One of the best ways to learn Android programming is to surround yourself with people better than you — then watch and listen intently.
So here’s my attempt to help you find the best to learn from. Below is a list of some of my favorite people and resources in the Android community to help in your quest for excellence.
A big thanks to all these people and groups for making us all better Android programmers! 🤘
I’ve really enjoyed following these Android community members on Twitter.
These folks aren’t just knowledgeable teachers and key open-source contributors. They’re also positive-minded, hopeful, and friendly. Those qualities are just as important to me as being an expert in the area.
Chiu-Ki Chan — A devoted learner and teacher, Chiu-Ki does it all. She interviews folks, runs 360AnDev, teaches on Caster, speaks, draws, writes, and probably does 100 other things I don’t know about. 😉
Donn Felker — Not only an Android GDE, Donn’s got a great blog full of helpful posts. He’s also half of the Fragmented Podcast along with Kaushik Gopal (who’s pretty sharp in his own right). And if that weren’t enough, Donn’s also the head honcho at Caster.io, a fantastic site for video tutorials.
Jake Wharton — Honestly, if you don’t know who Jake is, you might be in the wrong place. Just go here now. 😆
Kristin Marsicano — An instructor at Big Nerd Ranch, Kristin has a wonderful down-to-earth vibe and is clearly a great teacher. Her recent talk at 360AnDev on the activity lifecycle is a great refresher for something you probably don’t think about enough.
The Practical Dev —O K, this isn’t technically Android specific. But it’s such an informative and entertaining commentary on programming, I had to include it. Sometimes reading general programming posts can be really enlightening (and hilarious).
- Fragmented — Produced by the aforementioned Donn and Kaushik, this is probably my favorite podcast. Two independent developers with their unique personalities and perspectives, with a focus on purely technical talk for Android.
- Android Developers Backstage — The most official Android podcast you can get your ears on. Straight from the people who…well, created Android.
- Material — Material isn’t a technical podcast, but is a lighter listen and a great way to get your Google news. Great for a Friday afternoon. Voices include Russell Ivanovic (from ShiftJelly, creators of Pocket Casts), Yasmine Evjen, and Andy Ihnatko.
- Caster.io — Another Donn Felker production, Caster has a over 100 lessons (and growing) of stuff you should know. If you ever watched a video from RailsCasts back in the day, it’s got a similar vibe.
- Realm.io — I’m admittedly a little confused by Realm. They have a cool database product, but on the side they also host fantastic talks — transcribed with video and slides that are synced up beautifully.
- Android Dialogs (YouTube) — A fun little video series where the aforementioned Chiu-Ki Chan and Huyen Tue Dao interview a bunch of folks in the Android community.
- Android Weekly — I’m late to the game on this one, but it’s one of my new favorites. So much good stuff specific to Android, packed into a weekly newsletter.
- Kotlin Weekly — Because Kotlin is awesome.
📚 General Reading
Medium (AndroidDev and Android App Development) — Since anyone can tag anything, you sometimes have to dig for the good stuff. But I’ve run across a few really good posts (like this one about getting the most out of Crashlytics), so it’s worth an occasional peek.
To be totally honest, conferences are tough for me. No fault of the conferences — I’m just terrible at striking up conversations with new people! 😶
Of course they do have a ton of value — meeting new people and learning directly from the community is an irreplaceable experience.
Google IO is the only Android-specific conference I’ve been to, so I don’t have much to compare to. The sessions were top notch (logistical issues notwithstanding), and just about everyone you’d want to meet is there. The downside is that it’s so large, it can be hard to get into the sessions you want or meet up with new people you don’t already know.
There are two conferences I’ve never been to but have my eye on: the intimate 360AnDev Conference (hopefully it’s back next year) and the more established Droid Con NYC (maybe next year I’ll remember to actually get a ticket).Z