I graduated with a Computer Science degree and after working for two years on web backend and then OpenGL I realized I wanted to learn android development. I picked a simple concept that I wanted to create to scratch my own itch. This gave me a catalyst and reason to learn and figure out Android development. In my case it was a fruit and vegetable tracker as I was trying to increase my intake of those foods.
I spent around 2 months on nights and weekends learning and implementing this app and was able to get an entry level Android position after that. I added it to GitHub and being able to use that as part of my portfolio when applying was immensely helpful.
Fortunately the documentation and training programs have gotten much better over the last 8 years. Here are some good resources:
- Google's guides: https://developer.android.com/guide/
- Building your first Java app: https://codelabs.developers.google.com/codelabs/build-your-first-android-app/index.html
- Kotlin resources: https://kotlinlang.org/docs/reference/
In regards to Kotlin, the industry does seem to be moving in that direction. The same concepts translate well between Kotlin and Java. I'd say definitely check out Kotlin on your free time but it can be easy to waste time trying to translate concepts between Java and Kotlin.
Peter recommends the following next steps:
- Think about an app that would help you personally
- Follow Google's guides to build a first app
- Start reading Google's developer docs and learn the fundamentals of the system: https://developer.android.com/guide/components/fundamentals
- Start implementing your idea in the app. It's okay if there is an app that already exists! Try to clone it.