDK is a library called ‘Gradle’ that integrates apps. This ensures that the code remains well-organized and structured when the app is finally compiled.
5. Integrated Development Environment (IDE): The most preferred IDE for Android developers is called Android Studio. It offers a wide array of creatively designed SDK-support features which developers need as well as expect from an IDE. It also makes auto-complete suggestions as one types the code. Enhanced tools such as monitoring of memory and CPU usage are some more useful features that come in handy while writing a code. The requisite know-how about Android Studio is recommended for beginners as well as expert developers.
Expertise in the above-mentioned skills forms a great arsenal for a developer. However, execution is driven by creative ideas that must stem from the needs of the user.