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26 junio 2021

#AndroidDevJourney spotlight - June edition

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Posted by Luli Perkins, Developer Relations Program Manager

3 developers we featured in June 2021 Android Dev Journey

The final edition of #AndroidDevJourney spotlight features three Android developers, each with their own story to tell. Over the last six months we’ve heard from developers all over the globe who have shared their experiences in becoming Android Developers, their tips and favorite shortcuts, as well as advice for new developers entering the field.

Read all other profiles in this series:

Here are words of wisdom that were frequently mentioned:

  • Read the documentation.
  • Look under the hood.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • Join the community.

If you’re looking for documentation, is the place to look. And if you’re searching for a community where you’ll be welcome regardless of where in the world you are, come find us on Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, Github, or a GDG meetup near you.

Vinay Gaba

Vinay Gaba

Tell me about your journey to becoming an Android Developer and how you got started.

My journey with Android started back in 2011 in a really unexpected manner. I was responsible for managing an Android workshop happening during our college tech festival. We had invited an external speaker to conduct the session and a few students had signed up for it. Unfortunately, since this was happening on a Saturday, not a single student showed up for the session.

Since the speaker had come all the way, the speaker decided to do his session anyway and share what he knew about Android with me being his only audience. I went home excited with the very basic Android fundamentals that I'd just learnt and created a scientific calculator app over the weekend. I launched it on the Google Play store as a paid app. What's more shocking is that the app had generated enough revenue in a couple days to take care of my expenses for the rest of the month. This event had a profound impact on my life and I'm so grateful that I found myself at the right place and the right time.

Since then, I've worked for some of the best engineering teams including Airbnb, Snapchat, Spotify, and Deloitte. I’ve lived across six cities in two countries, put myself through an Ivy League education on a partial scholarship, and made lifelong friendships. There was only one thing that was consistent throughout all those experiences and that is Android.

What’s one shortcut, tip, or hack you can’t live without?

One shortcut that I use every single day is the command to find other commands on Android Studio using CMD + Shift + A. This is extremely useful when you are trying to do an action on Android Studio but don't know where it's hidden in our favorite IDE. Using this command opens up the "Find Action" dialog and allows you to just type what you were looking for to begin with. This shortcut saves my day on a daily basis!

What's the one piece of advice you wish someone would have given you when you started on your journey?

Just ask. Early on in my career, I would often spend time trying to figure things out all by myself. While this certainly has some advantages, I would often be stuck on things longer than I should've. In a lot of cases, all I had to do was just ask someone who had more context and that would've allowed me to spend time on things that mattered. Given that we all have limited time in our day, it's critical that we choose our battles wisely.

Victoria Gonda

Victoria Gonda

Tell me about your journey to becoming an Android Developer and how you got started.

When I started college, I was majoring in dance. A friend suggested that I try a computer science course because they thought I would enjoy the types of problems you solve in code, and they were right!

Fast forward, and I had the opportunity to take part in a computer science summer research program. Over the summer, I learned Android and helped build an app to help a student with cognitive disabilities ride the local bus. It was this project that showed me how I could use software to make a difference in people's lives.

While I continued studying both dance and computer science, I pursued an internship, and later a career, that would allow me to continue to improve the world using Android development.

What’s one shortcut, tip, or hack you can’t live without?

The combination of the developer tool to keep the screen on while charging and a device stand on my desk. I save so much time not needing to reach for my testing device, turn the screen on (and probably unlock it) and finally see what I'm looking for. Instead, it loads right before my eyes.

desk setup

What's the one piece of advice you wish someone would have given you when you started on your journey?

You don't need to define yourself by the work you do or the company you work for. I felt really conflicted when I chose a software career over a dance career. But I still dance! I felt conflicted when I moved from one company to another, but that company didn't define who I am.

 Gilbert Leung

Gilbert Leung

Tell me about your journey to becoming an Android Developer and how you got started.

In 2010, I bought my first smart phone in the form of an HTC Nexus One. I was still in college back then and jumped into Android development as soon as I received the device. One of my first Android projects was a neat little keyboard / input method that took ideas from the old school T9 method and applied it onto a touch screen. Check out the video here and the Github repository here. It's been 11 years since; so much has changed. I'm now the CTO at a small startup Shuffle, yet I'm still working hard on Android development!

What’s one shortcut, tip, or hack you can’t live without?

For debugging, use breakpoint logging instead of LogCat logging. Go to the line you want to log and add a breakpoint. Then right-click on the red dot of the breakpoint and deselect the Suspend checkbox. A more detailed view should suddenly open and let you select Log message to console. This avoids recompiling and rerunning the app, and is absolutely crucial in large projects that take a long time to recompile. The advanced breakpoint options can also be valuable for trickier situations.

What's the one piece of advice you wish someone would have given you when you started on your journey?

I wish someone told me to browse the Android source code more often. I learned so much looking underneath the hood and developed an expertise far deeper than the average developer.

The Android Developer community prides itself in its inclusivity and welcomes developers from all backgrounds and stages of life. If you’re feeling inspired and want to learn more about how to become a part of our community, here are a few resources to help get you started.

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