I am a Google Fanboy

Thats exactly how his first blog starts and I absolutely had to interview him.A gamer at heart this young chap leaped further just to understand how his favorite games are made.His journey itself has been nothing short of a Game with different levels.Each level just got more exciting and interesting

In conversation with Cyril Pillai – Android Developer at m.Paani.

 Roadrash & CounterStrike Days – Level One

I was exposed to computers for the first time when I was in school.
I would eagerly wait for the ‘INFOTECH’ subject that we would have once every week.
All I knew at that point of time, was to open up paint and draw the best piece of art in the world using the cursor.
After a few months of creating masterpieces and then closing the window without saving them, I levelled up and was introduced to games. ‘ROADRASH’ was one of the first computer games I got addicted to.
I got my first ever desktop when I got into Junior College (I took Computer Science as a vocational subject only with the motive to play more games).
I was probably the happiest person on earth when I saw a computer at my house. As expected, I played a lot of games during the initial days (GTA, Prince of Persia, Counter Strike, Midtown Madness). But then I also started tinkering with the machine, adding and fiddling around with other softwares, formatting the machine & installing newer versions of Windows etc. I realized that Software Developers are the reason I am able to use these amazing softwares and these guys have eased a lot of people’s lives by writing code. I decided at that moment, that I would also create softwares that others could benefit from.

Associate Android Developer Certification by Google – Level Two

It is a great initiative by Google. India is an emerging market and we definitely have a lot of talent and Google surely acknowledges this.
Google has been focusing a lot on India recently.
The Next Billion initiative & the Google Station project to get the Indian masses online, the Android Go Project & the Android One Project to provide smartphones with optimized performance to low income consumers and various developer skills programs like Google Developer Certifications, Developer Student Clubs, Google Code In, Solve For India, etc. to train students/developers for the tech market proves that Google has a lot of plans for India.
As an Android Developer, the Associate Android Developer Certification is a good way to validate yourself and get certified from Google itself.
It is a certification targeted at intermediate level devs who have around an year of experience developing android apps and that is the reason most of the experienced android devs don’t find the certification exciting or worth signing up. But according to me, it doesn’t hurt to have it in your Résumé. Also, experienced devs can clear it easily and thus I think they should do it even if they think it won’t benefit them professionally. I had more than 2 years of experience when I took the certification, I was working full time at a startup, I knew this certification wouldn’t make a difference but I gave it a shot. And I am glad I did, as I have gained much more from it than I could imagine.
Also for the experienced devs, Google is planning to launch an expert level certification for Android Devs soon, so keep an eye on it.

Associate Android Developer Certification – One of the first alumni of the program – Level Three

I am among the first batch of developers that did the certification. I am the 273rd person who got certified globally. I don’t think it’s a number to brag about but when you think about it from a macro level it is kind of a big deal.
I have gained a lot from it.

Recipient for the google India Challenge scholarship- Level Four

As I mentioned earlier, Google has been aggressively working towards creating skilled developers in India. Google in collaboration with Udacity recently launched a Developer Scholarship program for Indians. The scholarship is for aspiring Web Developers and Android Developers.
I got to know about the scholarship when it was launched and I signed up for the Intermediate level Android Developer Track, as that was the most advanced track available.
A lot of people applied for the Intermediate track and 5000 people got selected. I am glad I made it to the Phase 1 of the program.
 I knew that there won’t be a lot I would learn when it comes to intricacies of Android Development,
but I signed up with a positive mindset to learn as much as I can and help others who got selected for the program. The program has a good bunch of students and professionals and everyone is trying to help each other out in whatever capacity possible. I haven’t been able to finish the tutorials/tasks because of my work schedule, but I am planning to complete them as soon as possible and then dedicate the remaining time to help others in the forum & Slack channels.

Google IO

Google I/O 17 was a dream come true. I had been watching I/O’s livestream on YouTube for 2 years, closely following the keynote and the other tech that interested me (mostly Android). I always wished that someday I would visit Mountain View and see Googleplex, attending Google I/O was
also one of the wild thoughts I held onto for a long time. I knew this wouldn’t happen anytime soon (if it would happen at all). When the Googlers from the certification team visited my place, I was as happy as I could be but when they invited me to Google I/O with an all expenses paid trip, for a moment I couldn’t process what was happening. The conference was amazing and it was surely a life time experience for me.
I got to meet a lot of developers from around the globe and got a chance to interact with a whole bunch of Googlers and meet Android developers that I admired, I also got to see Sundar Pichai in real life :). I learnt a lot in those 3 days and I hope I’ll attend many more I/Os in the future.

Trends in app development for 2018

  • Well, ‘KOTLIN’ is currently the biggest trend in the Android land. And rightly so, as I have been using it for a while now and it deserves all the hype, coverage, advocacy, praise, etc. it gets as it is a fresh breath of air for us Android Developers and personally I have fallen in love with the language.
  •  Architecture Components introduced by Google. Since the time I got into Android Development, I have realised that Google is pretty serious about Android and they constantly work towards enhancing the ecosystem which speaks volumes about the company’s dedication for the platform and is reassuring for all of the app developers like us.
  • Architecting your app (MVP, MVVM, MVC, Clean, VIPER)
  • Monolithic vs multi modules app structure, Reactive Programming, Functional Programming .We also need to keep an eye on the design world as well because most of the Android Devs at startups
  • Work closely with the Product team and have a major say when it comes to design decisions.

Top causes for app abandonment

For me, ‘Procrastination’ is the biggest cause of app abandonment. I have abandoned a lot of side projects and I really hate myself for that.

 Tools you use for app testing ?

Like most of the developers, I didn’t care about tests when I first started writing apps. But over time, I have realized the importance of testing and the reason why a lot of experienced devs keep on stressing so much about Testing. I don’t use anything fancy for testing my apps.
I use JUnit and Mockito for my unit tests & Espresso for Instrumented tests and run them on my local machine. I had tinkered with BuddyBuild in the past to automate my build process & deployments, but never got past the staging environment due to laziness . I have been recently experimenting withBitRise to automate the build process, also planning to integrate it with Firebase Test Labs to run the UI tests on a variety of physical devices. Appachhi platform is also  very promising and is trying to solve a major problem that developers face of maintaining the quality of their apps by making it as robust and bug free as possible. AI driven testing is what intrigued me and I would be checking out the platform soon.