How (and Why) I’m Learning to Code Android Apps

Long time, no see income streamers! You may be wondering where your beloved author has been for the past two months. Well, I finally finished up this school year and track season and didn’t take a day off to get to work on a productive summer. I spent the last month in school figuring out how I can take advantage of my summer free time, and realised that as a 17 year old I have limited opportunities. I’m sticking with the stereotypical cashier-and-camp-counselor as far as making cash this summer, but what’s more important is how I’m increasing my earnings potential, and that’s by bulking up my programming knowledge.

I took AP Computer Science sophomore year, and had a great experience. I used the online course from Amplify which included many projects and videos. By the end of the year, I was a really knowledgeable guy on Java but didn’t feel like I knew enough to make use of it. So I decided to take on various projects and just google for what I didn’t know how to do as I made the projects.

My first was a password cracker that receives a hash of a password and then tries a number of methods to guess what password generates that hash, including brute force and dictionary attacks as well as personalised attacks based on a user’s interests (if they are known). This project introduced a number of concepts to me, but took forever to complete as I had to figure out problems the AP curriculum never covered. Next I made (and may release very soon!) some statistical analysis software inspired by taking statistical mathematics in school this year.

But where this programming knowledge could make a difference to my income is by coding an app. The idea sounded really intimidating to me at first, but after making the statistical software, I felt confident enough to dig in and explore how to do it. Android apps are coded in Java, so I sprung to that platform. I first had to download Android Studio here, and then fiddled around with the templates. I quickly realised I didn’t recognise a lot of the code, and some Googling around showed me that a lot of the app was written in XML or sometimes Java adapted to Google’s styling. So I decided to fall back on one of the best educational resources I’ve seen on programming: thenewboston. I used him to supplement my AP Comp Sci course, and his videos are both straightforward and entertaining. I’m on video 2 in his Android Development series, and I’ll be sure to update as I move along!

In addition to that resource, there’s also some useful beginner guides that I’ll be looking at. The Crowdsourced Android guide will be useful since it always stays up to date. The official Android development training was difficult when I first looked at it a few months ago out of curiosity, but I may return to it. Lastly, Udacity has a course for Android development and also every programming thing ever, I think.

Any advice for me? More resources? Drop a comment, and get programming for some passive income!

(Note: I haven’t been paid by thenewboston to promote them. I am not nearly famous enough to do that anyways 🙂 )