I don’t often try to write an entire blog article on something I know nothing about, but I’ve already found so many tools and resources for this subject that I feel like I should put them all in one place so they’re easier to find.
First of all, I’m just starting to learn how to use Android Studio. I realize it’s not necessarily the “industry standard” but it’s free and relatively user-friendly. There’s also a lot of online resources available for someone who is just getting starting. For some reason (related to BIOS settings?), I can’t get the emulator to run within Android Studio, so I’m using GenyMotion to test my code. Or at least, when I learn how to write something other than “Hello World,” it will be what I will use when the time comes.
I also decided I should learn how this GitHub thing works and it’s far more awesome than I expected. I suspect it will become even more awesome as I learn how to actually write things that need to be integrated together to work. Right now, I’m still at the “Print out all even numbers from one to ten” stage of programming, but I see potential for this program in my near future.
Install Android Studio: The directions are a little complicated, but follow them precisely and it will all be okay. This is the IDE (Integrated Development Environment), the program that you’ll use to actually write your code, save files, and test your application.
Install GenyMotion: This is also free, but you have to sign up for a free account. Then go to Choose a plan>little grey tab that says ‘Individual’>then “Get started” under BASIC. GenyMotion is a cell phone emulator. Emulator is a fancy word for a thing on a computer that pretends to be another device, such as an old gaming console or a cell phone. You need it to see what your app will look like on a phone, especially if your Android Studio won’t run the built-in emulator.
Another useful program is GitHub, which is a type of Version Control Software. Just go to the site, click the green “Let’s get started!” button and follow the tutorial when it’s offered. The purpose of this software is to keep track of your old, working version of something while you work on new parts. It’s like when you write an essay and you call it essay.doc and when you edit it you change it to essay2.doc. Except GitHub can keep track of the big package of files that is used in an application. Once you know everything works, you can merge your new stuff in with the old stuff. It also has a bunch of tools for collaboration, but I don’t know anything about them. There’s also a ton of code floating around on GitHub that you can look at for inspiration, or grab pieces and parts of to do your own thing.
There’s a way to do all this, as well as integrate GitHub with Android Studio (around the ten minute mark) and it’s explained in this video by Derek Banas. Derek Banas, incidentally, is crazy super awesome at everything programming related, but don’t be afraid to push the pause button. He goes insanely fast, but he covers a tremendous amount of material.
Here’s me on GitHub! There’s nothing there at the moment, but maybe someday it will be awesome.