By the highway

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Archive for the month “July, 2011”

Android resources

Friend has asked, what resources do I use to learn about Android development, so I decided to put it up for public discussion.

Fist of all, developers.android.com is awesome. Although I’m the kind of guy, who would learn Java from Java API and would had his own headache, I want to emphasize that the Android’s website is just amazing. Not only it contains plenty of examples and articles on different aspects of OS and SDK, but it also updated frequently. Also, my humble advice is to check ApiDemo applications in every new SDK.

Second place to look at for me is Stack Overflow (or just Google and you will end up at SO anyway).

There are some good books on the Android:

Ones, who are comfortable spending some money to get more example code should look at Commons Ware bundles. He is a very active in Stack Overflow and Google Developers mailing list, so it must be worth it. Disclosure: havent’ done that yet 🙂

To get up to date information, I follow Android Developer’s blog, Reto Meier, Chet Haase, Roman Guy and some more Android developers and developer advocates on Google Reader, twitter and GPlus.

Sometimes you can’t get things done without looking at the Android SDK code and, in order to implement custom things, I’ve copied code of standard components a few times and hacked based on it.

How do you learn Android?
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Challenge of building a vision

Although “rapid-prototyping” is everybody’s mantra, it is very non-trivial as you may be confused for too long time, not knowing what to build.

You need to understand the problem. The solution needs to be competent against alternatives and you need to know bad and good about them. Moreover, if you aim high, you want to follow the path that has long term prospects. The unique solutions would bring you there. Bringing yet another hardly different product to competitive market, harms your ability to differentiate and sustain customer. You need to standout and it is especially good if you can create something for the future. Map giga trends, go to the growing market and you will be more safe to make mistakes.

In theory this work fine.  In practice, it is probably too much for you to grasp. Thus, you end up searching for a balance between research and product creation, and hopefully sales. First money, be it investment or sales, are very hard. Moreover, it is hard to believe that you can process this overwhelming amount of information, needed to answer the question of sustainable and competitive advantage – the differentiating angle and position that would eventually earn you a place in the market.

So far, our answer was: not to stop building the product. Not to stop researching and reading everything about the area we are attacking. Not to stop making lists of prospective customers, contacting and talking to them. Not to run out of resources along the way.

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