Android is an open-source operating system, based on the Linux kernel and used in mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, etc. Further, it was developed for smartwatches and Android TV. Each of them has a specialized interface. Android has been one of the best-selling OS for smartphones. Android OS was developed by Android Inc. which Google bought in 2005. Various applications like games, music player, camera, etc. are built for these smartphones for running on Android. Google Play Store features quite 3.3 million apps. Today, Android remains dominant on a global scale. Approximately 75% of the world population prefers using Android as against 15% of iOS. It is an operating system that has a huge market for apps.
Basic qualifications you need
1. Earn a relevant degree
A bachelor’s degree in a relevant field like computer engineering, information technology, or computer science can give you an advantage in your career as an Android developer. These undergraduate programs can help you learn the basics of computers, computer applications and software functionality. They can also help you build skills in C, C++, Java, HTML, MySQL, PHP and other programming languages.
2. Build your technical skills
Here is a list of the top technical skills to become an Android developer:
Java: Java is one of the two major Android development languages and understanding the basics of Java programming can help you build a career as an Android developer. Besides learning Java syntax and form, familiarize yourself with inheritance, class, static methods, variables, lists, loops and other fundamentals of object-oriented programming.
Kotlin: Besides Java, Kotlin is the other programming language fundamental for Android development and can offer many advantages. Mastering Kotlin can help you build modern apps that provide enhanced features and better performance.
Structured Query Language (SQL): As Android apps store and retrieve data, employers typically prefer Android developers with SQL expertise. Understanding the basics of SQL can help you organise databases within Android apps and improve your chances of employment.
Extensible Markup Language (XML): XML is used to view web data and it plays a crucial role in Android app development. Understanding XML basics can help developers transfer data from apps to web services and vice versa.
Git: Learning Git is a valuable skill as it can help in increasing employment opportunities. Understanding the fundamentals of Git programming can enable you to build and utilise repositories and learn how to provide updates for your Android app.
Android development requires a Windows PC, Mac or Linux computer and an Android device that you can use for testing your applications. Alternatively, you can also run your applications on online emulators. So, before you begin your career as an Android developer, it can be beneficial to invest in these devices as it can help you gain first-hand experience in the development process.
3. Hone your soft skills
Android developers often work as part of a team with engineers, UI designers, testers and other developers who are part of the app development infrastructure. Having the below listed soft skills can help you become a team player, thereby improving your employability chances:
Time management and organizational skills: As an Android developer, you may work on multiple projects with varying deadlines simultaneously. Time management and organizational skills can help you keep track of activities and complete tasks as per project schedules.
Communication skills: As you may work within a team, skills like clear verbal and written communication, listening and diplomacy can help resolve workplace conflicts smoothly. You may communicate with your team members and other employees using various communication channels like instant messaging, email, video calling apps and face-to-face meetings.
Continuous learning: Staying aware of the latest Android trends, updates and changes can help you keep on improving your technical expertise. You can follow relevant social media pages, news apps and developer portals to keep yourself updated with the latest changes in the Android ecosystem.
Perseverance: Android app development can be challenging and you may come across hurdles as you work on projects. The ability to persevere and learn from your mistakes can help you advance in your career.
Collaboration: Android app development is generally a team activity, and you are likely to interact with designers, testers, marketers and upper management employees as part of your role. Collaborating with other employees, being a team player and accepting constructive feedback on your work can make you an asset to the workplace, thereby accelerating career growth.
4. Familiarize yourself with the Android software development kit and Android studio
Android Studio is the official integrated development environment (IDE) to build Android apps. Developers use it to write code and assemble apps using the various in-built libraries and packages. The Android software development kit (SDK) contains software libraries, sample code, easy coding tools to help developers build, test and debug Android apps. One of the advantages of becoming an Android developer is that the required tools, like the Android SDK and Android Studio, are free and readily available for download.
To gain mastery in Android app development, you can become proficient in the following areas in Android SDK:
Methods of obtaining information from the internet
Data input through users
Views, view groups and layout fundamentals
Data storage and retrieval
Adapting apps for devices of various sizes
Popular third-party tools integration
5. Build and showcase your Android portfolio
Once you are comfortable with the Android packages, you can practice your programming skills by designing and publishing an app. You can develop an app and then submit it on various app stores by registering as a publisher. If your app meets all app store guidelines, it will become available for public downloads. Having a published app can help in strengthening your portfolio and increase your chances of getting a job as an Android developer.
6. Consider a certification
You can also consider a certification to gain recognition and showcase your skills as an Android developer to prospective employers. These certifications have an exam and help to test your Android development skills. Some of the popular Android certifications include:
Google associate Android developer – Kotlin
Google associate Android developer – Java
7. Apply for an entry-level position
To begin your career as an Android developer, you can apply for an entry-level position or take up freelancing projects for clients. Having a well-written resume along with a carefully prepared cover letter can increase your chances of employment. You may also improve your chances of getting a job by going through the various popular Android interview questions. Showcasing your previous apps online can also build an impressive portfolio that can help to differentiate yourself from other applicants.
Salary Of An Android Developer
The national average salary of an Android developer is ₹25,257 per month. Android developers may work in different positions in various organizations, and they can be part of an in-house development team or work as independent contractors or freelancers. The salary of an Android developer may vary based on their experience, skill levels, location and hiring organization.
How Many Hours Do Android Developers Work In A Week?
Generally, Android developers work an average of 40 hours per week. Some companies require developers to come to the office, whereas others may offer flexible work opportunities, like work from home. Developers often work extra hours, around 60 hours per week, during app launches or other deadlines. Also, they may be required to work extra hours on weekdays and weekends if there are any significant issues with the app, like a crash or data breach.
Reasons To Consider A Career In Android App Development
Here are the reasons you why may consider starting a career in Android app development:
Massive demand for Android apps: Android and iOS are the two major smartphone platforms, and Android accounts for an enormous portion of the total mobile operating systems market. With more and more smartphone users relying on Android apps, there is a massive demand for skilled developers to build new user-friendly apps and improve existing apps’ performance.
Open-source: As Android is an open-source platform, you can use a wide range of royalty-free and license-free tools and frameworks as per your needs. Getting started as an Android developer is inexpensive, as you can use any of these free tools for individual use.
Community support: Another huge advantage is Android developers have access to a massive online community via forums, online support groups and social media. You can interact with other developers and learn from them.
Easy learning curve: Android app development is easy, especially for software engineers with knowledge of Java. You can also build your skills via online tutorials, courses and other training materials.
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate’s experience, academic background and location.