|Introducing The Android Kotlin Developer Nanodegree|
|Written by Nikos Vaggalis|
|Monday, 26 October 2020|
The old Android Java Developer Nanodegree is shelved, making way for the new kid on the block - Kotlin
By now everybody has been aligned to the fact that Android development is dominated by Kotlin.What's surprising is the rapid adoption rate.In just a couple of years it has totally wiped out the ways of Java development on the platform, and that without any formal education offerings. Udacity to address that need for formality and certification now releases the Android Kotlin Developer Nanodegree.
Until recently the course about Android on Udacity's platform was the one with Java.I know it well since I graduated from it and even documented every step on my way in my mega 7-part Insider's Guide to Udacity Android Developer Nanodegree series which climaxed with the building of a mobile phone comparison engine app that runs on Android-powered devices and communicates with a Perl/Dancer server as the backend.
My app was released to the Playstore as part of the course Capstone project requirements, but recently was taken down due to Google was updating its policies and ruled that it was "Missing or inaccurate target audience information". However, as it was just a proof of concept application rather than it having any real commercial value; I wasn't worried that it was taken down..
Since I graduated, the development landscape of the Android platform has changed a lot, breaking backwards compatibility every step of the way. It's not just the introduction of Kotlin that has changed the face of development, but the whole revamping of the platform, the libraries and the way of building apps.
Admittedly, developing for the platform has never been an easy task to undertake. Memory leaks, notorious fragment handling and asynchronous programming, transactional exceptions, orientation changes, Listeners everywhere, fragmentation of version releases, confusion regarding the correct versions of libraries etc have rendered the effective building of apps a difficult proposition.The answer to these problems was the Architecture Components.
The Java-based Nanodegree, had a minor update to cover the Android Architecture Components, something we've detailed in Udacity's Android Developer Nanodegree Updated To Android Architecture Components; but the Kotlin train had already departed, waving Java goodbye.
Of course, at that time Kotlin was a new language and hadn't been widely adopted by the industry and you had to know the language in order to jump on the Android platform and do something useful with it. More educational material was necessary.So Udacity, once again at the forefront, launched the free Udacity Kotlin BootCamp for Programmers to bring Kotlin to the masses. Despite Kotlin mostly being known because of Android, the course treated Kotlin as a general programming language applicable to all sort of sectors and not just to Android.
A year later the Developing Android Apps with Kotlin course followed, free again, for a quick 2-month introduction to Kotlin, but now focusing on Android. Now with the new Android Kotlin Developer Nanodegree, Udacity goes all out with the full deal, a whole Nanodegree dedicated to the subject.
So what's in store?
All that is broken down into four courses:
Course 1: Developing Android Apps with Kotlin
Project 1: Building a Shoe Store app
Course 2: Developing Android Apps with Kotlin
Project 2: Create an app to view the asteroids detected by NASA that pass near Earth
Course 3: Advanced Android Apps with Kotlin
Project 3: Creating an Application Loading status bar
Course 4: Advanced Android Apps with Kotlin
Capstone Project: Design and build either a custom Android application inspired by your own idea, or a Political Preparedness application that will deliver civic data to end users via the app.
This Nanodegree requires prior familiarity with Kotlin language syntax, so IProgrammer has a few suggestions on where with the basics before tackling the Nanodegree. If you are Java based, then to help out in your transition check the Java to Kotlin Rosetta Stone which does a side-by-side comparison of Java and Kotlin, covering features, variables, functions, classes, collections. Continue with "Refactoring to Kotlin Codelab" which shows how to convert Java to Kotlin using Kotlin's idioms working on top of the automated conversion done by tools and IDE's. And of course check the free Kotlin Bootcamp which I mention in this news piece. And if you want to go deeper there's Programmer's Guide to Kotlin by Mike James and his Android Programming in Kotlin: Starting With An App.
Based on my past experience of the Android Java Nanodegree, I'm expecting this one too to be challenging but rewarding and that people graduating from it will have *really* learned what's needed to be a successful Android developer.
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|Last Updated ( Monday, 26 October 2020 )|