- What is an Android Developer?
- Android Developer skills and qualifications
- Android Developer duties and responsibilities
- Challenges of the Android Developer position
- Team collaboration and stakeholders: who Android Developers work with
- Measuring performance: Android Developer OKRs
- Android Developer salary range and daily rates
What is an Android Developer?
An Android developer creates, updates, and improves mobile applications for smartphones, tablets, e-books, game consoles, smart watches, cars, and other devices running the Android operating system. As Android has over 2.8 billion active users, with 75% of the market share, this role is currently considered the most in-demand in mobile development.
Today, the world of mobile applications is very large, and is constantly expanding, developing, and improving. E-commerce requires the continuous development of applications, so mobile developers are creating all kinds of products, like games, banking applications, transportation, shopping and delivery services solutions, hotel reservations, and apps for train and airline tickets.
Android Developer role in an Agile team
In Scrum, Android Developers are part of the mobile development team, along with other engineers specializing in mobile strategists, UI/UX design and Quality Assurance. They also work side by side with a Scrum Master and Product Owner.
Together with their colleagues, they structure their work in sprints, with a backlog of tasks to be completed by the end of the sprint and presented at the Sprint Review meeting. Android developers also attend the Daily meeting to discuss the tasks they are currently working on and the impediments they face in the process.
Android Developer skills and qualifications
Many Android developers enter the profession with a degree in programming and information systems that they studied at college or university, although, some programmers just choose to take courses or learn by themselves.
Even if, in 2019, Google recognized Kotlin as a priority in Android development, an Android developer still needs to know Java because many classes of the standard Android library are written in Java, and it is important to know this language to understand how the components of the operating system itself work. Also, some older applications have code in Java, and it is useful to be able to read it.
To get a job as a beginner Android Developer, you need to know:
- Android operating system (its structure, application life cycle)
- Java and Kotlin programming languages
- HTML and CSS
- Programming principles of OOP (object-oriented programming)
- Android Studio mobile development environment for writing code and editing the application interface, Android SDK
- Components and tools of Material Design (provided by Google for free to create layouts and design applications)
- Basics of code version control (Git, GitHub)
- Debugging and testing the application
- Some development algorithms
- Good level of English
As a mid-level Android programmer, you should have:
- Strong Android and Java development abilities (2+ years of experience)
- Kotlin know-how
- Mobile application design and UX knowledge
- Google Play Services API (Location, Map, GCM, etc.) experience
- Familiarity with design patterns (GoF) and application architecture
To reach senior engineer level, you need to have:
- 4+ years of experience in Android development
- Strong knowledge in Android, Core Java, Computer Science fundamentals
- In-deep understanding of Android UI design principles and patterns
- Ability to build scalable and reactive mobile applications
- Experience with cloud message APIs, offline storage, threading, and performance tuning
- Strong teaching and team management abilities
Android Developer soft skills
Although technical knowledge and skills are the first element in qualifying a professional, as long as Android Developers are part of a team, they will have to interact with different people, so there are soft skills without which the work cannot be smooth and efficient.
Some must-have soft skills for an Android programmer:
- Good communication skills to interact with other team members: discussing decisions with developers, interface elements with designers, and business ideas with managers
- Provide arguments for their decisions
- Think outside the code, from the user’s point of view
- Attention to detail
- Ability to manage their own time
- Analytical thinking and problem-solving, etc.
Android Developer certifications
Developing applications for Android is not particularly difficult. The hardest part is developing good Android apps and proving your capabilities to your customers. Getting certified is one way to demonstrate this ability, and Google Certification is the best place to start.
Associate Android Developer is a certificate from Google provided directly by the company responsible for the tools you will be using. It is globally recognized and can, in theory, demonstrate your expertise in Android development. To obtain this certificate, you will need to pass an exam in Android Studio, the Android SDK, as well as Java or Kotlin.
Another great tool to test a programmer’s level of both hard and soft skills is the Skill Value Insight (SVI) assessment by Pentalog. The test is based on real-life situations that can often appear during the work time.
You can find more details about SVI here.
Android Developer duties and responsibilities
Depending on the project, Android programmers have different roles and obligations. However, there are certain similar demands:
- Use the code to achieve the desired look of the application, based on the design created by the designer.
- Develop the logic and architecture of the application.
- Organize navigation between screens.
- Provide application behavior for various triggers, for example, receiving a call or SMS.
- Optimize applications around the limited resources of devices.
- Organize data storage properly: saving key data, discarding unnecessary data, delimiting access, providing encryption.
Challenges of the Android Developer position
In theory, an Android application can run indefinitely in the background without consuming system resources and return to the previous state at the user’s request. At least, this is possible if the developer can manage to successfully implement state management and lifecycle, which is quite difficult to do with the Android SDK.
Another problem is Android fragmentation, which arises because of the differences between Android versions and the versions of applications running on the device.
Also, for any Android developer, continuous learning is always important, as new device models and Android versions are constantly appearing, and mobile phones and smart devices are becoming increasingly indispensable tools in the modern world.
Team collaboration and stakeholders: who Android Developers work with
Depending on the project, an Android developer may have different stakeholders, both internal and external, including:
- End users
- Second users
- Company liaisons
- Project managers
- Other developers
Measuring performance: Android Developer OKRs
Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) serve as the foundation for defining meaningful goals and figuring out how to reach them. They are used to manage the objectives that an Android Engineer must accomplish throughout a certain project. By using ORKs, the developer’s work can be effectively monitored to maintain motivation during project delivery.
Examples of OKRs that can be applied to an Android developer:
1 Objective: Improve the release quality
- KR 1: Reduce bugs reported from 15 to 3 average.
- KR 2: Improve the sprint velocity by 20%.
- KR 3: Reduce average lead time by 30%.
2 Objective: Increase Technical Knowledge
- KR 1: Take two coding classes per quarter.
- KR 2: Attend one technical event per month.
- KR 3: Read one new book per month.
Android Developer salary range and daily rates
The country where an Android programmer works, the company, the type of project, the developer’s experience, skills, and education are some of the factors that could influence their pay.
For instance, according to Glassdoor, the average yearly salary for an Android Engineer in Germany is 65600€. The annual gross income in France ranges from €42k to €60k. In Romania, a junior programmer could earn up to 1200€, a middle programmer up to 2000€ and a senior programmer up to 4200€ per month. A senior Android programmer could earn up to 5000€/month in Mexico and 1800€/month in Vietnam.
Latest Insights on Android Development
Mobile World Congress: Android, Samsung, Huawei, HTC
MWC Keynote – Eric Schimdt, Google Android
Developing for Android requires more testing than for iOS!