Written by Jacek Kwiecień
Android Developer
Published April 20, 2015

10 tips for becoming a successful Android developer

Becoming a great Android developer is hard work and takes passion and patience. Here are my tips.

If you ever thought about jumping into software development, some of those tips might come handy. Most of them are pretty general and can be applied to any technology. However, I can only speak for myself as Android developer.

As usual, there is no shortcut or a quick and easy way available. Lose all hope if you think you’re going to have an easy time becoming a software developer. However, if you’re willing to put your some heart into it, it’s going to pay off in many ways.

1. Education is important, but not essential

You don’t really need to graduate from any IT school to become a successful coder. It’s definitely worth the time, but if you happened to pick the wrong direction in the past, don’t think you’ve lost your chances. I was that person for example. I’ve learnt most of the stuff on my own. Knowledge is all over the internet, just learn to look for it first.

2. The job pays well, but only if you are good enough

You’ll most probably fail if you picked software development just because you think it’s a good and easy way of making decent money. Without any love for the subject you will get stuck at some point. You might  also never see the money you’ve dreamed about because of it. Don’t make yourself miserable doing something you don’t really want just because it pays money. This is actually how bad software is made.

3. Patience is the key

Don’t fool yourself. As a coder you are gonna keep failing. My personal favorite movie character, Rocky Balboa, would say: This is how winning is done. The coding is about writing something and then spending most of the time making it work.

4. Phone “power user”

This only applies to mobile development. You are never going to be a fine mobile developer if you don’t use your device regularly. You have to be enthusiastic about all the new cool apps and game that show up on your platform. It’s the source of your inspiration. Mobile development is kind of closed inside a set of guidelines – it’s a good practice to follow them. That doesn’t mean that you can’t be creative. Just keep them in mind. Your app should be an extension of the operating system it works on.

5. Be enthusiastic about your job

If you made software development your hobby you’re on the right way to the success. If you have no commercial experience and no proper education, getting the first job might be tricky. Having some project of your own to show during your job interview will help a lot. It means you know something and you do it because you you want it. It’s super important for every decent recruiter.

6. Don’t be afraid of taking risk

There will moments in your career when you will be able to pick the easy way of accomplishing your task or trying something experimental. I don’t refer only to technology. You might want to step out of strict rules of your company if you feel this is for the better. In the end of the day, the job you did is the most important.  This might not be the path preferred by everyone. It can be a rocky one, but if you got balls you should try walking it. Some say – no risk, no gain.

7. Team up!

As a mobile developmer you might often work alone. That’s because many projects aren’t big enough to throw more people into it. Some of you will actually like it but what I suggest is at least to try getting into some development team. It’s way more fun this way. And more important: You learn much more from the project.

8. Don’t be the biggest fish in the tank

(my personal favorite.)
If you decided to get into some development team, try to find one with at least one developer you consider better than yourself. He is the one you are going to learn most from. No matter how experienced you are, this job is about constant development of yourself as well. It’s good to have some mentor of your own.

9. Don’t understimate GIT

It does not matter what is the platform you code on; GIT version control is something you will use constantly in every decent company or project of your own. You can never be too good at GIT. You probably can never master it as well. This thing is huge. Just try to use it as efficiently as possible. It’s especially important when working in team.

10. Find a way of yours

There is no such thing as best development process. This thing sometimes evolves with every project. Work it out with your team on on your own if you’re the lone wolf. Don’t let the process slow you down too much – it’s only worth it if the process systematize your work efficently.

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Disclaimer: Those are the hints of my own. I wrote them based on my personal experience, I would not consider them as scientifically proven. The only prove you gonna have is the career of your own. If it goes well, you probably doing it the right way.

Good luck!

Written by Jacek Kwiecień
Android Developer
Published April 20, 2015