2-Day Android Developer Workshop – Oct 8-9, 2011 – A Report

The Mind Storm Android Developer Workshop is going strong. We held our second workshop on Android Training last weekend. The venue was the same as last time, Residency Hotel and the 2-Day Developer Workshop was held on October 8-9, 2011.

The goal of the Developer Workshop is to get any interested developer get started with Android programming. It is geared towards both newbies and experienced developers who would like to learn what it takes to get started with programming their first Android applications.

We had an interesting mix of participants this time. 8 of them were Engineering students while the rest of them were professionals working in the software industry. All of them had a clear goal in mind and that was to demystify what Android meant as a developer and get them started with their first steps in Android Development.

We received some good feedback from the first workshop that we held in September and based on how participants received some of the topics; I had made small changes to the curriculum to keep it relevant to the audience and also to fit the material within 2 days. The material that we have is among the most comprehensive, nearly 200 slides with numerous hands on exercises (both to be tried during the two days and some more for homework) for the participants to try out throughout the course of the Workshop.

The first half of the first day also comes with some surprises and stress. The main task that we need to do is to make sure that all the participant machines are setup with Android Developer Tools. This involves setting up Java, Eclipse, Android SDK and the Android Eclipse Plugins. Our last workshop taught us a lesson that it does not harm to carry an extra laptop or two to cater to a scenario where one of the participants’ laptop does not take too well to the new software. The extra laptop turned out to be handy. Once the machines were setup with software, we follow tradition typically and take the participants through the Hello World program. My repeated experiences with numerous developers that I have trained till now in Android tells me that the Android team needs to seriously look at improving the Android Virtual Device performance as much as they can. They have been doing a good job across the releases but the earlier some of its quirks like start up time, occasional freezes are taken care of , the newbie Android programmers will feel much comfortable.

Next up was understanding Activities, Passing Data to Activities, Built In Android Intents like Web Browsing, Calling Phone Numbers, SMS and Email Programs were covered next. We then took up Views, Layouts and rounded up the day with an introduction of ListActivity.

The second day took off with Menus and various persistence options like Files, SharedPreferences and Databases. That was enough in the morning to break for some sumptuous lunch that was served by the Hotel. The afternoon began with an introduction to Location Based programming, Google Maps and then a 2hr+ session on attempting to build a complete Android Application, which was then rounded out with how to publish your application to the Android marketplace. While the participants completed parts of the whole Android application, the main thing that I hope all of them took away from the experience was that Android Development is no longer a mystery to them and hopefully the training has been a launching pad for them to take off in their Android journey.

The queries raised by all the participants kept me on my toes. Residency Hotel, located in Andheri, Mumbai — once again did a great job in terms of logistics. It definitely makes our task much easier and lets us focus on delivering great Android content. It was good to see the Hotel buzzing with various other conferences/workshops that were going on in the weekend.

If you are interested in signing up for the Android Developer Course, do not wait anymore. Please visit the detail page and get going. 2 dates have been announced in November. We also encourage organizations to call us to conduct corporate trainings for their team within their own premises.

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