So you want to get started programming Android, eh? Welcome to the party then! Android is a great place to start your mobile development carrier simply because of how open the platform is and how easy it is to get started. Before you get started on this journey though, there are a few things you need to know.
Android is based off of Java, so it would be very helpful if you already knew the Java programming language, or at least some of it. If you are proficient in C++, C# or any other programming language, you should have no trouble trying to grasp Android. Now if you’re a young developer that wants to get into developing apps, it is highly recommended that you start learning a different programming language like Java. Sure, there are numerous books out there that will teach Android, but they all request that you know a little Java, proficiency in Java or they don’t say anything and just expect that you know Java (or some other programming language).
In my own experience, learning Java and then jumping into Android was a lot easier than just trying to dive into Android head first. It’s essentially building a foundation for yourself to later build upon that foundation, so to speak.
The other thing you need to know is that books are your friend. Sure, there are a few online resources, but I personally think its best to go out and purchase a book to teach yourself Android. It has all of the information you need right in one place and most of the books contain projects for you to do at the end of each chapter, which, as you know, helps retain a lot of knowledge.
Now, if you’re looking for an easier way to learn Java (so that you can easily learn Android) and have a little bit of money to spend, you might want to consider taking an online Java course with O’Reilly. If you’ve never thought that you couldn’t program before, going through a course with one of their instructors will get you programming in no time. The best part is that you can take the course at your own pace instead of having scheduled lecture times and etc. Another great part about taking Java courses through O’Reilly is that after your courses you can even get a certificate (albeit that does cost extra money)!
Regardless of all of that, you may not want to learn Java and just go head first into the world of Android. That’s fine too, but keep in mind that it’s a difficult road if you don’t have a foundation to build off of.
In the next tutorial, we’ll be listing out a few free resources that you can grab to start your journey programming Android which will also show you how to set up the Android development tools on your computer. Granted, we’ll be teaching you to set up the Android development tools in a later tutorial, but it doesn’t hurt to have a second reference, eh?