- What Programming Languages Are Used to Develop Android Applications?
- Android Programming in a Nutshell – Tools
- How Much Money Can I Make as an Android Developer?
- How Can I Learn Android Programming?
- How Long Does It Take to Learn Android Programming?
- Is Android Programming a Good Fit For Me?
- Learn to code and change your career!
Android software development and Android programming are terms that mean creating applications that run on devices with the Android operating system. In this article, we will look at the languages and tools needed for Android programming, and we’ll mention the current trends and means of learning it.
What Programming Languages Are Used to Develop Android Applications?
Usually, two languages are used to develop apps for Android—Java and Kotlin.
Java is one of the most popular and widely used languages with an enormous codebase, many accessible learning materials, and experienced programmers.
There are tutorials and sample solutions for many problems in Android programming.
Kotlin is a newer language, 16 years younger than Java. It has many advantages. For example, we can do the same thing in fewer lines of code, so there are fewer chances of making errors. However, it means there are fewer learning materials, forums, information, and it is harder to find real experts and developers with a lot of experience.
Right now, most Android applications run in Java, and parts of the Android operating system were even written in Java, the rest being written in C++. With time, this emphasis on Java may shift because Google started supporting Kotlin.
Reading the forums and blog posts about the topic, we can see that even though Kotlin is a popular language and will be important in the future of Android programming, Java is still crucial to learn if we want to create Android apps.
In this blog post, the author collects forum comments and other opinions about Java vs. Kotlin.
They emphasize that beginners who just started getting to know the basics of programming should use Java and try Kotlin later since that is fully compatible with the JVM (Java Virtual Machine) that runs Java.
Java is a better choice to learn the basic operations and structures of programming, say the comments in the article. Another argument for Java is that the number of open positions and job offers is many times greater than with Kotlin, as Java is used in other areas and not just Android development.
Android Programming in a Nutshell – Tools
Android Developers, the developer website of Android, is a good place to start since we can find a summary of Android’s programming processes and development tools there.
On the website, we can find an in-depth description of the operating system and its different versions.
If you are an experienced developer, looking through the documentation will probably answer most of your questions. If you are a beginner, you need to learn other things to make sense of all the concepts and procedures.
Android SDK and Android Studio
Google uses many of its own tools and libraries to help the work of developers, and these are all collected in the Android Software Development Toolkit (SDK). The modules in it contain different tools (Build-Tools, Platform-Tools, Debug-Tool, Emulator etc.). With the emulator, we can test how an app works and gets displayed on Android devices (cell phones, tablets etc.).
Google released its own Integrated Development Environment. (IDE) for this called Android Studio. There are many special tools built-in to Android Studio besides an editor. You can find more information about it in the User Guide.
How Much Money Can I Make as an Android Developer?
As an Android developer, you’ll earn more as a beginner than in the more saturated, general IT areas (e.g., front-end developers).
If you know Kotlin or software development with Java, you can get a gross salary of $99.000 (Credit: PayScale). If you already have finished projects you can present, or have a significant internship experience, you might even go over $100.000.
In the IT sector, you can become a senior developer relatively quickly—of course, you need to spend 3 to 5 years working, learning and self-developing, challenging yourself along the way. After gaining this much experience, you can get a gross salary of $110.000 – $125.000 working for firms.
If you would like to take on more responsibility and have at least 5 years of relevant professional experience, you can even reach a dream salary. As an expert Android developer, you can get a gross salary of approximately $140.000.
All in all, Android development is an interesting, well-paying, and sought-after skill, so if you want to get to know the world of applications, it will be well worth it to familiarize yourself with this area.
How Can I Learn Android Programming?
If you want to learn Android development, you have to master a programming language (Java or Kotlin), the use of a toolkit (Android SDK), and learning the steps of design-implementation-testing.
You can learn all these individually, with the help of books and other materials, or learn them in courses. In this article, we will focus on Hungarian learning materials, but there are countless English tutorials, online courses, and textbooks available as well.
