8 January 2018
Knowing you need an app is one thing, making it happen should be as painless as possible. When a team of experienced developers needed to work out how to create a manageable, performant Android app, the first thing we needed to identify was what existing skills could be transferred and where the gaps in understanding lay.
A meaningful conversation by phone led to a bespoke course proposal that focused on the practical mechanics of Android app development without labouring concepts they were well versed in already. Modular, testable development is fine, but people need to buy in to why something is best practice so they can plainly see the benefits to the team of generating functional parts that work efficiently together, while being easy to maintain and update. And of course everyone agreed this should be as hands on as possible. Building real content, wrestling with it, breaking it, fixing it is all part of a successful learning program.
The course fell in to a pattern of working through exercises together, consolidating understanding, then reviewing material in a long-tail exercise. It helped that some delegates already had some Android development experience. That way, they knew a bit about the pitfalls and could ask informed questions to bottom out some of the more esoteric aspects of Android. Also it meant the group didn’t just have to take my word for it; their colleagues had real experience to back up what they were being told. And having a range of experiences on a course meant that those who were completely new to Android development could work the exercises in full, while those with more experience could tackle the optional additional material, so nobody was left twiddling their thumbs.
As is increasingly the case for evolving technologies, upto date documentation is always tricky and for this course delegates opted for the most relevant and reliable online sources. Regularly referring to them bred familiarity and so encouraged delegates to make use of the best supporting sites online.
Because they were a bright bunch we actually covered the material in more depth than anticipated, but even so the follow-on Masterclass course remains an option. If they go for it we’ll take they code base they’ve developed and bottom out issues, resolve questions and review best practices, deepening their understanding and fine tuning the principles they implement. That way the Android app the business needs will delight their users and not become a headache to maintain and update.