The agenda was to impart Android Development knowledge in 2 days flat and push the participants onwards in their Android journey. The full details of the course are available over here.
The Mind Storm Army i.e. me and Devyani Irani, reached the venue more than an hour in advance. This was our first experience organizing a small conference anywhere and we were delighted to find that the conference room was well setup and the technician came along promptly with the slide projector and WIFI password. More on our great experience with the hotel staff later in this post.
We quickly setup the banner, which you can see below, distributed the complimentary file folders, notepads and pens and everything looked well set.
The task at hand was challenging since the participants (a total of 10 developers) had different backgrounds and years of software development experience. In fact, we were delighted to have amongst us a batch of 3 Engineering students (average age 18 years) who were excited to learn more about Android. On a serious note, a batch of interested and curious folks is all I need to get my energy levels up and start talking.
In summary, this is what we planned to cover in the 2-days:
- A total of 216 Slides
- 18 Hands On Exercises
- 40 Odd Eclipse Projects demonstrating Android APIs and Framework
And we had about 15 hours, give and take a few. To see all the topics that we cover, you can visit the details page.
We did expect a small delay on the first day since it is never an easy task to find a new place in Mumbai the first time. But we shot off the blocks and were soon discussing “What is Android?”. One of the immediate challenges was to make sure that all the participant laptops were setup with the latest Java, Android, Eclipse and other related tools. I had packaged all the goodies on a pen drive and distributed that to the participants to make it as painless as possible. We faced some issues on a couple of machines due to some quirky things like space in a directory name and another scenario where there was a Mac Machine with a Windows VM, but we overcame all of them and within no time everyone was fully loaded with their Android arsenal. “Bring on the Apps” was the cry from that time on.
Why mess around with tradition when it has worked so beautifully so far? I am talking about the good old “Hello World” program. And we did exactly that in the next session. The world of Android Virtual Devices (AVD) soon became the lingo of the batch with esoteric terms like API Level 10 too slapped onto the minds of the participants. The day progressed well with the workhorse of Android programming, the powerful “Activity” and then on to Multiple activities, the Views, Layouts, List Activities and Menu Options.
With coverage of the above topics, it was a good way to end the first day. One could almost sense the feeling that the participants no longer viewed Android as something that was “so near yet so far” but more like Bob the Builder, who sings “Yes, We Can!”
We kicked off the second morning with Notifications. It was almost a poetic way of starting the day, just like as humans greet each other in the morning. We got through Dialogs, Status Bar Notifications and then moved to a critical area of Persistence. We spent the morning till lunch with Files, Shared Preferences and SQLite databases in Android. After the lunch break, we tackled Networking, GPS and Maps.
Finally we dived into key topics like Publishing your App for the marketplace, Localization and a complete Android Application that demonstrated the concepts that we had learnt in the two days.
I would like to thank the participants for being bold enough to be a part of my first batch. This memory will remain with me for a long time to come. Thank you for asking questions, keeping me on my toes and having loads of patience when we faced a few hiccups during installation and running of samples on certain machines.
We got some good feedback from the participants about the training. I believe it turned out well for everyone and I only hope that they will move on to greater things in Android. What I particularly liked about the feedback were topics that the participants would like to see more of and/or possibly learn next. It shows that they are already onto Android and are not afraid to say what they want next. I sincerely look forward to incorporating these topics into future trainings or even launch a different course that can be classified as an “Intermediate” Android course.
Our venue, The Residency Hotel did a fabulous job. They literally took the pain of organizing a conference away from us and made us look like seasoned veterans on the conference scene. The staff were prompt, courteous and knew what they were doing. The food was great and I had to work extra hard in the afternoon to make sure that the Android material that I covered was better than the food.
Our next batch is scheduled to be held on October 8-9 at the Residency Hotel again in Mumbai. And….drum roll please ….. it is full.
Two additional batches have been announced in November. Do check them out and register soon to reserve your seat for a great Android learning experience.
The dates are:
- November 12 & 13, 2011
- November 26 & 27, 2011
If you prefer that I come to your organization and deliver the training, drop me a line. So what are you waiting for? Get started on “Learning Android” now.