Udacity: Tools to help you be the change you wish to see in Android

Are you an armchair technology critic, leaving passive criticism in the comments section of new apps and devices? It’s easy to imagine as the consumer that every product should be flawless. And to be upset when that perfect image is not met. It’s much harder to educate ourselves and invest in solutions, instead of echoing negativity. As they say, nothing worth doing is easy. Luckily, Udacity is making it easier to contribute to the solution by becoming an Android developer.

The problem with technology

The greatest threat to humanity is technology.

Unfortunately, in an era of instant gratification, consumer reviews of any app or device can get ugly, and downright nasty. Take the latest version of the Firefox mobile app, for example. Firefox is an open source browser that is maintained by volunteers for the nonprofit organization Mozilla. Here is a recent Google Play review for the release:

Forgotten are the human developers behind the new release, who spent months of their life and expertise developing an app that was meant to be entertaining or helpful to the public. Nobody sets out to create a horrible product on purpose. Nobody intentionally set out to ruin our day. We do that to ourselves.

Still, it can happen to the best of us. We underestimate the work involved in developing the technology we take for granted every day. Frustration overwhelms us, and eclipses our better judgement. Unpredictable reactions stem from a deep seeded fear of the unknown. Not knowing how to fix something we rely on so heavily can be scary, whether we admit it to ourselves or not. Thankfully, there are solutions that exist beyond the anonymous confines of the comments section.

How you can be a part of the solution

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” – Henry Ford

If you constantly look at apps and say to yourself, “I could do better than that,” maybe it’s time to put your money where your mouth is. One way to do that is with an education. There many affordable online educational outlets. Like Udacity, for example.Udacity android developer info

With the Udacity Android Developer Nanodegree program, you’ll learn everything you need to know to become and Android developer. Learn best practices for mobile development, build a portfolio of apps, publish your own app to Google Play. Then you can begin to view life from the other side of the comments section.

Udacity course programs

How you can benefit from teamwork

Technology can be isolating, but it doesn’t have to be.

Of course, there are other educational bundles that are cheap or free for the lone-wolf Android developers out there. However, Udacity offers the unique benefit of peer review. Udacity provides a community of students learning the same thing at the same time. Students use message boards and workspaces like Slack to mentor each other, form think tanks, and improve the quality of their output, together.

Teamwork is a major component in any career field. Especially today, as more jobs are done remotely. Learning to work as part of a development team is critical to landing your dream job. Each Nanodegree program also comes with job placement assistance once you’ve completed the course. Udacity works with a group of hiring partners to provide a unique opportunity to be fast-tracked in the hiring process.

You can’t afford not to keep up

The world is changing fast, and you must understanding it to thrive in it.

If cost is a concern, Udacity has rolling scholarship offers available by program type and global geographical location. The optional monthly tuition structure can also cut the cost of tuition for quick learners, or those who have extra time to devote to their studies. There are also a number of beginner courses available for free.

Udacity prices

Most nanodegree programs estimate completion within 2-6 months based on an estimated 10 hours of study per week. The self-paced schedule is ideal for those with full-time jobs or kids, and a financial advantage to anyone who can commit extra time to complete the courses early.

Get started

Every Android developer knew as much (or as little) as you at one point.

If you’re not quite ready to become an Android developer, Udacity also offers a nanodegree in Android Basics, in which you’ll learn basic programming skills. And, for those aspiring lone-wolf Android developers, you’ll leave with enough skills to unlock the full potential of the Android devices you already own. Tools that will allow you utilize some of Android’s open source projects, and knowledge to implement fixes to the issues you find with confidence, rather than empty complaints.

While some Nanodegree programs do have pre-requisite Udacity courses, the Android Basics beginner course requires no previous experience or skills. To find other courses with no prerequisites, visit the course catalogue and search by “beginner”. You may also filter by estimated course length and type.

Udacity course catalogue

What are you waiting for?

The world isn’t going to change itself.

If you’re content to leave the doing to someone else while seated comfortably in the peanut gallery, then thank you for taking the time to read this article. You may now return to your regularly scheduled critiquing. Don’t mind the world as it keeps on spinning. When you decide you’re ready to leave the security of that armchair, consider one of Udacity’s many relevant programs. Learn how to be the change you wish to see in your Android.

Have you taken any courses with Udacity, or any other online courses for Android developers? What did you like about them, and what improvements would you like to see? Tell us about your experience in the comments below. Be honest, and please be kind (they’re not mutually exclusive!)