Training course for complete beginners to learn professional Android app development: Book, quizzes, tests, answer key, forum.
As society becomes more and more mobile, a huge demand is opening up for developers with the skills needed to create professional Android apps. Companies are paying big bucks to get their products and services to users on-the-go. But if you've never programmed before or have programmed before but not with Android, wouldn't it be great to have all the information you need to go from a complete beginner to a professional possessing these highly prized skills? And not just a series of tutorials, but a complete course with exercises and tests, through which you will write several of your own professional demo apps to show off to potential employers? That's what I want to create!
There are tons of resources for learning Android, but few of them are really practical, and they often spend so much time going over every optional variation or parameter that readers wind up skimming, often missing what's important. I want to create a course book with a companion website that teaches each required skill from beginner to professional, through practical, interesting exercises.
Some of the topics I'm planning to cover:
- Familiarization with Java programming
- Familiarization with XML
- Setting up a development environment
- Familiarization with the Android SDK
- Troubleshooting and Debugging strategies
- Memory and Battery management strategies
- Backwards compatibility
- Utilizing locational data and Google maps (build a geolocation demo)
- Linking with online web services and databases (build an interactive demo)
- Using the accelerometer (build a multi-user "bump" demo)
- Sharing data (via Facebook, Twitter, email, etc)
- Dynamic 2D graphics (build a demo game)
- Utilizing multi-touch
- Adding audio
- Utilizing a 3rd-party 3D graphics engine (build a 3D demo game)
This is more than just an e-book; it will be a full course with exercises and tests (and an answer key) to make sure you understand each concept in practice, not just in theory. There will be lots of sample code that you can copy and use in your own future projects. The companion website will have a support forum for questions, as well as downloadable source code for all the examples, exercises, tests, and demos.
The course book itself will take around six months to write, and I expect it to be around 500 pages. But this won't just be something I finish writing and then abandon. Feedback from students will be used to improve the course over time (primarily to better emphasize sections that folks report having difficulty with). Everyone enrolled in the course will have free access to all future revisions, and direct support via the companion website.
In the event that the initial goal of $24,000 is greatly exceeded, I will write extensions to the main course, to teach even more mobile-related development skills. I will create these additional courses after I finish the main course, so they will not affect the estimated delivery dates I have listed for the rewards. Additionally, all the rewards earned for the main course will also be extended to these additional courses if the stretch goals are met, so you'll get a lot more for your money!
$48,000 - PhoneGap Sister Course :: This will be a second course on app development, mirroring the main course. However, instead of teaching native Android app development, it will instead focus on the skills needed to develop cross-platform apps through the PhoneGap framework (see phonegap.com). Upon completion of the course, you will be able to build apps for any mobile platform, including Android, Blackberry, iPhone, iPad, and Windows Phone!
$60,000 (or $36,000 - $47,999) - Unity Follow-up Course :: This shorter course will focus on the skills needed to develop a cross-platform 3D demo game through the Unity framework (see unity3d.com). Learn to create awesome 3D games that can be run not only on mobile devices, but also web, PC, Mac, and even consoles!
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The biggest challenge of this project will be presenting the material in as understandable a way as possible, so that someone with only an interest and no prior programming experience can successfully complete the course and learn the material. At the same time, it must be interesting, or more experienced folks will lose interest and skim over potentially important material. I plan to overcome this challenge by avoiding theory, and getting right into real-world, practical usage. Each topic will be working directly toward creating an interesting, functional demo.
Of course, there's always the potential for snags with any creative project. Things can go wrong, take longer to complete than expected, etc. On such potential snag could be a couple of upcoming life events. I recently transitioned out of the Air Force, and we have moved to a new city and state. We are in the process of purchasing a house, and a lot of my free time in upcoming weeks will be understandably focused on that.
I intend to overcome this challenge by establishing a clear time-line of goals, which will be a metric of how things are progressing. This will motivate me to stay on track with the project. In the event that I am behind schedule for whatever reason, I will let everyone know well ahead of time. I intend to be as transparent as possible with this project, so you the contributers can see that I am not squandering your investment.
One final challenge is the "estimated delivery dates" for the rewards that involve one-on-one sessions with me. If a lot of people choose these rewards, then the actual dates when these sessions take place may be delayed for some contributers. I will coordinate with everyone to work out a schedule that is fair and ensures that everyone in those tiers is accommodated.
There is a limited 20-backer tier for early pledgers. I'll cover the international shipping costs for everyone in this tier. Once it is full, the unlimited $100 reward tier reminds everyone to add $24 for international shipping.
