Android Developers Summer Reading List

It’s summer, which means it’s time for some vacation! 🏖 But we know you still crave those Android learnings. Or maybe you just need some “work” to excuse you from dinner with the in-laws… Either way, we’re here to help!

Here are some of our favorite Android dev talks that we’re catching up on this summer.

Table of Contents

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Prologue: Developing for Android

If you’re new to the genre, don’t miss this thorough journey through Android development from the prolific Chet Haase and Romain Guy show why writing Android apps isn’t the same as writing other kinds of applications. Learn how to use the language, the runtime, and the platform effectively, and how to write better and more performant Android applications.

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Chapter 1: Object-Oriented Android

We all want to be “better” Android developers, but what does that really mean? Donn Felker takes a deep dive into 5 tried and true object-oriented design principles, the SOLID principles.

First introduced way back in the early 2000s by Uncle Bob Martin to help software developers write more maintainable and extensible code, the SOLID principles have been enjoying a resurgence in mobile dev circles.

Donn updates them specifically for Android dev in 2016, with Java use cases for each one:

Chapter 2: Reactive Android

If reactive programming is more your style, or if you’ve just noticed everyone talking about RxJava and are wondering what it’s all about, check out these two talks from Juan Gomez and Felipe Lima that will get you going in the right direction!

Juan Gomez gives a solid intro to functional reactive programming, including reactive extensions, observers & descriptions, and other topics around RxJava.

For an in-depth use case from one of the more captivating disruptors, check out Felipe Lima’s rundown of Airbnb’s experience with RxJava.

Chapter 3: Testing with Espresso

As much as we might like to #yolo and just git commit, we also know that we owe it to our users to test. Espresso is one of the more powerful testing frameworks out there, and if you’ve dabbled in it but need to take it to the next level, Chiu-Ki Chan’s advanced look at Espresso will get you leveled up.

Chapter 4: Library Peek: Retrofit 2

There are some libraries that we just can’t live without, and Retrofit is right up there at the top. The legend himself, Jake Wharton, gives the definitive talk on the library he created.

Chapter 5: Android Data Binding

Step one: Use Data Binding in Android.

Step two: Profit. 💰

So say Yigit Boyar and George Mount, two of the Google developers who helped build Android’s Data Binding library. If you’ve been getting into using Data Binding, who better to learn from than the engineers who built it? Build richer & more responsive user experiences with minimal effort, and learn how using Data Bindings can improve your application by removing boilerplate for data-driven UI, allowing you to write cleaner, better code.

Chapter 6: Android Threading

In Android, you shouldn’t do anything that blocks the main thread. But what does that really mean? How do you handle background & async tasks for long-running, complicated tasks in your app? Luckily, Ari Lacenski’s sage advice will keep you from getting into trouble on the main thread.

And because we can read your minds and already know your next question, our Java team takes a deep dive into how easy it is to handle threading, concurrency, and data consistency.

Epilogue: Should we just abandon Java for Kotlin?

Michael Pardo thinks so. Or at least, he thinks that Java 6 is a wasteland, and that our collective development experience won’t improve much while half of Android devices are using it.

Got suggestions for this list? Let us know on Twitter!

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