Developing The Developer Community
We spend a lot of time developing technology but how often do we take a moment to consider how we develop ourselves? With thorough resources being made available constantly and the majority being free, it is becoming increasingly easy to learn and develop new skills.
For myself and many others, it all started with picking up a device and thinking something akin to “I wish this could do X” followed by a quick search online. For the most part, these will have culminated shortly after with a trip to XDA or a similar site where a method will have been found and implemented. This feeling of elation and triumph only lasts a short while, as following a simple 10 step guide to rooting a phone is one thing, understanding the process and moving on to bigger and greater things is the next. Which is why today we’ll look at some of the best places to learn new skills.
If you are reading this then I assume you use our forums as well. Whilst there are millions of threads (2,610,617 at the time of writing) for discussing devices and apps, there is one place in particular on XDA that is focussed on developing the community. If you haven’t taken a look so far, it is certainly worth a look at the XDA-University forum for guides and tutorials on numerous topics.
- XML 101 – XML Modding Made Easy! – Ticklefish
- How to get & read a logcat/ Troubleshoot your own issues! – Stryke_the_Orc
- How to Port OEM Apps / Vendor Apps to Your Current ROM – Rizal Lovins
- Translate/Add Language To Custom Roms – MuSaddiq
That is by no means the only place you can find excellent guides, the site is a hive of valuable educational information. The vast majority of the guides have received years of updates and feedback in order to keep them relevant. Even XDA TV features “how to” guides on occasion. We are now one of the “Go To” places to learn about Android development and it is all thanks to you the developers.
- How To Make An Android App – Nachiket.Namjoshi
- Compile your own android kernel from source – Eliminator79
- Theming for CM12 Theme Engine – nicholaschum
- Android ROM development – neroyoung
Understandably many of us prefer keeping as close to stock Android as possible (I’m looking at the Nexus users here) and with that in mind, couldn’t the same be said for your training? Android Developers offer training and best practice advice for developers through in-depth and clear text-based guides. If you want to get started developing or just want to catch up on the latest updates, there are few places better to get started. Covering a range of topics under the categories of Design, Develop and Distribute. If you want to monetize your app or release for a format such as Android Auto or Wear, it is definitely worth a look.
- Building Apps For Wearables – Build notifications that are automatically synced to wearables
- Material Design – a comprehensive guide for visual, motion, and interaction design
- Best Practices for Security & Privacy – Keep your app’s data secure
- Optimizing Battery Life – Limit the impact on the battery life of a host device
For those of you wanting a more visual or even verified guide, many organizations are now offering online courses. The course materials are usually free to view, however for a price you can have you work graded and receive a certificate at the end. Last year, Google partnered with Udacity to bring a series of short Android and Web development courses, they recommend between 6 and 10 weeks to complete the courses depending on the subject and are all free. However, they offer no qualification like many of the other courses on the site. We could in the future see Udacity’s signature Nano-Degrees series offer an Android Development option to join the others available such as: Front-End Web Deverloper, Data Analyst, IOS Developer, Full Stack Web Developer and Introduction To Programming. Unlike many websites offering courses, Udacity also offers a variety of tools to aid in a search for a career in your desired field.
- UX Design for Mobile Developers – Learn to Design a 5-Star Android App
- Android Performance – Optimizing Apps for Speed and Usability
- Developing Android Apps – Android Fundamentals
- Mobile Web Development – Building Mobile Web Experiences
If you are looking to develop your skills in an area and receive a certificate from a world-wide recognized institution then edX may well be the way forward. Harvard and MIT are just a few of the organizations offering certificate verified courses. Again the courses are usually free to take part in but if you’d like the certificate it will cost you $90. The site also offers courses in a variety of languages for those who would prefer to learn in their first language. Much like Udacity’s Nano-Degrees, for those who want to go further in a field than a simple short course offers, you can with the X-Series such as “Computer Science” from MIT. The CS X-series involves taking no less than seven courses including courses in Python and Java. These can each betaken at your own leisure and culminate in a total cost of $425.
- CS50: Computer Science – Harvard
- Building Mobile Experiences – MIT
- Android: Introducción a la Programación – Universitat Politècnica de València
- HTML 5 – World Wide Web Consortium
As always, your requirements should help you decide where you should go first, don’t expect much in the way of ROM modding advice from Android Developers or a Google verified course. It is imperative to remember that we will never know everything, but taking the time to learn a new skill occasionally can go a long way towards keeping you up to date with all the latest developments and improving on the older subjects.
Have you learned or renewed a skill recently, where did you find the subject material? Leave a comment below!
All credit for the featured image goes to edisile