Yes. Multiple people have requested this already, so I will definitely address tablets in this course.
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Pledge $5 or moreYou selected
A personal thank you from me, plus your name listed in the backers section of the website. Additionally, you will receive a copy of whatever app is voted on in the $35 reward tier (Note: you must pledge $35 or more to participate in the voting)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $20 or moreYou selected
NEW! Receive a T-Shirt in whatever size you choose, with a hobo Android holding a cardboard sign that says "Will Code Apps for Food". See Update #6 for the available designs to choose from. You can choose either white or grey for the color of the shirt. There is no limit on the number of shirts you can order, just add multiples of $20 to your pledge. I will ship up to five shirts per box. Shipping cost is $6 per box to anywhere in the US, and $17 international. Please add the shipping cost to your pledge. IMPORTANT NOTE: This is a new reward, and it is NOT included in the "All of the above" rewards below! To receive this reward in addition to another reward, simply increase your pledged amount by $20 (plus shipping). Surveys will be sent to everyone if the campaign is successful, to ask about shirt sizes, colors, designs, and shipping addresses.Estimated delivery:Add $17 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
All the above, plus full access to the course at a special low price. Includes a digital (PDF) copy of the course book, tests, and answer keys, access to the companion website and support forum, and free downloads of all future revisions of the course material.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $35 or moreYou selected
Same as the $25 reward tier, plus everyone in this tier gets to vote on an Android app you'd like to see me write! Think of an app you want, but don't currently have. A personal finance app? A social media app combining email, FB, and Twitter? Port of a game engine like OpenBOR? OUYA apps will also be considered! (see www.ouya.tv) Whatever app is decided on through voting, everyone who pledges $5 or more will get the app for free (it will probably retail around $5.99 or so on Google Play). The completion date for the app will obviously depend on what it is.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $40 or moreYou selected
Same as the $35 tier, plus get access to the "Beta" chapters as they are written! Everyone who pledges $40 or more will be able to play an active role in the development of the course book, and have a huge impact on the project!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $45 or moreYou selected
Same as the $40 tier, plus a tutorial on how to develop the app chosen for the $35 tier, written in a similar style as the chapters of the course book.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
All of the above, plus get listed in the course book in the appendix, as an official sponsor, along with your website's URL or a short URL-length message.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
All of the above, plus paperback tests and answer key. Includes shipping to anywhere in the US, add $24 for international shipping. Additionally, you will be given the opportunity to order a copy of the printed course book for no more than it costs me to have it printed and shipped. Actual cost for the printed course book will depend on the final page-count and the number of copies I place the order for.Estimated delivery:Add $24 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
4 backers Limited (16 left of 20)
All of the above, plus paperback tests and answer key. Additionally, you will be given the opportunity to order a copy of the printed course book for no more than it costs me to have it printed and shipped. Actual cost for the printed course book will depend on the final page-count and the number of copies I place the order for.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $150 or moreYou selected
All of the above, plus a photo or logo and a full paragraph listed in the sponsors section of the website. Additionally, four lucky individuals who have chosen this tier will be selected at random to receive the reward from the $1,000 tier!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $200 or moreYou selected
All of the above, plus an autographed, first edition, paperback course book. Additionally, two lucky individuals who have chosen this tier will be selected at random to receive the reward from the $2,000 tier!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $300 or moreYou selected
Same as above, except the course book is an autographed, first edition hardcover. Additionally, one lucky individual who has chosen this tier will be selected at random to receive the reward from the $5,000 tier!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (8 left of 8)
Same as above, plus have a photo or logo along with a full paragraph listed in the front of the course book.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (24 left of 24)
Five 2-hour sessions of one-on-one training conducted by me personally, on any part of the course you choose. English only. Scheduling will have to be coordinated to accommodate everyone who selects this reward. These sessions will be conducted through Skype (or your preferred communications method if I am able). I am located in the US, but will try my best to accommodate folks who are across the pond as well. Add an additional $1000 to your pledge for five additional 2-hour training sessions (no limit per person, but will require taking turns since I am only one guy).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $2,000 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (6 left of 6)
Personal assistance by me in developing your own custom Android demo app based on the knowledge learned in the course, to show off to your friends or potential employers. This will include two weeks of close collaboration via online chat, phone, or Skype to make your demo happen.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $5,000 or moreYou selected
1 backer Limited (1 left of 2)
I will help co-develop any Android app you are working on, regardless of size or scope. This is your chance to have an experienced Android developer on board your team!Estimated delivery:
- (31 days)