Meetup: Android

In October 2020 we had our meetup about Android basics.

Development for Android is a bit different than regular JVM development. Android developers have been stuck with Java 1.6 via the Dalvik JVM for way too long. Recently OpenJDK has been added to newer devices as the Virtual Machine but that only brings a new challenge, how do you write code for both platforms?

Kotlin I hear you say and we couldn’t agree more. That’s also what they must have realised at Google in 2017 when Kotlin became the (second) official language for Android.
Nowadays Kotlin is seen as the primary language on Android and since we at Sourcelabs like Kotlin, we decided to take a peek at Android.

As a former Android developer (in my KLM years) en still an Android enthousiast, I collected some materials and prepared an introduction session.

The first video we checked was one of the Threehouse channel, it first explains a bit on how to use Android studio, the SDK and continues on layouts. In Android you can use the designer to drag and drop views into your layout, but you can also see them in a XML structure. If you want to know more about that check:

After that we continued to follow: https://developer.android.com/training/basics/firstapp to create our first app, build in our preferred mob programming setup for meetups.
Then we dove into components and fragments

In the afternoon we created our own app based on the Rick and Morty api found on: https://github.com/public-apis/public-apis Sometimes the tutorials you can find on the internet are still in Java so we also fiddled around about with some other code examples like: https://www.vogella.com/tutorials/AndroidFragments/article.html

As a result we created a small app that has a service that uses a rest endpoint to get some information about Rick and Morty and displays it onto the app.

The most important thing I learned is how easy it is to step over things you need to explain – since you think those are simple and basic.

We had a very nice afternoon and the result can be found here: https://github.com/sourcelabs-nl/meetup-android

After an afternoon of coding we all agreed that it would be easy to spend some more time on the subject, since there is so much to learn when you dive into the android landscape.

There are a lot of ways of doing things, so for every problem you have there could be more solutions. The only thing I can say is, that at least it’s not JavaScript with a new framework every 2 months.

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