Android Developer Blog: #AndroidDevJourney in the Spotlight

posted by Luli perkins, responsible for the developer relations program

3 developers we featured in June 2021 Android Dev Journey

The final edition of the #AndroidDevJourney projector features three Android developers, each with their own story to tell. Over the past six months, we’ve heard from developers around the world who have shared their experiences of becoming Android developers, their favorite tips and shortcuts, and tips for new developers entering the field.

Read all the other profiles in this series:

Here are words of wisdom that have been mentioned frequently:

  • Read the documentation.
  • Look under the hood.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • Join the community.

If you are looking for documentation, is the place to look. And if you are looking for a community where you are welcome wherever you are in the world, come find us on Twitter, Youtube, Reddit, Github, or one GDG meeting near you.

Vinay Gaba

Vinay Gaba

Tell me about your journey to becoming an Android developer and how you got started.

My journey with Android started in 2011 in a really unexpected way. I was responsible for running an Android workshop during our university tech festival. We had invited an external speaker to lead the session and a few students had signed up. Unfortunately, as it happened on a Saturday, no student showed up for the session.

As the speaker had come to the end, the speaker decided to do his session anyway and share what he knew about Android with me being his only audience. I returned home excited about the Android fundamentals I had just learned and created a scientific calculator app over the weekend. I launched it on the Google Play Store as a paid app. What is more shocking is that the app generated enough income in a few days to cover my expenses for the rest of the month. This event had a profound impact on my life and I am so grateful that I was in the right place at the right time.

Since then, I’ve worked for some of the top engineering teams including Airbnb, Snapchat, Spotify, and Deloitte. I’ve lived in six cities in two countries, trained in the Ivy League on a partial scholarship, and made lifelong friendships. There was only one thing that was consistent across all of these experiments and that was Android.

What’s one shortcut, trick, or hack you can’t live without?

One shortcut that I use every day is the command to find other commands on Android Studio using CMD + Shift + A. This is extremely useful when you are trying to perform an action on Android Studio but you don’t know where it is hidden in our favorite IDE. Using this command opens the “Find Action” dialog box and lets you simply type in what you are looking for to get started. This shortcut saves my day every day!

What advice would you have liked someone to give you when you started your journey?

You just have to ask. Early in my career, I often spent time trying to figure things out on my own. While this certainly has some benefits, I would often get stuck on things for longer than I should. In a lot of cases all I had to do was ask someone who had more context and that would have allowed me to spend time on important things. Since we all have limited time in our day, it is essential that we choose our battles wisely.

Victoria gonda

Victoria gonda

Tell me about your journey to becoming an Android developer and how you got started.

When I started college, I was majoring in dance. A friend suggested that I try a computer class because they thought I would enjoy the types of problems you solve in code, and they were right!

Fast forward, and I had the opportunity to participate in a summer computer science research program. Over the summer I learned about Android and helped build an app to help a demented student take the local bus. It was this project that showed me how I could use software to make a difference in people’s lives.

While pursuing my studies in dance and computer science, I pursued an internship, and later a career, which would allow me to continue to improve the world using Android development.

What’s one shortcut, trick, or hack you can’t live without?

The combination of the developer tool to keep the screen on while loading and a device on my desktop. I save so much time without having to search for my test device, turn on the screen (and probably unlock it) and finally see what I’m looking for. Instead, it charges right in front of my eyes.

desktop setup

What advice would you have liked someone to give you when you started your journey?

You don’t need to define yourself by the work you do or the company you work for. I felt really conflicted when I chose a career in software over a career in dance. But I’m still dancing! I felt conflicted when moving from one company to another, but that company did not define who I am.

    Gilbert Leung

Gilbert Leung

Tell me about your journey to becoming an Android developer and how you got started.

In 2010, I bought my first smartphone in the form of an HTC Nexus One. I was still in college at the time and got into Android development as soon as I got the device. One of my first Android projects was a neat little typing / keyboard method that took ideas from the old-fashioned T9 method and applied it to a touchscreen. Watch the video here and the Github repository here. It’s been 11 years; so much has changed. I am now the CTO of a small startup Mix, yet I’m still working hard on Android development!

What’s one shortcut, trick, or hack you can’t live without?

For debugging, use breakpoint logging instead of LogCat logging. Go to the line you want to save and add a breakpoint. Then right-click on the red dot of the breakpoint and uncheck the Suspend box. A more detailed view should suddenly open up and allow you to select the log message in the console. This avoids having to recompile and rerun the application, and is absolutely crucial in large projects that take a long time to recompile. The advanced breakpoint options can also be useful for more delicate situations.

What advice would you have liked someone to give you when you started your journey?

I would like someone to tell me to walk the Android source code more often. I learned so much by looking under the hood and developed a much deeper expertise than the average developer.

The Android developer community prides itself on its inclusiveness and welcomes developers from all walks of life and all stages of life. If you’re feeling inspired and want to learn more about how to be a part of our community, here are some resources to get you started.

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