Saturday, November 26, 2011

Hello, Android

Over the Thanksgiving break, I upgraded my JDK to Java SDK 6 update 29 (I've been living in JDK 5-land for quite some time), pulled down Eclipse Indigo, and installed the Android SDK and the ADT Plugin for Eclipse.

At this point in time, I don't actually own any Android devices, yet I'm interested in getting into Android development.

I actually own 4 iOS devices (2 iPhone 4s, 2 iPad 2s). I was interested in iOS development and perused articles and books on Objective C, Cocoa, and even higher-level frameworks such as cocos2d and Corona SDK.

However, as much as I love my iOS devices, I just found it really difficult to get into iOS Development.

I've been doing Java Development for the past 12+ years. Although I think I'm fairly good at learning new languages and environments (I am comfortably able to hop between the Java and Microsoft .NET realms), I just found that there was a steep learning curve for Objective C and Cocoa.

When I first began getting into .NET development about 7 years ago, I found that C# was an easy transition for a Java developer. The .NET BCL provides many of the same classes for I/O, XML, Strings, and i18n as is provided by the core Java API. Thus, as a Java programmer in a new land, it didn't feel too horrendously foreign.

iOS development, on the other hand, felt like a completely different world.

There are definitely points in the article where my thoughts and philosophies regarding technology trends diverge from that of the author.

However, I found myself definitely relating to his points regarding the barriers to entry for iOS development, both in terms of knowledge and equipment, as well as the lack of transferability of skills developed in the iOS arena back to the world of writing enterprise business applications (he referenced the TIOBE Software Index, which in 11/2011 shows Objective-C has a Community Index Rating of 5.983% as compared to Java at 17.874%).

So, based on the fact that Android development fits with my Java / Eclipse background extremely well, I'm embarking on learning as much as I can during Thanksgiving break, and during subsequent evenings and weekends.

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