Career Advice from a twenty year old – A roadmap to App development .
Advice from a twenty year old ,that too career…well why not.I have done many interviews of people who have started their companies,have loads of work experience and done tonnes to inspire us. They have inspired a lot of millennials to take career decisions and much more.
So this time I wanted to hear it directly from the horses mouth, This is a tete-tete with a twenty year old with two months of work experience,his journey so far and his road map to his first job in App development. In conversation with Bapusaheb Patil about his journey to the beginning.
How to start off :
I really got into the development side in my 1st semester of Engineering, when I found out that Udacity was teaching Android with the help of Google.I did the free courses first.
How was the Udacity experience?
I remember starting off really well with the beginner courses and finding them really interesting, but midway during the intermediate course, I felt this was getting impossible and I should probably discontinue Android. Little did I know that obstacles in Android development (or anything else for that matter) are a part of the journey, and that it was okay to be stuck on something for days on end. Believe it or not, I almost gave up when I was learning the RecyclerView in Android. But I persisted, because I knew that I wasn’t really interested in anything else apart from this. I wasn’t someone who was into AI, web development, or anything else, for that matter.
I loved mobile tech, leaned towards Android, because of customization and the fact that it was being lead by Google. It just seemed cool to me. And so I finished the advanced courses too by 4th sem, and had worked on some really cool stuff; I had built a few apps and live wallpapers. Every time I finished building an app, or even just a feature, I would become more and more sure that this was what I wanted to do for a living later on.
What I was learning from Udacity was sure to help me get to where I wanted to be, a few years down the road. At that point, I cared about very specific things in my life, and was leaned towards spending my time on them the most.
And so, after going through the ordeal of final exams in my college in 4th semester, I decided to enroll in the Android Developer Nanodegree from Udacity and apply for internships soon after it got over. I started that in July 2017.
The Nanodegree experience:Not so nano
The whole Nanodegree experience was nothing short of amazing, it really helped me become a better Android developer. The projects that I was given to work on there, were so perfectly designed that I not only learnt some core concepts of Android well, but also got some good feedback from the project reviews. I had a great mentor there, Rohan Taneja, who helped me from time to time, when I was stuck on something. Every project that I completed, submitted and got accepted gave me more confidence in my field. It was challenging but so worth it. I finally published 3 apps on the Play Store in October, and that has made a lot of difference to my career. I remember days in my 5th semester when I was completely zoned out in college, or was sketching out app screens on a piece of paper in class, or just bunking classes to go home and resume my Nanodegree. Even before I finished my Nanodegree, I applied for a bunch of internships in the months of October and November; I thought I’d just apply for the sake of it. But to my surprise, I was able to secure 9 internships, without having fully completed my Nanodegree yet; I had underestimated myself. I finally picked a good one and decided to work hard on it. I graduated from my Nanodegree in January of 2018. 1 week later, I took my Google Associate Android Developer (AAD)Exam, because it felt like the next step.
Google Associate Android Developer (AAD)Exam
The Google Associate Android Developer certification has changed my career. Getting Google-certified at 20, I feel like that gives me a lot of room to explore and do more things without having to self-doubt my talent. Apart from giving me confidence, it also made sure that I would not have shortage of internship opportunities, since I’m still in my 3rd year of CS engineering and want to do internships and get work experience in Android while also writing cool Android apps on the side.
The exam was for 24 hours, and I started off with the assumption that the exam would be really hard. And initially it was hard, but I was determined to get certified, because it was my goal since quite some time. I encountered a few obstacles along the way, but managed to work around those issues with the help of Google and StackOverflow. I finished the exam in 7 hours.
Things to do if you want to be an android developer in India
1. Future Proofing:
India is an amazing place to work, for Android developers. Lots of opportunities. I would recommend future-proofing yourself, and learning the cutting edge stuff in Android as soon as you can, because those are the things that’ll set you apart from the crowd. One great example is Kotlin. Anyone who’s just getting started in Android, also do look into Kotlin and why you should learn and use it in your apps as soon as you possibly can
2. Kotlin is in Vogue:
So, we’re in 2018, and Java seems to be the present, but you can be assured that Kotlin is the future, and not the distant future either. I’m pretty sure there are gonna be more number of Android developers writing apps in Kotlin than Java by the end of this year. I’ve built a few apps in Kotlin and I must say, it was a real joy to write them in Kotlin. Developer satisfaction with Kotlin seems to be pretty high in the Android community. My code became much shorter, much easier to read, and hence I got things done sooner. I think every Android developer should definitely learn Kotlin this year.
3. Get yourself Updated:
Stay updated on what’s new in Android via many streams. YouTube subscriptions to Android Developers channel would be the highlight though. Apart from that, I stay updated with my Twitter, Medium, GitHub feeds, which are all usually full of Android stuff by different developers. For those who are looking for some good resources, I would highly recommend the courses on Udacity (especially the Firebase ones). Android Arsenal, AndroidPub, Vogella, FutureStudio andTalking Kotlin are also some resources I find helpful.
What about the Testing Space?
I feel there is very little awareness about app testing tools in India. Developers still manually test their apps. I myself used to do this. So I think more awareness needs to created around such app-testing tools in India.
I now use AppAcchi & Firebase Test Labs, both of them serve different purposes for my app testing. I do write tests with Espresso and Mockito in my apps and test smaller parts of my apps locally.
AppAcchi for testing my apps has been great. The first app that I gave for testing was SilverScreener, my movie app, and it took only about 30 minutes. I was really blown away by the results, I didn’t expect them to be so detailed. I could see actionable items on my dashboard, things that I could do to improve the performance of my app, and avoid crashes. I also got a rating for my app, and I plan on improving on that. I have never seen any testing platform as detailed as AppAcchi.
What are you doing currently?
I’m now working as a Product Engineer for Health Graph India, which is a digital healthcare start-up that focuses on creating a paperless healthcare system in India, and I am making a product for them that helps doctors and patients interact with each other via the app and integrates well with hospitals and clinics. We currently have a lot of users and we hope to get more users when we launch the app that we’re working on.
I plan on being an Android developer for a few more years, although I am planning to also learn iOS development, since that seems really interesting to me as well. I’m also into UX design and I love building apps that have a great balance of minimal elegant design and great functionality.
My name is Palme Biju. I am a marketing person at heart who also has a journalism background. Having worked for 4 - 5 years in an industry that creates Mobile Apps, CRM platforms ,ERP solutions, web designs etc I wanted to combine all that together.
I am using this space to talk about start up companies that have made it big now, promoting entrepreneurs and their values. Technical methods used to deliver end products by various companies. I am reviewing a mobile applications here too.
PS:Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you like to get published .