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Beginning Android Games - is this a good way to get back up to speed?

 
Jax Blunt
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I'm an experienced and qualified java programmer (gui and server side) but I'm a bit out of the loop after a couple of years at home with children. I'd like to get back into programming and I'm wondering if games (or other apps) on Android would be a good way to get my skills back up to scratch? Any thoughts, pitfalls, obvious flaws to this plan? I was last sun certified at java 1.4 so back a bit I know.
 
Bill Mote
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Come up with an idea for an app that will provide utility for yourself. If it's useful to you then it's likely useful to someone else too. Don't look for other implementations of your idea save for inspiration. Start working your way through the implementation.

I wrote "Broadcast SMS Lite" as a simple group SMS app. I wanted to get a message to a group of people in as few clicks as possible. Prior to January I had never written a line of Java and knew nothing about the Android API. Version 1.0 took about 7 days and was a horrific mess -- even if it had no force close issues ;) It has suffered much refactoring and I continue to learn. I have ~1,000 users at present. I've started a blog to highlight the things I've learned. In my down time I answer questions on Stack Overflow to help stay sharp.

So, my point, just start coding.
 
B. Katz
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Jax Blunt wrote:I'm an experienced and qualified java programmer (gui and server side) but I'm a bit out of the loop after a couple of years at home with children. I'd like to get back into programming and I'm wondering if games (or other apps) on Android would be a good way to get my skills back up to scratch? Any thoughts, pitfalls, obvious flaws to this plan? I was last sun certified at java 1.4 so back a bit I know.


Well, I think it's not a bad way to get back into the swing of things as far as programming goes, though there are going to be major differences in how you will have to lay out the functionality and presentation of the app in Android. But the code is java-based so you will be able to take advantage of your experience too.

HTH.
 
Mario Zechner
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Game development would in so far be a good way to get back into the field as it touches a ton of different things: file i/o, networking, input handling, graphics & audio programming, etc. etc. etc. You might consider checking out some of the new features introduced in Java 1.5, most importantly generics and the modified collection classes.
 
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