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Getting started with programming

Discussion in 'Application Development' started by mouldeeves, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. mouldeeves

    mouldeeves Member
    Thread Starter

    Jan 25, 2010
    I am fairly new to android, and I have had my hero for just a few weeks now but I absolutely love it. I'm really interested in creating apps for the platform as well, not necessarily to sell, but more as a hobby and to get some programming experience.

    I am a huge programming noob. I am very tech savvy and I know all the ins and outs of computers (I built one) and I can pick things up fairly quickly, but I have very little programming experience. Maybe a little HTML here and there but apart from that not much at all.

    I have downloaded eclipse and the SDK and got them sorted out and I've set up the AVD. I have done a few REALLY basic things like hello android, list view and stuff like that but thats as far as I have gone.

    I have a some questions:

    1) What do I need to know/read up on to get going with writing java? Is it even realistically possible to get going with such little experience?

    2) What do I need to know about using Eclipse and the SDK?

    3) Is there anything else involved in the creation of basic apps that I need to know?

    Any help would be much appreciated!


  2. mouldeeves

    mouldeeves Member
    Thread Starter

    Jan 25, 2010
    Nobody? :(
    Any help at all would be great! Even if its just one small pointer :)
  3. markb

    markb Well-Known Member

    Sep 14, 2009
    Software Developer (Java, C, Web, Unix)
    Birmingham, UK

    It's potentially quite a big topic, and could require quite a long answer.
    Of course the really short answer would be "books and google", but that might not be what you're after. :)

    1) Java.

    There are plenty of good books. And quite a few free ones.
    One that comes to mind is Thinking In Java. It's free, and available from a number of sites. One of which is:

    Thinking In Java Tutorial Programming Java Free eBook PDF File Download

    It's definitely possible to get going with little experience. After all we all have to start somewhere! You've already got some small apps working, and that's a good starting place to build on.

    Although Android might not be the easiest thing to start with, it'll be more interesting than writing simpler console apps. But you might want to move away from Android and try things out with simple command line programs now and again. For example, it'll be easier to try out file i/o and object oriented ideas in isolation without having to worry about Android stuff. So if you get stuck with something, and it's generic Java and not Android specific, the best approach would be to work on it separately, away from Android. It's easier to get something to work in 5 lines of code than as part of a bigger Android app. And if you're still stuck you'll have a small example you can post on a forum, which will make it easier for people to help you.

    2) Eclipse & the SDK

    As you've already got stuff working, you're already doing pretty well.
    There can be a lot to learn about Eclipse, and the SDK, and it can seem intimidating at first. But you can learn as you go along.

    There's an Eclipse tutorial here:


    And Google provide tutorials for the SDK, which you'll already have seen:

    The Developer's Guide | Android Developers

    I've written a few Android apps, but I've probably only looked at a tiny percentage of the SDK. Rather than try to learn it all, I just focus on small bits as I need them. That way I'll be interested, and will learn quicker as I'll be applying what I learn straight away.

    3) More to know about creating basic apps?

    Almost definitely! But I can't tell you what that is. There's lots more that I need to know too, but I'll get there eventually.

    You've got an app in Eclipse and can build and run it. There will be more to learn as you test on multiple devices, and release to the market place. But it's pretty straightforward.

    The best approach is to ask questions as you go.
    If there's an app you want to write, and are enthusiastic, the rest will come easily enough.

    I hope that helps.


  4. mouldeeves

    mouldeeves Member
    Thread Starter

    Jan 25, 2010
    Thanks for your reply, it was really helpful!
    The E-book looks great and I will probably buy a hard copy of Hello, Android which I have heard is quite good.
    I'm really looking forward to getting stuck in with a bit of learning and becoming more involved with the forums :)
  5. LeonR

    LeonR Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    I can't really comment as i've only been learning java for a week, but I do have experience in .net.

    What helped me, was obviously doing some quick examples (its really good you have already done that!). But then learn some basics, otherwise I found (and probably still do) I have gaps in my knowledge, which hold me up.

    The first thing I tried to do was update a TextView on the xml layout, then I added a button, and using examples and google, got my head round making something happen when a button is pressed. Then I made the button switch to another xml view... I then added a picture, and made the button change the picture...then tried adding a button each layout etc..

    Sombody leant me a book, and the object orientation stuff helped me alot, classes etc.

    You get the idea anyway, I personally just tried the most simple thing, then kept adding bits on to it pushing myself to learn more.

    Keep at it, sounds like you are doing ok :)

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