How to Become a Better Android Developer in 2018

Another great year for us Android developers has passed. It's time to get excited for the new year 2018! It's also time to reflect and plan for the next twelve months: What should we learn? What's the next big thing in the Android world?

Here is our high-level view of what you should focus in the upcoming year.

#1 Kotlin

Last year, Kotlin wide-spread like a wildfire since Google decided to officially support it as a language on the Android platform. Developers have been migrating code bases over to Kotlin and are enjoying some advantages of Kotlin's language design. Even many new Android job postings now require Kotlin experience!

Thus, if you haven't already, we recommend that you play around with Kotlin. In our view, the easiest way to learn is by implementing a small project, which serves a specific purpose. But keep in mind: don't learn languages and platforms just to put it on your resume! Understand the background of Kotlin's design decisions. If you truly understand Kotlin's concepts, you'll be able to take away some knowledge nuggets you can also apply to projects in other languages!

Nevertheless, if you forget about the hype for a minute and look at it realistically, until Kotlin is matured, Java will stay the main language of Android. Furthermore, most developers understand Java, while not everyone has learned Kotlin yet. Thus, our tutorials will continue to be in Java in 2018. But that doesn't mean we don't appreciate what Kotlin brings to the Android platform 😍

When you got some time to dive into Kotlin, Google's Resources to Learn Kotlin are a decent start in this matter.

#2 Utilize Tools (Code-Wise)

Our email inbox still receives way too many questions with one fatal flaw: trying to solve a common problem over and over. It's 2018, don't reinvent the wheel! There is a reason we've published more than 150 tutorials on Android libraries like Retrofit, Gson, Glide, or Picasso.

Before you write hundreds of lines of code to (re)implement networking, parsing, or image loading by yourself, invest time to learn tools that awesome people provide.

Using libraries gives you a bunch of advantages:

  • They generally are more stable than your own custom creations, since they are tested in real life by a large amount of developers and users.
  • They minimize the amount of code you need to write (clean code!)
  • Your (future) colleagues will thank you if they only have to comprehend a handful of standard lines rather than whole custom classes. Always write code like your colleague is a psychopath, who knows where you live 😉

As a not-so-subtle self-promotion, we would love if you take a look at our library series: Retrofit, Gson, Glide, and Picasso.

#3 Utilize Tools (Developer-Wise)

Utilizing tools is not limited to code. Like every crafter, you as a developer also need to know the tools around you. Follow this rule of thumb: if you use a tool every day, make sure you know it well. For example, if you code in Android Studio, and use git for code versioning, make sure you both know them by heart.

The time you invest to better get to know your every-day tools, you'll get back dozens of times. It's one of the smartest investments out there!

A good start is our YouTube series on Android Studio Productivity, which shows you little tricks in just a few minutes each.

#4 Don't Just Read - Hold Yourself Accountable with Smart Goals

We can't leave you without one final note. Please don't just read this post, nod in agreement, and then forget it about it in a week. Make yourself accountable by setting smart goals. You significantly increase the chance of becoming a better developer in 2018 if you make yourself a specific plan and stick to it.

Continuously reflect and refine your learning plan. Don't let the stress of school or full-time work get in your way of doing the most important work: educating yourself.

Of course, we would love it if you would join our Future Studio University. You'll get a steady flow of tutorials and videos, where you'll progress as a developer in small steps.

What's on your todo list for 2018? Let us know in the comments and on Twitter @futurestud_io.

Enjoy coding and rock 2018!

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