Android App Developer Skills

In a smartphone-dominated world, the Android operating system has the vast majority of devices and users under its fold. When considering extending your mobile footprint, developers have an Android-first approach. But the Android app market is breathtakingly competitive, so hire the best experts for your next project. 

While hire Android app developers from an Android App Development Company, what are the essential development skills and qualities you need to focus upon? Do you want to know all the key attributes and skills that make the most accomplished Android app developers? Here we explain them one by one. 
 

Understanding of the Fundamentals of Android OS

Having a solid command of the fundamentals of the Android operating system is the critical area you need to consider first. These fundamentals include a good knowledge of the different Android OS versions and the evolution of capabilities and features, the Android ecosystem of devices and their variable OS version support, the core design principles of Android, Android app submission and approval guidelines, the unavoidable performance challenges caused by various devices and security risks and vulnerabilities involved in a diverse ecosystem like Android. 

Understanding these Android fundamentals is essential for developers who want to build an app for a wider audience. Here we shed some light on these fundamentals. 

  • Android has several concurrently running versions, with the advanced ones supporting the latest flagship devices and the older ones supporting only low-end Android smartphones. A good understanding of this diverse ecosystem and its variable factors is essential. 

  • Android follows Google’s Material Design principle, which is distinct from many UI/UX design principles in many respects. Having a good understanding of this design philosophy and key elements is essential for Android developers. 

  • Play Store has different app submission policies and approval criteria compared to iOS. Developers should be versed in these guidelines. 

  • Android developers should also have good knowledge of the performance variables and security vulnerabilities caused by the highly diverse and multifaceted Android device ecosystem and the measures to ensure consistency and deal with security loopholes. 

Programming and SDK skills 

Now, let’s come to the bread and butter of every Android developer, namely, programming and SDKs for Android app development. Since Android in many respects, takes a lot of principles from suitable old web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, having a good knowledge of them is essential. 

The critical programming languages and SDKs Android developers should be versed with include the following. 

 

Kotlin

Kotlin is now the official Android development language. Having several similarities and interoperability with Java, Kotlin has quickly become popular, allowing most developers to switch from Java. Apart from allowing developers to use all the pre-existing Android libraries, it offers many valuable new features for Android app development.

Java

Java has now lost the official language status to Kotlin, but it is still used in most Android libraries and packages. Java in the developing world is responsible for bringing in many revolutionary concepts related to object-oriented programming (OOP) that remain relevant. So, besides Kotlin, an expert Android developer should also be versed in Java programming skills. 

XML:

XML or Extensible Markup Language allows Android developers to deliver Java or Kotlin-based features and functionalities onto the device interface. Naturally, it is a kind of middleware that every Android developer needs to use and is regarded as a crucial skill.

SDK:

Android encourages component-based development principles to ensure consistency across devices and ease of development through ready-to-use building blocks. Android SDK or Android Software Development Kit (SDK) is the official SDK of the platform that developers need to utilize to shape the look and feel of the app by adhering to Android design and development guidelines. 

Firebase:

Firebase is the platform's server-side or backend technology to help developers with API configuration and for setting the business logic through server setup. It also helps the Android apps to be featured in Google Search. So, a good knowledge of Firebase and how it works is essential for developers. 


Good command over SQL and NoSQL databases 

Android operating system relies on SQL databases for storing app data. So, having a good command over SQL databases and how it function through multiple triggers, tables and indexes should be understood meticulously.

But many cross-platform technologies and Android developers rely on NoSQL databases when choosing a custom tech stack for the respective app project. This is why it is also essential for them to have a good knowledge of NoSQL databases MongoDB. Since offline capabilities are increasingly becoming crucial for apps, understanding SQLite databases can also benefit developers. 

Knowledge of Android Studio

Android Studio is the official Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for the Android operating system. Android Studio is arguably the most popular SDK globally, with a global following of developers from all development walks. 

Android Studio comes loaded with a slew of tools for faster development and several relevant features like a fully-fledged code editor, scalable build support, powerful visuals, cloud platform support, quick bug fixing and refactoring, and many others. So a good knowledge of Android Studio is a must for developers of this platform. 

Command over platform APIs and third-party integrations 

Since every app needs to incorporate several value-added features and functionalities through either platform-specific APIs or third-party APIs, a good command of these is essential for Android developers. 

Besides bringing in existing APIs, the developers of crucial projects may need to build new APIs for new and advanced interactions. Apart from API configuration and development, troubleshooting APIs is also critical for Android app developers. 

UI/UX & Material Design experience 

Though developers are not directly responsible for the app's user interface design and look and feel, they need to collaborate with the designers closely and, while leveraging functional attributes, should always keep the user interface and user experience attributes. 

Compared to the iOS operating system platform, Google opted for more flexible design standards while not missing a distinctive look and feel. Known as the Material Design principle, it rules the appearance and user experience of the final product. So an Android developer is expected to have enough knowledge of this design philosophy. 

What should you ensure when hiring skilled Android developers? 

Now that you have a comprehensive idea of all the must-look-for skills when hiring Android developers, it is time to acknowledge that mere technical skills are not enough for successful Android development. A deserving Android developer with immense experience and project exposure will also be a good communicator and team man with good collaboration skills and should have domain experience for the respective niche. Most importantly, before getting on board the best Android developers for the project, you need to have total clarity on the project requirements.

Below, we discuss some more requirements and soft skills you need to look for. 

Make sure you have a detailed PRD in hand. 

First of all, as the app publisher, you need to be absolutely clear on the app project requirements and to ensure this prepare a Project Requirement Document (PRD) before starting the interviews. The document will explain the app in detail along with target audience, business objectives, user benefits, technology stack, design requirements, development methodology for the project, QA testing process,  monetisation, deployment and launch date and future update roadmap. 

A project requirement document ultimately will guide you to set expectations from the developers and look for the exact skills your project requires. To have a well grounded trajectory of development from the very beginning, project planning is essential, and this is what a PRD does. 

Dig into the portfolio and check the feedback 

Before checking the developer candidate's resume, you must dig into their app portfolio to understand their skills, domain knowledge, and shortcomings. A portfolio of app projects gives us a hands-on evaluation measure to determine the experience and skills of the developers. 

But just a few names in the portfolio is not enough to evaluate their experience. You need to reach out to a few of their earlier clients and understand their experience working with the respective developers. 

Check communication and collaboration skills.

Lastly, a proficient Android developer should also be a good communicator in both speech and text. Their verbal communication is essential for team collaboration, and text communication is crucial for documentation and creating collateral that showcases the project in good light to outsiders. 

Ensure the developers have a listening habit and enough aptitude to investigate problems. They should be able to communicate the development challenges and steps to their team members well. Lastly, ensure the developers are versed with modern project collaboration methods, tools, and protocols. 

Over To You 

All the must-have skills and considerations we explained above for hiring proficient Android app developers are common to the hiring processes of most accomplished Android app projects across the globe. So, instead of reinventing the wheel, you only need to stick to these basics, and you can expect to get on board the best ones in your Android development team. 

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Betina Isted

Expert business analyst

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