After spending over a year managing Objective-C software engineers, I’ve become quite comfortable (from a development perspective) in the iOS environment. I’ve picked up a lot of the shortcuts in Xcode and learned ways around many of the-ahem-nuances. Trying to pick up Android development has been slightly irritating. I think I expect to be able to quickly navigate source code, visual editors, a built-in context-aware help system and online documentation and examples. The reality is, the development environment is just as different from Apple’s as the consumer platform itself. I’m not even going to get into the Android emulator’s lackluster performance.
In any event, the last time I walked through some Android development tutorials online, the available APIs were quite different. I’m now trying to understand fragments from more than just a conceptual perspective. It doesn’t help when there are limited step-by-step tutorials on the Android developer site and many of the sample projects have deprecated APIs right out of the gate. Part of my problem, however, is my own expectations.
I expected to be able to dive in 30 minutes at a time and be able to write code simply because I’m well versed in other programming languages. Java just ain’t the same beast, though. And while I usually embrace all things open-source, Eclipse leaves much to be desired. I’m determined to make it work, however, and I’m starting to pick up speed while learning to traverse the Android development ecosystem with a less-than-optimal development environment. One thing is for sure, though: it will be a long long time before Java and I are friends.