Android Kotlin Developer Nanodegree Review: Is It Worth It?

Android Kotlin Developer Nanodegree Review

Udacity has shelved its Android Developer Nanodegree and in its place introduced the Android Kotlin Developer Nanodegree program. This Nanodegree program is offered in partnership with Google and is designed to prepare learners to become professional Android developers. By the end of this online android developer course, learners should be able to use the Android development platform best-practices, Android Jetpack, Android Studio, and Kotlin to build their own mobile applications for the world’s most used mobile platform.

What is Kotlin?

Kotlin is an open-source programming language developed by JetBrains in 2012 for the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). It can be used anywhere Java is used, and that means literally anywhere. Kotlin combines object-oriented and functional programming features. This includes client, server, Android, and web development. Currently, JetBrains is working to bring Kotlin to embedded systems and iOS as well, potentially making it the go-to programming language for all application areas.

What makes Kotlin programming language stand out among developers is its powerful features and clean language design. Kotlin does not aim to introduce new concepts. Rather, it aims to put together programming language features that have proved beneficial for large-scale projects.

Five reasons why you should learn Kotlin for Android development?

Kotlin was first introduced to the public in 2017 when Google declared its support for it. Since then, the rise of Kotlin’s adoption has been steady. According to a recent StackOverflow survey, well over 72% of Android developers confessed their love for this programming language. Here are five reasons why you should learn Kotlin for Android development,

Kotlin’s interoperability with Java code

JetBrains understood that the more developers understood Kotlin programming language, the better it would be. And the best way to achieve this was to build on an already familiar language. Kotlin’s interoperability with Java code is one of the key reasons why developers love it.

Even though its syntax is not compatible with Java, Kotlin has been designed to interoperate seamlessly with it. This means that your Java codebase can fully interact with Kotlin, and vice versa. Its IDE comes with a built-in automated Java-to-Kotlin converter. Making it consistent with Java’s frameworks and tools was key if you think about the adoption process and the accompanying code migration risks.

Kotlin addresses a series of Java issues like no row types. Null references are controlled by the type system. Kotlin does not come with checked exceptions either. That said, Kotlin is much safer compared to Java.

An open source programming language with a mild learning curve

Since its founding, Kotlin has been an open-source programming language. Kotlin comes with strong IDE support. All the major Java IDEs, NetBeans, Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, and Android Studio provide support.

Kotlin itself is user-friendly and quite easy to learn. It comes with an intuitive syntax just like the other Java-compatible programming languages. In fact, Kotlin was inspired by programming languages like C#, Java, JavaScript, Groovy, and Scala. Thanks to the syntax, Kotlin codes can be read by programmers who are not highly conversant with the language.

Requires less coding

Programmers love Kotlin because optimizes their code writing experience while eliminating redundant codes. Kotlin is compact and concise. If you need less time to code, you are consequently achieving a faster time to market. This makes the overall development process more efficient, reduces cost, and gives developers more time and be creative.

Compared to Java, you can cut up to 40% of the lines when developing your applications with Kotlin. Add to this the fact that Kotlin is an open-source programming language and you will end up with an excellent programming language that developers a naturally inclined to.

Multiplatform Development

One of Kotlin’s greatest advantages is its multiplatform development. You can use Kotlin for just about any type of development: from server-sided and client-sided web applications to Android as well as iOS application development. Kotlin runs on JVM, which facilitates code sharing across platforms. Just like React Native, Kotlin offers developers a great advantage of reusing existing codes to save time and energy.

Flexibility and an excellent coding experience

Another amazing thing about Kotlin is that it gives developers the freedom to work in their chosen style. This highly flexible programming language has both object-oriented and functional constructs. Developers get to choose their preferred style or even mix multiple styles for a great coding experience. This, combined with excellent support, makes Kotlin one of the best programming languages out there.

What is Kotlin developer salary?

The average Android Kotlin developer salary in the United States is $126,750 per annum or $65 per hour. Entry-level roles start at $97,500 while experienced Kotlin developers can earn as much as $190,000 per annum.

