Monday 2 September 2013

Learning Java for Android

I really enjoy writing tutorials on Android development, particularly where the aim is to provide a foundation for future learning and where the reader may have little or no previous programming experience. I love programming and believe anyone can learn to do it - the opportunity to ignite the same excitement in other people makes it a real privilege.

I've been thinking recently about writing an eBook on Android development, perhaps on learning Java for Android application development. There seem to be one or two on the eBook market already covering the topic, but they either don't focus specifically on it or go into a lot more detail than I think is really necessary to get someone started using Java to create Android apps.

To get started in Android development with no prior Java experience, there are a few key concepts and techniques to learn, but you should be able to create your first Android app fairly quickly. For this reason, I'm thinking I might publish a small-ish eBook (probably for Kindle) on getting to grips with the essential features of Java necessary for creating initial Android apps.

The eBook would probably not cover advanced Java programming topics, focusing instead on learning what's necessary to get a good start on the Android platform. I would also try to restrict the content to what you need to get started creating basic apps, steering away from the more professional aspects, hopefully making it more accessible/ less intimidating and obviously a little lower in cost than most of the existing titles.

Topics would include the basics of object oriented development, expanding on what I covered in this post: Object Oriented Concepts for Android Development in Java. I would also cover the main Java classes Android beginners are likely to use on the platform, as well as essential features of the language such as control structures and data storage. Ideally the eBook would make Android development accessible to people with no Java experience at all, and hopefully even to people who don't have any background in programming or development.

Although there is of course more to Android development than Java programming, the other technologies used on the platform (XML, SQL etc) involve a lot less complexity and are therefore easier to pick up. Java is best learnt with a conceptual approach, which can benefit from textual explanation more than some other programming topics.

It seems that the resources dedicated to getting people started in Android development focus exclusively on the Java syntax and structures necessary to create apps rather than on the conceptual side of things. Learning these features of Java can have an enormous impact on your ability to build apps efficiently and have a rewarding experience while you're at it. Learning only the parts of a language that are necessary is also a recipe for poorly built applications as well as a frustrating development process.

If anyone who reads or comes this blog has any input in terms of what they feel would be a useful topic for an eBook, topic to cover in an eBook or even in a blog post on Android development, please do feel free to leave comments. Any feedback is appreciated.

1 comment:

  1. This is exactly where I'm at. I'd like to know more of the concepts of oop. I get frustrated with examples because I dont know the fundamentals.