Wednesday, June 25, 2014

What's the best way to learn Android?

It's a question I've heard a lot, and there's lots of good answers:
  1. Check out the Android developer Site is the most common answer, but there's a lot of documentation on DAC, and it can be hard to find a path that takes you from "getting started" to "protips" without reading everything.
  2. Read this book by that guy is one of my favorites! But book-learning isn't for everyone - and books aren't interactive or social (...and it's hard to keep them fully up to date).
  3. Download some samples and use StackOverflow works for a lot of people, but it's a very unstructured way to learn, and what you're building may not map well to the samples you're using.
Today I'm thrilled to announce the newest answer: a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) created by me and my fabulous colleagues from Google's Developer Relations team and the awesome people at Udacity: Developing Android Apps: Android Fundamentals.

We're launching today at I/O with a sneak-peak at Lesson 1, with the rest of the course opening up July 15.

It's not the first Android course, or the first Android MOOC, but I sincerely believe it's the best one.

While creating this course, we tried to follow a couple of basic principles:
  • Get. Coding. Faster. Typically you’ll see courses like these spend the first 3 lessons introducing theory or building hello world. Not here.
  • Recalibrate your intuition. Mobile is different, and often what we’ve learned from years of desktop, web, and server development will take us in the wrong direction. We look for times when your gut will tell you to do one thing, and explain why it’s better practice to go in another direction.
  • Have fun. Coding is fun — or at least it should be. We had a lot of fun building this course, and tried to make sure students would enjoy it just as much. These days Android is Serious Business, but that doesn’t mean learning it has to be.
  • Get there faster. Online courses are self-paced, so we move quickly and give you the resources you need to dive deeper where you need to.
The result -- I hope -- is a course that teaches you not just how to develop for Android, but how to start thinking like an Android developer. So if you want to learn Android (or want a refresher) -- check it out, and let us know what you think!
What makes me the most proud of this course is how much of a team effort it's been. It required extraordinary efforts from my co-instructors Katherine and Dan, as well as Alex Lucus and Neto Marin who led the development of the "Sunshine" sample app, Mike Denny who helped design the UI, and a whole team of people at Udacity including Jennie Kim, Sarah Spikes, James Williams, Calvin Hu, Katy Reichelt, and Larry Madrigal without whom this could never have been possible.


  1. Anonymous7:06 pm BST

    Congrats Reto! Great work there. Many resources in order to learn Android development. I'm a certified Windows Phone Developer and I will love to learn from these resources.

    Happy learning (?)

  2. hmm... $150 per month when others courses in Coursera are free. BTW, how long is this course going to last?

  3. All the course material (videos, quizzes, etc.) are free! Udacity charges extra for things like dedicated instructor support and a certificate of completion.