A look at the Kotlin Android Developer job market

The demand for Kotlin Android developers has increased by close to 90 percent over the past year. This comes after the news that developers are migrating from Java to Kotlin from Android development projects. That said, there are plenty of opportunities for developers who understand Kotlin and know how to use it for developing intuitive Android applications.

Udacity Android Kotlin Developer Nanodegree: Is it worth it?

App development is big business these days. People spend more time on their mobile phones than they do on their computers. And the newest language in Android development is Kotlin. The Udacity Android Kotlin developer Nanodegree program allows you master the skills you need to start a career as an Android developer in the shortest time possible.

About Udacity

Udacity (Read Review) is an online MOOC platform that was founded in 2012 by two Sanford University professors with the goal of providing IT and business courses to learners around the world at a fraction of real classroom education. Udacity teams up with major corporations to create workplace-focused accredited certifications known as Nanodegrees.

About Udacity Nanodegree programs

When you sign up for an online course with Udacity, like the Cloud Developer Nanodegree program, you will not only get an in-depth curriculum but also attractive extras. These Udacity’s signature extras have brought the platform a lot of attention. Here are some of these extras:

  • Community support – you will get to interact with learners like you
  • Mentorship – Tech challenges will be no more with a mentor that is ready to give you a hand
  • Career help – your resume will be polished, LinkedIn profile reviewed, and taken through a mock interview in readiness for the job market
  • Projects – you will access real-world inspired projects to reinforce the skills you have learned.
  • Freedom – you will get to design your own learning schedule and learn at your convenience.

Udacity Android Kotlin Developer Nanodegree Course instructors

While the course may be comprehensive enough to introduce you to the concepts of Android app development, your tutors are going to be the ones to drive the points home. This online course is facilitated by instructors with killer credentials. Most of these tutors have years of experience in the field and have made an impact sharing their expertise. Here are some of the tutors you will interact with in this online android developer course.

Dan Galpin

With over 10 years of experience in the field, Dan has worked on almost every piece of the puzzle in mobile gaming. He focuses on enhancing the performance of android applications for a better user experience.

Aleks Harcky

Alex brings along more than 2 decades of experience as a developer and writer advocate. Over the years, he has developed tens of tools, most of which introduced brand-new technologies to developers. He is a huge proponent of education, and definitely a huge plus for this program.

Sean McQuillian

Sean began his career in San Francisco as a start-up engineer. Throughout his decade-long run in the tech field, he has been behind the development of several quality applications. His goal is to develop high-quality applications that fit in with the DevOps and Agile.

Murat Yener

Murat has extensive experience working around Android development. He is a Java Champion and the author of Expert Android Studio and Java EE Design Pattern books. Murat knows literally every piece of the development process, making him one of the most knowledgeable Android developers you can ever learn from.

Udacity Android Kotlin Developer Nanodegree Course prerequisites

Udacity Android Kotlin Developer Nanodegree is meant for anyone interested in learning how to develop Android apps. This is an intermediate course, meaning that there are a few things you need to come equipped with when signing up for the program. These include:

  • Prior knowledge of object-oriented programming
  • Working experience with GitHub
  • A working understanding of modular app architecture as well as familiarity with threads and concurrency
  • Understanding of the basics of Kotlin programming language syntaxes

Udacity Android Kotlin Developer Nanodegree Course breakdown

This Android Kotlin Developer Nanodegree course was created in collaboration with Google to equip learners with all the skills they need to become professional Android app developers. At the end of each lesson, you will be required to complete projects to reinforce what you have learned. At the end of this Nanodegree, you will have worked with all the most advanced tools in Android development, including Android Jetpack, Android Studio, and of course, Kotlin.

Here is a breakdown of what you will learn in this Android Kotlin developer Nanodegree course:

Topic 1: App Development Part I

The introductory topic of this Nanodegree program involves constructing interfaces, handling inputs, and understanding Android Lifecycle events. This is meant to help learners develop dynamic and scalable infrastructures that serve as the foundation for Android applications. You will work with Gradle, where you will declare library dependencies to establish app parameters.

