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Old September 16th, 2012, 11:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Learning Android coding

Hello folks,

This is not a regular question. First of all, I am a geneticist, have absolutely zero experience with any kind of coding but interested in learning android coding. My son (age 4 years) has autism and as a father of a child with autism, I have a tons of ideas that could be capitalized upon. The glitch here is, we, as parents of children with disabilities, pay through our noses for the services the child needs so practically we are usually left with very little money for anything else to do in our life.

If you are a programmer, coding is your bread and butter so I can not ask anyone to code for free. The new apps arriving in the store are astronomically expensive that very few parents can afford (but many still buy a dollar burger for lunch for a week and buy for their children). I would like to break this barrier and if its possible that I could learn myself, I will code apps for my son and will distribute it for free to the community. (This situation is in the US, the conditions in developing countries are even worse.)

Hence, my question is, how difficult is it for a person like me to learn android coding? Are there any free community resources that I can use? (very respectful and understanding where a newbie is coming from. I have a VERY BAD experience of Ubuntu forums, hence still using windows)

Many thanks for all your input.

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Old September 16th, 2012, 12:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Learning to code with no prior experience isn't impossible, but requires a lot of time and dedication. Do you have the free time? You would need to read a couple of books first, do some practice with some general coding exercises and then start programming a real application. It would take months even you are willing to spend 4-5 hours per day.

There is an "Application Requests" here that you can ask for help. I believe that many community members will be willing to help you. You would need to describe your ideas. Most of us aren't familiar with the needs of an autistic child. I expect that many will be willing to help you for free.
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Old September 16th, 2012, 01:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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As mentioned above, when there is a cause such as this involved, it isn't unusual for seasoned coders to band together and help you out. Often times they will ask for permission to distribute it as an open source solution so that it remains free and cannot be easily competed against by other products. In the end, this approach is beast for you (given your above desires) as well as it ensures that there will ALWAYS be a free alternative to costly products available. Since most (dare I say none?) or us have any idea what an autistic learning app would entail, it would defintiely take some guidance from you to get us started, but I am sure there are enough people on the forum who would love to help out a cause such as this. I am not sure that I would have the time to be a heavy hitter on this project, but I certainly wouldn't mind helping out here and there if given access to the code repository. Go ahead and post a thread in the App Requests section that tells your story (it can be a repeat of this, or go into more detail, up to you) and make an earnest request for help. making it clear that it will be an open source effort with no desire for money will better bring people to the cause. I suppose the least I could do is set up a code base as a starting point and act as admin of the repository, granting, monitoring, and revoking contribution permsissions and such.
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Old September 18th, 2012, 07:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Start at video number 1 and do not stop until you get to 200. It may not make you an expert, but it will tell you pretty much everything you need to know. But I have to warn you now, there is a lot more to programming than just knowing all of the code.

List of Videos for Android Application Development
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Old September 23rd, 2012, 04:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Go to your public library and check out a few books on android application development, if they have one, and also get a few books on Java. Bury your face in those books for a while, until you have a basic concept of what a application requires.

I admire your drive though. I hope all goes well.
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