February 15, 2018

My Android Developer Story

I started working full-time as a Java developer after graduating in 2009. It was around that time that I got to learn about Google developer technologies, especially Android. There weren't much Android phones yet but I had believed Android will be the future. A few months later (already 2010), I started loooking into the developer documentation and studying about developing Android apps.

In 2011, I bought my first Android phone: a Nexus S and subscribed to a Globe postpaid plan. Nexus devices then do not have a SIM tookit and Globe does not have an app for it. I decided to build a simple SIM utility app for personal use. Later, I added support for the other mobile networks and published it on Google Play as PHostpaid, a utility app for postpaid mobile phone services in the Philippines (Globe, Smart, Sun Cellular).

My second app was an Android app for GTUG Philippines (now GDG Philippines), which I am one of the community managers. Users can get the latest blog posts and messages in the mailing list. It was the first app I had published on the Android Market (now Google Play Store). I created a developer account on September 3, 2011 using an ATM debit card as I don't have a credit card to pay for the developer registration fee. Thirteen days after, I published the app. It was one of the first GTUG (now GDG) apps back then.

After these two apps, I started developing more apps and publishing them on Google Play Store.

onFocusChange

I decided in 2012 to move to a different company to focus on mobile app development. I have been doing Android on the side but it will be better if I will have firsthand experience on it. Working as an Android Developer will give me knowledge and skills from work and co-workers. I continued working on my personal projects and even looked for Android part-time projects and consulting jobs.

Starting 2012, I did talks and conducted workshops about Android app development, most of which are with Google Developer Groups. These talks/workshops are usually in schools and other events. I have been invited to judge Android development competitions and conduct some Android trainings for companies. With these talks, trainings, and workshops, I got to share my knowledge to others and inspired them to be Android developers like me. It made me learn more too. You can check out the list of my talks and workshops at http://talks.tigcal.com.


One of my Android talks and workshops

Android Apps

As of today, I have published nine (personal) Android Apps on Google Play Store. I also have Tigcal Utilities and an app for Celine (You and Me) there but these two are in Closed Alpha Testing. You can check out my apps at https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=Jomar+Tigcal or in my Google Play Developer Page.

My Google Play Developer Page (Desktop view)

Android Gradle Extension

I have also developed a Google Chrome Extension, Android Gradle Extension, that adds Gradle dependency to use for Android API class reference pages at developer.android.com. Users can then copy the Gradle dependency text and use it in their codes. There is also a button to copy the text to the clipboard automatically.

Android Gradle Extension
My Android Gradle Extension at work

Continuous Learning

As Android is always evolving, I'm also keeping myself up-to-date with the latest Android developer news. I read Android developer blog posts and articles and watch relevant videos. I also enroll in different Android online courses. During the Google Developers Study Jams in 2015, I finished Udacity's Developing Android Apps (Android Fundamentals) Course as one of the facilitators for the GDG Philippines Android Fundamentals Study Jams. This year, I'm also planning to take the Associate Android Developer Exam and earn the certification.


Udacity Certificate of Completion

Looking back at my decision before, I am happy I decided to be an Android developer. I have been able to develop apps that I need or that others can use. It feels great that Android users are downloading my apps and using them. And reading reviews and messages from users that my apps have helped or are helping them gives me inspiration to improve my existing apps and develop more.

By the way, if you are in need of an Android developer or consultant to help you develop your app, you can send me a message.


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