Project: Building a shoe store app

You will learn how to build an app with Kotlin from the start. For your first project, you will build a fairly simple app with multiple screens. You will be required to use Android Studio Layout Editor to develop an environment for your Android app. You can follow the step-by-step guidelines as you move along, getting your first app set up and complete by the end of the project.

Topic 2: App Development Part II

Data is a crucial part of application development.  In this section of the program, you will learn how to implement data persistence in your application, display sets of data to users using RecycleView, and use API to connect, store, and retrieve data. You will also learn the best practices of Material Design to create a quality user experience. Finally, you will learn how to make your applications as visible to many users as possible.

Project: Build an Asteroid Radar App

For your second project of the course, you will get to use an open-source API that has been created by NASA. You will be required to build an application that connects the web and displays live data and images about an asteroid. You will work with the RecyclerView and Talkback in this project to test your application and make it accessible to users.

Topic 3: Advanced Android Apps with Kotlin Part I

It is time to take your development skills a notch higher in this section of the course. You will start off by learning how to work with Android’s notification system. Next, you will learn how to enhance your app’s overall look, create animations, and increase its usability.

Project: Design an app with application loading status

Armed with your newly learned skills, you will be required to create an Android app that downloads files from the Internet while creating notifications. You will learn how to create your own notification and send them out to your users and create custom views to start getting into the look and style of Android application development. You will use Motion Layout to boost your app’s user experience.

Topic 4: Advanced Android Apps Part II

Location awareness is important for apps. In this final section, you will learn how to incorporate Google maps into your Android apps. You will learn the best practices and techniques for testing to enable you to scale your applications quickly and more safely. You will learn how to solve any problems that may come up while developing your app. Finally, you will learn how to use Firebase for authentication and remote storage.

Project: Build a location reminder app

In this final in-course project, you will be required to build an app that reminds users of the things they had set out to do when they get to a certain location. Working with Google Maps and location services, you will build a To-Do list that creates notifications and reminders when users reach their set destinations.

Capstone Project: Design your own Android App

For this capstone project, you will be required to design and build your own Android app based on one of the two given themes: 1. Your own idea, or 2. A Political Preparedness app. Whichever idea you go for, you will be expected to apply the skills you have learned in this Udacity Android Kotlin Developer Nanodegree to create an amazing user experience using app architecture patterns of your choosing. By the end, you will have developed your first application from scratch, something that you can add to your portfolio when looking for an Android app developer job.

How long does Udacity Android Kotlin Developer Nanodegree program take?

This is Nanodegree program is exclusively offered online. That means that you are at liberty to set a learning schedule that is most appropriate for you. Just be sure to note the deadlines for your projects. That said, Udacity estimates that you can complete this Nanodegree in four months if you set aside at least 10 hours per week to learning. Whatever you decide, it is important to note that the time you take to complete the course has an effect on the overall cost, so you are better at completing the program within the shortest time possible.

What does Udacity Android Kotlin Developer Nanodegree program cost?

Like with other Nanodegree programs, Udacity charges this course by either monthly access or lump sum pay. The monthly access fee is $399 per month of access while the lump sum fee is $1,116, payable upfront.

Udacity Android Kotlin Developer Nanodegree review: Is it worth it?

The demand for skilled and experienced Kotlin Android developers is on the rise. With developers switching from Java to Kotlin, those who have mastered how to create excellent apps using Kotlin is definitely in high demand. However, in order to jump into this lucrative field, you will need to have the right skills. And with Udacity Android Kotlin Developer Nanodegree, you can acquire these skills in as few as four months. Developed in collaboration with Google, this Nanodegree program will prepare you to become a professional Android developer while at the same time enabling you to create a diverse portfolio of projects during the learning process. Sign up for this Nanodegree program today and learn how to use Android development platform best practices, Android Jetpack, Android Studio, and Kotlin to build apps for the world’s most-used mobile platform.

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