Android development is a field where one can build useful applications that reach the hands and pockets of millions of people. But it doesn’t just happen. Building an Android app involves work and a lot of it. To figure out if this career is right for you, or what to expect from your next hire, it’s helpful to understand the roles this position entails. Here are some of the key responsibilities that are typical of an android developer.
Who is an Android Developer?
Put simply, an Android Developer is a software developer who specializes in developing applications for devices powered by Google’s Android operating system.
A good Android developer has the skills required to find their way around the platform and tools, has written and shipped apps, is familiar with at least one programming language and has experience using it to tackle problems they’re unfamiliar with, can work in a team (or alone), can write code that’s readable and maintainable, writes automated tests, knows how to handle version control, can analyse performance bottlenecks, can integrate third-party libraries. For detailed information check this guide 8 Skills Every Android App Developer Should Have (2022)
Now that we know who an Android Developer is, let’s take a look at what an Android Developer does.
The common perception is that Android Developers just sit in front of their systems and start coding to develop a mobile application.
The fact is that developing an android application is not as simple as it seems to be. As with any role, various responsibilities are expected of android developers. These vary based on where they are working and the type of job they have. Sometimes you have to wear many hats and get your hands dirty in all areas of software development.
That said, here are some roles and responsibilities expected of an Android app developer:
Understanding Client Requirements
The first step toward development is to gather information about the client’s requirements for the application. This could be done by communicating with clients directly or through project managers who act as intermediaries between clients and developers. Once this has been done it is important to document the requirements so that you can refer back to them later on in case there’s any confusion regarding those requirements.
For example, if a client wants an application that allows users to send messages to each other, then this requirement should be documented and also every developer should have access to these documents so that they can refer back to them when they are developing the application.
After gathering the requirements for an android application, the next step is planning the design and features for the application. This would include deciding which features are to be implemented in the application or what type of user interface should be used.
If a client wants a social networking app like Facebook then it’s important to decide which features will be provided such as messaging, sharing posts, searching for friends etc. The design of these features will also need to be planned out.
Once you have a clear idea of what is expected from the project, it’s time to do some research on similar applications which are already successful in the market. Get an idea about how those applications are designed and how they work. This could help you come up with better ideas for your project.
There might already be several successful food delivery applications in the market, but you could come up with a better design by researching how these applications work and taking inspiration from them.
Researching existing similar apps can also help you identify any problems that users have with those apps and try to improve on them.
Translate designs and wireframes into high-quality code
Typically, app developers collaborate with app designers. App designers are responsible for creating the look of the app and its user experience, while the app developers build the product. However, some companies expect both skills in one person.
During development, the designers would hand over their fully-designed layouts to developers so they can implement them into a working application.
Writing high performance, reusable, and reliable Java/Kotlin code:
Coding is at the heart of what an Android developer does. It is crucial developers can write clean code which will be easy to maintain over time.
The two most popular programming languages for Android are Java and Kotlin. An Android developer should be very comfortable in at least one of them, and if they’re familiar with both, that’s a major plus.
Help keep code clean, organised, and automated
A code is only as good as its structure, so part of the primary responsibility of the Android developer is to keep things clean and easy to read for other developers who might be working on it in the future.
Working with Android SDKs
An android developer needs to be familiar with the Android SDK (Software Development Kit). The SDK provides a comprehensive set of development tools that helps in developing apps faster by providing access to a modular package of pre-built codes, resources, and tools.
Working with APIs and third-party solutions to create compelling experiences within mobile applications
These are some of the most common responsibilities, especially in companies where mobile apps support web or desktop applications. Such tasks may involve integrating mobile apps with other services, like Google Maps, Facebook or Twitter, for instance.
Collaborate with cross-functional teams and relevant stakeholders
The best Android developers know the importance of working with other team members in an organisation and coordinating their work with them. They need to ensure seamless communication between the development team and other departments such as marketing, IT and customer support so that they can understand the requirements of the project and provide feedback on any issues related to it. For example, they also have to take over projects from senior developers or prototypes from designers to execute them.
Ensuring quality product delivery and application performance
What does this mean? The end-user experience is key on mobile devices. Users expect apps to launch fast, run smoothly and provide a great user experience. It’s the developer’s job to achieve this by optimizing the performance of the app. To this end, developers have to have a deep understanding of how each component of an app interacts with one another and with other apps on the device.
In light of this, the Android developer would be responsible for:
Conducting unit tests and debugging:
The road from raw code to a user-friendly app is long and arduous. The mobile app developer will be responsible for ensuring that the final product works exactly as it should. Unit testing and debugging are part of that process, so they must be familiar with Android Studio for testing the Android app on virtual devices and get rid of bugs before releasing it on Google Play Store.
Write unit tests to validate app functionality
Developers should also write unit tests to validate app functionality so that you can test each function or module in isolation from the rest of the code. This will help you ensure that each part works well without affecting any other part of your program code (which can happen if there are bugs).
Find bugs in existing apps and fix them quickly
Android developers must also find bugs in existing programs and fix them quickly before they become a problem for users! This means they need strong debugging skills as well as an ability to work under pressure when needed most.
Performance optimization isn’t just a task reserved for the final stages of development; it should be done continuously throughout the process. This is because it can often be impossible to optimize performance after an app has been released – particularly if it’s already gathered a large user base!
Always be on top of the latest technology to make sure app development is nothing less than cutting edge
One of the responsibilities of a good android developer is to ensure efficiency during app development. And to do so, they need to keep updated with the latest technology. For instance:
If you are developing an enterprise app, then it would be best if the developer integrate IoT functions into your app.
If you are developing an online shopping app, then it would be best if developers integrate ML functions into your app.
And the list goes on; the point is that there are just too many technologies available, and to make sure that your apps are up-to-date, you must keep yourself updated with all the latest techs and tools.
Design, build, test and ship new features
Android developers are expected to develop new features that would enhance the usability of an app while maintaining its consistency on different devices.
Publish the app on Google Play Store:
Once the app is ready for release, Android developers will publish it on Google Play Store after testing it on various devices. It is important to work with Android app developers with expertise in this field as many technical complications and requirements must be met before an app is published. App Store Optimization (ASO) is an example of such a requirement, which can be achieved through keyword-rich descriptions, reviews and ratings, screenshots, videos and other marketing strategies.
Ensure ongoing performance optimization
Once an Android app is published, it should be monitored regularly to ensure its performance is up to the mark. As part of their duty, the developer would need to consider user feedback, use analytic tools to identify issues with the app and rectify them using effective strategies. Failure to do so can result in the loss of users due to poor reviews.
Overall, when it comes to being an Android Developer, no two days will be the same. A great Android developer is passionate about the entire process of creating an app, from conception and design to development and testing. He or she will also have a deep understanding of the full app lifecycle and should be able to identify areas in which functionality can be improved. The android developer must also be skilled in writing applications that are user friendly, responsive, and designed for their target audience. Hopefully, after reading through this, you’ll have an idea of what is needed to become one or what you should expect from one.
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