Individual Learning With the Help of Programming Videos
If you would like to watch Hungarian videos, you should look around on YouTube, but there is also an exciting course at WebUni.
- YouTube tutorials from the basics:
- MIT App Inventor Tutorial – The video series of MIT University show the basics of app development using App Inventor’s graphic interface.
- Android Development for Beginners – Full Course – This video series starts with learning the development environment and toolkit, then we get to know the basics of programming—application development is in focus.
- Android Studio for Beginners – Basics concepts, functions, and Android Studio’s usage and features.
Android Programming Books
- Barry Burd: Java Programming for Android Developers – For Dummies, 2016
- Bill Phillips: Android Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide – Big Nerd Ranch Guides, 2017
- Dawn Griffiths, David Griffiths: Head First Android Development 2e: A Brain-Friendly Guide – O’Reilly, 2017
Android Programming Courses
There are many Android development courses online and offline if you don’t want to learn individually but with a team and a tutor.
Google published a free English programming course that makes you a real mobile app developer in about 2 months. This course teaches you Kotlin and the mindset needed for mobile app development. Here is the website of the course: Developing Android Apps with Kotlin
How Long Does It Take to Learn Android Programming?
Of course, just like with any other programming skill—or any other skill in general, how long it takes to learn Android programming depends on how many hours you put into it, what skills you already have, your motivation, learning methods, and your previous knowledge.
How long it takes to learn a language, technology, etc., is a frequently asked question, but it cannot be answered objectively when you consider the factors above. How long you practice, how much real, deep, and usable knowledge you can acquire is what matters. The first thing we need to know is our own learning style and the methods that are effective for us.
If you would still like to get an approximation of how much time you need to put into learning Android programming, and you start researching the topic, you will find the following information:
- About 3 to 6 months if you have previous programming knowledge, know one of the languages used for Android development, and therefore only need to learn the Android toolkit and its specialties. (Of course, it can take more or less time than this, even with previous knowledge.) Taking this time can result in us being able to create complex apps.
- If you have prior knowledge, you can learn to create simple apps within a month.
- Those who have never programmed before and have to start from the basics must first learn Java or Kotlin. This can take up to 3-6 months before we can begin programming for Android.
- Those who choose courses instead of individual learning will find that in Hungary, these require you to have previous programming knowledge. They build on that to teach you the most important things about application development in 40 hours, within a month.
In summary, we can say that you can learn Android development within a year from the beginner level. The complexity of applications you can create will depend on the time and effort you put into mastering these skills.
Is Android Programming a Good Fit For Me?
In order to decide if it is worth it for you to start learning Android programming, you have to consider if it is in line with your long-term goals.
If you want to develop an app, you need to plan ahead so that your application has the best chance to become a successful, sought-after product.
If you already have programming experience or you know Java, we recommend getting to know the world of Android since the trend shows mobile devices becoming more and more popular. We use more systems every day, so the market for Android programming is ever-expanding.
Today, Android appears in many areas, from car navigation to helping disabled people with automatic captioning and reading systems, so many new directions await programmers.
If you want to learn even more, we recommend an article about the current trends of Android application development, that discusses machine learning, AI development, chatbots and other exciting opportunities.
We can say that learning Android programming is a good choice both for beginners and for experienced programmers if it aligns with their personal interests and goals since Android development is a sought-after skill in the labor market.
In this article, we discussed the most frequently asked questions about Android programming, the methods of learning Android development and the timeframe of learning it. We hope you found this article useful, and you can find even more answers to your programming questions on our blog.
In CodeBerry Programming School’s “Beginner’s Guide” series, we’ll be answering questions you may have regarding what programming language to choose, how much money you’ll be making, what you can do as a web programmer, and where to start.
- A Brief Introduction to Web Development
- Beginner’s Guide to Java Programming Language
- Beginner’s Guide to Python Programming Language
- Beginner’s Guide to C++
- Beginner’s Guide to PHP
- Beginner’s Guide to C#
- Basics of Android Programming – Java or Kotlin?