Android, Inc. was founded in 2003 and, as you may or may not know, acquired by Google in 2005. Android is an operating system and programming platform now developed by Google for smartphones and other mobile devices like tablets. Given this, many developers have chosen to specialize in Android. We talked with Amancaya, one of our Android developers, about why she chose this career path. 

Amancaya was always interested in technology and started her development career in Sucre, Bolivia. At that time, many different tech communities existed,  and one, GDG Sucre, invited her to join. As a participant in their community, Amancaya started to learn and share new technologies she discovered. (Fun Fact: Erwin, another member of the Oktana Bolivia family, is also part of this community.)

Since joining Oktana, Amancaya has contributed to a project involving Android app development for a leading US-based weight-loss program.

Why become an Android developer?

If mobile is what you like, you won’t regret becoming an Android developer. In the case of Amancaya, it was frustrating to learn JavaScript because it isn’t so flexible and she appreciates a very well-established structure. Kotlin, on the other hand, combines object-oriented (a paradigm in which you have to think about objects at the time of development) and functional programming features that are more comfortable to her style. Java is also a good starting point for an Android developer.

When she started to learn about Android development, the only information she found was about other web developers and frameworks. In Sucre, Bolivia not many people do mobile development, everything is more web-oriented, so this further complicated her path at the start. Now there is a much stronger global community of Android developers sharing tricks and tips, so it’s much easier to feel supported and get answers when you need them.

The most important thing in getting started is that you feel comfortable with Kotlin or Java.

Kotlin vs Java

Kotlin was designed with Java interoperability in mind, you can include Kotlin code in your Android app in any way you want. Java can be called from Kotlin in a natural way and vice versa. Both languages ​​are very similar, that’s why both are the favorites of the developers, but there are some differences:

  • Kotlin provides the ability to extend a class with new functionality without having to inherit from the class or use design patterns such as Decorator. This is done via special declarations called extensions.
  • Any chunk of code written in Kotlin is much smaller compared to Java, as it is less verbose.
  • Kotlin compiles the code into a bytecode which can be executed in the JVM. So, all libraries and frameworks made in Java can be moved and run in a Kotlin project.
  • Kotlin is not as popular, so the developer community is sparse compared to other well-established languages ​​like Java. 

You can read more about Kotlin and Java here

Android developers in Bolivia 

In Bolivia, the Android community is gradually growing, and exists in different communities across many cities in Bolivia, including Kotlin User Groups en La Paz, Cochabamba and El Alto, GDG Android Bolivia. These communities host regular talks and workshops to help more people learn about mobile development and Android development, to grow the Android developer community in Bolivia.

Another group of developers exists that is starting to specialize in Flutter, which is a new open-source mobile software development kit that can be used to build native-looking Android and iOS applications from the same code base. 

Also, if you are interested in learning more about mobile development, read about one of our latest projects

At Oktana, our team of mobile developers is growing, check our current open positions. In Amancaya’s words:

“The people who work on my project are very good. I have learned a lot and every day I learn more. My team explains things to me when I need them to, it’s been a great experience.”

 

 

 

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