With more than 3 billion active users, Android has been the best-selling operating system since 2011. It owns about 72% of the mobile operating system (OS) market.
Source: Global Stats – StatCounter
Android development has continued to dominate the mobile app world. With several tech giants like Samsung, Sony, and Huawei creating different Android devices, now is the best time to learn Android development.
So, what is Android development and why should you learn it?
Android development is the process of creating software applications that are compatible with devices that run on the Android OS.
In this article, we will discuss what Android is, the skills and responsibilities of an Android developer, and how you can become a proficient one. Let’s dive in!
What is Android?
Android is an open-source, Linux-based operating system for smartphones and tablets. It was created by a developers group called Open Handset Alliance. Google acquired Android OS in 2005 and introduced it to the public in 2007.
Android is the mobile operating system with the largest market share worldwide. According to Global Stats data, almost 72% of smartphones in the world use Android.
Source: Global Stats – StatCounter
With this market leadership, there’s no doubt a high demand for android developers at all levels. As the Android OS continues to grow in popularity, it creates more opportunities for both entry-level and experienced developers.
People are showing interest in Android devices because of their:
- Beautiful, intuitive user interface
- Extensive compatibility options
- Cheaper prices
Android is a mobile OS, but it isn’t only limited to the development of mobile apps. The Android OS is used in several devices like tablets and televisions (Android TV).
There are different versions of Android and every one of them comes with unique features, different from all the previous versions. The most recent version of Android is the Android 12, and users can’t get enough of its excellent features.
With Android, you get a rich app framework that gives you the chance to develop innovative games and applications for devices using programming languages such as Java, Kotlin, C++, and C#.
Since the Android project is open-source, developers can access Android’s software development kit (SDK) for free. Most developers use this kit alongside Kotlin, C++, and Java programming languages to develop android applications.
Skills Needed to Learn Android
Like any other tech development job, you need to acquire certain skills before becoming proficient and job-ready as an Android developer. are skills you need to learn to become successful in that field.
Here are some of the skills you need to become successful in the field of Android development:
1. Android Programming Languages
Programming languages are the foundation of Android development. Java and Kotlin are the top preferred languages for developing Android apps. You can use either them separately or together to develop apps.
Java is an object-oriented programming language that is great for Android development. To use this programming language, you need an understanding of Java concepts like control structures, variables, loops, lists, and classes.
Java has mature libraries to support the development of large Android applications with lots of features and functionality.
Kotlin is another impressive programming language for Android app development that’s quickly becoming more popular.
Kotlin is a concise language that is simpler to use than Java. It is great for building Android apps where performance and scaling are concerned.
2. Android User Interface (UI)
Features and functionalities aren’t enough without user-friendly designs. Users want responsive and easy-to-navigate Android apps.
This means that as an Android developer, you need to be intentional about meeting the UI/UX design standards of creating Android apps. Recently, Google launched the interface standards and guidelines. They are called Material Design.
3. Android Studio and Android SDK
The Android Studio developed by Google is an open-source integrated development environment (IDE) that has all the necessary tools you need to develop, test, and debug apps for Android.
Likewise, the Android SDK — software development kit comes with the Android Studio. It is a suite of software development tools and libraries for developing Android applications.
4. Database Management Systems
As an Android developer, you will be working to manage, update, and organize databases using Structured Query Language (SQL).
Databases are essential in the development of Android apps. They contain large data volumes and privacy controls.
These databases also increase the cybersecurity level against hacking. When you learn the SQL, you can access and control your databases.
APIs (application programming interfaces) allow software apps to communicate with one another. API integration is an essential skill for Android development. APIs are useful in converting data into a functional framework for mobile.
You need to learn about APIs to ensure a smooth user experience and integration with third-party services.
6. Git for Version Control
Git is an open-source software app for version control. As an Android app developer, you need to experiment with your applications while preventing them from errors.
With Git, you can try new features, track changes to the existing applications, and restore previous versions of an Android app without stress.
Related: Check out this Treehouse Course on Git Basics.
Soft Skills for Android Developers
Technical skills are undoubtedly important when it comes to Android development, but let’s not forget about soft skills.
Recruiters and hiring managers are now laying more emphasis on soft skills.
Here are some soft skills you need to acquire as an Android developer:
- Analytical Knowledge
- Collaboration and Teamwork
- Problem-Solving and Critical-Thinking
- Attention to Details
- Thirst for Knowledge
- Mobile Marketing Knowledge
Android Developer Responsibilities
There are quite a number of responsibilities you must perform as an Android developer.
Here are some top responsibilities of an Android developer:
- Designing and Developing Android Applications
- Working with APIs and external data sources
- Improve the Developed Apps
- Collaborating with other developers and unit members
- Analyzing and organizing databases
- Tracking and troubleshooting bugs in new and existing apps
- Conducting unit testing
- Implementing the latest technologies to enhance software performance.
How to Become an Android Developer
A report from Statista estimated that more than 133 million people in the US use Android smartphones.
This reinforces the fact that there’ll be a consistent rise in the need for Android app developers. By learning Android development, you’ll be open to various career opportunities.
So, how do you learn Android development? Here are the steps to follow if you want to become an Android Developer.
Step One: Take a Course on Android Development
The first step toward becoming an Android developer is to get educated — whether that’s applying for a college degree or coding bootcamps.
At Treehouse, we have curated curriculums of courses to teach you the skills you need to become an Android developer.
These are in the form of Treehouse Tracks and Courses to help you learn both the hard and soft skills you need to build your dream career in Android development.
Here are some resources at Treehouse to help you start:
Step Two: Build Your Portfolio
After learning all the required skills to be an Android developer, it’s important to practice these skills by actively developing Android apps.
This is a part of our course offerings at Treehouse. We will help you build a job-ready portfolio that contains real-world projects in your field.
More so, we provide opportunities for practice, upskilling, and networking through:
- Coding Assessments
- Interactive Quizzes
- Live coaching support sessions
- Community collaborations.
Step Three: Apply to Jobs
After creating real-life projects that impress recruiters, the next thing to do is apply to jobs. There are several job postings asking for android developers on job posting sites.
Here are four things to do to land a job:
- Build a simple and clear resume
- Pitch your portfolio while applying to jobs
- Prepare yourself for the job interviews
- Stay on top of industry trends.
Android Developer Salaries
Depending on the location and development skills, Android developers’ salaries vary. However, according to ZipRecruiter, the average Android developer’s salary is approximately $114,000 yearly.
The chart above shows that the demand for Android developers has reduced the rate of unemployment over the years.
Get Started with Treehouse
Android development is a lucrative career path right now and will be for quite a while. Several businesses now rely on Android apps for better marketing.
We hope this guide has shown you what Android development entails. With an effective course curriculum, enough training, and practice, you can become a proficient Android developer.
Looking to get started with Android development? Get started with the Treehouse Android Development Library today.