12 Resources for Android Beginners


If you are already a programmer by trade, an excellent resource is Professional Android 4 Application Development.* It set a high bar and teaches Android in an approachable fashion.

I got my start with version 2, in the time before Fragments and tablets. The book was updated for Ice Cream Sandwich, but a lot has changed in the last few years. Hopefully there’s a new version on the way.

Android Studio

Most Android books (and many online examples) don’t currently teach Android Studio. My book will be based on Android Studio and walk you through on how to create a high quality app from scratch. Also, Android Programming: Pushing the Limits* could be helpful for beginners as it goes over this IDE in depth.


The developer documentation is getting better all the time and the training docs walk you through several topics. There’s also sample code for different use cases. You’ll be spending plenty of time on stackoverflow.

If you are looking for design inspiration, the design documentation is great and Android Niceties showcases beautiful applications on the market.


If video is more your style, I encourage you to check it out the Udacity courses. The Google I/O talks are always informative and the DevBytes series covers a wide range of topics.

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6 Tips For Speaking at Conferences

Have you wanted to get started with a conference speaking career but don’t know how? It’s a lot easier than it appears on the outside!

Own Your Expertise. We are all experts of our own experience. Sharing our path, passion, and knowledge inspires others. We don’t need to know everything about a topic to have something valuable to say!

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Barcamp Philly 2014

I was inspired by three different sources to give a talk at Barcamp this past Saturday.

First, I attended the inaugural Write/Speak/Code conference last year. During the Write day, we learned how to own our expertise and write op ed columns (something that’s on my short term goal list). The Speak day was all about the mechanics of drafting and submitting talks. (Pam Selle and I spoke on the Code day about feminist models for open source participation).
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Conference Speaking 101

I gave a workshop today at Barcamp Philly that heavily drew from Julie Pagano’s workshop and slides. I reorganized the time frame (her workshop is a whole day and walks you through many more steps of conference presenting) and made it fit in a 45 minute time frame.

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What’s Your Tech Origin Story?

When Women Stopped Coding is a (mostly) non-depressing look at what was happening in the 80’s and 90’s to contribute to the plummeting number of women in computer science. In particular, I hadn’t thought deeply about the emergence of computing have and have nots.

My parents didn’t buy a computer for the home. Luckily I had access to computers at my friend’s homes and was on the Internet pretty darn early via Tallahassee Freenet & BBSes in 1995. I went to nicer middle and high schools that had technology classes (though not programming, just typing). I often frequented the library to get online. I loved finally having 24-hour access to the computer lab in my dorm during my first year of college (1998).

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Changing Course? 3 Questions to Ask Yourself First.

Frustrated by fragments? Intrigued by dependency injection? It may be tempting to switch approaches to solve your current pain.

Don’t throw away that code just yet! Think through the following questions first.

1. What problem am I solving?

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5 Principles of Android Logging

A recent question got me thinking about how I use logging in my development/debug process.

Don’t tell lies.

Remember that it’s easy to lie to yourself with logs. I can’t tell you how many times I have made incorrect assumptions about what is going wrong with my code based on the truth presented by the logs. Eventually after exhausting all the other options you finally start tracking down the real problem.

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