In the build up to starting my Android Developer Nanodegree at Udacity I was fairly unsure where I wanted to take my development career. It was whilst watching the 2015 Google I/O conference that made me think that building Apps could be a really interesting direction to head in.
I decided to view the prerequisites for the Nanodegree on Udacity’s website and found a few red flags for why maybe I shouldn’t jump straight in. Here are a couple quotes:
- “This is not a “Zero to Hero” program. Entering students are expected to have prior experience building applications (web or mobile) in Java or another object-oriented programming language.”
I didn’t have experiences building web or mobile applications in Java (or another OOP language)…
- “You should have at least 1-2 years of experience in Java or another object-oriented programming language prior to enrolling.”
I also didn’t have 1-2 years of experience in Java (or another OOP language). I had learned a bit of C++ a couple years back though so… that should do right?
- Grit: Ability to work through challenges and persevere when code breaks and tests fail.
Hells yes I have grit! I’m all grit! I’m built of grit! Grit is my middle name… it’s Steven Grit Blakemore; a name I had considered a curse up until this point!
I decided, after asking the opinion of a few valued friends, that I wouldn’t let being painfully inexperienced stop me so I committed to learning Java alongside Android and I jumped straight in.
The prerequisites also mentioned that “This will be a challenging and rewarding journey that will take a novice programmer 9 months or longer to complete, spending an estimated 10 hours per week on the coursework.”
This course took me 12 months to complete, spending an average of 20 hours a week (sometimes less, sometimes a lot more) and when I handed in my final project at 2:30am after a 100 hour work week (32 of those at my actual day job) I felt and looked like this:
The next few days at work I don’t think I was good to anyone (fortunately my Boss was very understanding), and I still feel fairly exhausted, but I did it and came out the end having learned so much and having created something I’m really proud of.
On Monday I’ll go through some examples of the work I completed during the course and explain where I struggled the most.