MOOC: Android Dev Part 1

That little green trash can

Yes, I continue to go on courses. Now I just finished the Android Development Part 1 (or “Programming Mobile Applications for Android Handheld Systems: Part 1”), dictated by the University of Maryland.

As usual, let me give you a quick review of what it was about, what you need to get into it and what you can get out of it.

Of course, this course is the beginning of a long course. (See what I did there?) It is introductory, and while when finishing it you’re able to already build your applications, make them usable and compile and test them, there is still a long way to go. Part 2 just started, but I think I will pass on it yet, as I wanted to get my certificate for Part 1 but couldn’t get to finish the final project, so I’ll probably take it again somewhere in the future.

They go fast paced. While explanations are detailed and slow, you have programming projects every two weeks, and quizzes every single week. They won’t require more than 4 or 5 hours if you are an experienced developer, but keep in mind that you may have to troubleshoot your way out of certain problems depending on your configuration and system.

As I have just taken this course, I am not an expert in any way, but it seems to me that the Android development world is pretty much self-contained. The platform has its own idiosyncrasy that makes a lot of sense when you enter in that thought-mode. Activities, fragments, layouts, intents, permissions. They all come together to aid you in creating your interfaces, giving them functionality and making them interact with other applications.


This was an introductory course to Android development, for those like me who had no idea what it was all about, like me. A good introduction, nonetheless, and a good broad one to the vast world that Android development is.

You are needed to understand Java development, and concepts needed for it like OOP and multithreading. Aside from that, the knowledge given here is pretty much complete (albeit introductory), and the design for the Android platform makes it so that you can learn this very quickly.

This is because, while the pace of the course is really slow so that you may pick up concepts, it does not stop to explain how the Java language works, how to deal with the details of the JDK and the different IDEs (Android Studio or Eclipse, any of those is fine), how to resolve problems in the applications that you’re working on. Of course, other people and course staff are available to help out with any problems, but these are not really in the scope of the course.


The course was amazingly well explained from top to bottom, with examples for every new concept introduced, and hands-on labs that increasingly advance the complexity of the tasks to work with. These really helped into understanding more how the Android world works and putting it to good use. It will give you hands-on experience on these first steps, up to the point where you can construct functional applications of your own, and even investigate more to help yourself to the more advanced topics.

If you’re really curious about what Android development is or how it works, this course is definitely for you.

If you’re interested in it, you can visit the Android Development Part 1 course.