I thought you have been read, the last two article about
- How to become a better Android developer – Part 1 and
- How to become a better Android developer – Part 2
So, this is the final article for this topic.
21. Embrace the reactive programming approach
If you want to up your skills as an Android developer, you should definitely consider embracing the reactive approach. This will force you to think in a completely different way when building your apps.
Going the reactive way will surely help you write interactive apps faster and make your development life easier and fun again.
Tip: Here is an excellent series to learn RxJava for Android.
22. Learn to use Kotlin for Android development
Since Google announced first-class support for the Kotlin programming language at Google I/O 2017, interest in the language has skyrocketed. This easygoing language brings a breath of fresh air to the world of Android development.
This is great news for Android developers who are bored working on the same old, verbose, and error-prone Java apps. Give it a try and see if it lights a fire of new inspiration in you.
Tip: Check out this awesome tutorial to get started with Kotlin.
23. Attend meet-ups, and be more social with other developers
We developers tend to be quite introverted and like to sit in a corner with our computer, in our own world.
Try to move out of your comfort zone and interact more with other developers. There are lots of things to learn when you attend dev meet-ups and social gatherings or when you just talk to other developers who share interests similar to yours.
Tip: Visit meetup.com to find meet-ups that you are interested in.
24. Get familiar with keyboard shortcuts
There are keyboard shortcuts for almost every action you want to perform in Android Studio. Learning these shortcuts will significantly reduce your development time and improve your workflow. Memorizing keyboard shortcuts might take some time, but in the long run, it will help you move toward a truly mouse-less workflow.
Tip: If you don’t want to memorize keyboard shortcuts in an old-fashioned way, here is an excellent Android Studio plugin to help you do it.
25. Try learning at least one new thing in Android every week
In the vast world of Android, there are lots of things to learn and understand, enough to overwhelm you when you initially step into it. But things will get easier if you make a commitment to learning one new thing in Android every week.
Make a list of all the things you don’t know, assign priorities to them, and start each of them one by one every week. After a few months, you will find yourself way ahead of where you started.
26. Automate anything that eats your time
We, engineers, are lazy by birth and always try to find an easy way to do a boring job.
So if you need to do something repetitive and boring several times a day, consider automating it. It will cumulatively save you a lot of time every week, which you can spend on doing other, more productive and useful things.
Tip: Have a look at Zapier, an awesome tool that can help you connect and automate several tools you use almost every day.
27. Consider running two versions of Android Studio
Always keep a stable version of Android Studio to do all the important things you need to do daily. But also consider keeping a canary, or beta, version of the latest Android Studio installed as well.
Sometimes there are lots of new and exciting features that make their way to these early builds that you’ll want to try as early as possible.
28. Audit all your third-party libraries once in a while
We all love using libraries, and that’s perfectly fine when we need them, but make a habit once in a while of auditing all the third-party libraries you have added and removing the ones that you don’t need anymore.
If you are using only a small part of a particular library, consider extracting that part instead of retaining the entire library. An occasional audit will also help you update the libraries that urgently need it.
29. Learn better ways of refactoring legacy codebases
Do not make the mistake of refactoring a huge legacy codebase all at once. Doing so will put you in a trap from which there is no escape.
Instead, consider refactoring parts of the codebase that you need to work on right now and then slowly expand to other parts when necessary. Also, consider writing test cases for the screen you want to refactor before touching any code that you suspect might break existing functionality.
Tip: This book completely changed the way I work with legacy code. You should definitely give it a read.
30. Always develop and test on low-end devices
If you want to develop apps like a pro, never, ever make the mistake of developing and testing apps on high-end devices. Generally, we developers own high-end flagships and use them for developing apps as well. But this is something you should absolutely refrain from.
Try to get your hands on the cheapest, lowest-end devices you can find on the market, and make it a habit to develop apps only on those. You will start seeing a lot of flaws in your apps that you had no clue about before. This way you can prepare your apps for the larger segments of the world’s population that don’t have the best Android devices.
31. Buy the best work machine you can afford
Don’t make the mistake of buying a low-end work machine and ruin your development experience every day with it.
Consider using a Mac (over Windows) for development. You will fall in love with its simplicity and stability over anything else.
If you are purchasing a MacBook, consider getting the one with the best specs you can. You will thank yourself forever for making this decision.