Google launches Android programming course for absolute beginners

Google has designed an Android app developer course for people who've never programmed.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer on

If you have an idea for an app but don't know the first thing about building it, Google has the course for you.

Launched on Wednesday, the Google Android Basics Nanodegree offers to teach beginners how to build a simple Android app in Java. There are no prerequisites. Google says the target student is anyone who's used a smartphone to surf the web.

All of the individual courses that make up the Nanodegree are available online for no charge, Google said, while Udacity offers additional paid services.

The course material, developed by Google, is hosted on learning platform Udacity and builds on earlier programs such as the Android Nanodegree for Beginners. The basics course takes around four weeks if the student commits six hours a week and upon completion they'll have created two basic apps built in Android Studio.

"Google, in partnership with Udacity, is making Android development accessible and understandable to everyone, so that regardless of your background, you can learn to build apps that improve the lives of people around you," Google announced on its developer blog.

It consists of three lessons, two practice tasks, and several projects where students build simple apps, such as a score counter app, a quiz app, and a single screen app.

The lessons cover design layout using XML, using Java to make an app interactive, and working with the Android Framework and Control Flow to get a taste of Object Oriented Programming. They'll also learn how to interact with Web APIs, and use an SQLite database.

While making big bucks off mobile apps isn't easy, and getting an app noticed is even harder, Udacity highlights there are 3,000 open Android developer jobs on LinkedIn.

According to Udacity, the Android Basics Nanodegree costs $199 per month.

Google is also offering the first 50 students who complete the entry-level course a full scholarship the Career-track Android Nanodegree.

The new entry-point for beginners builds on the existing Google Android Nanodegree courses that were launched last year.

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