Honing your skills as a developer can be quite an exciting endeavor. Facing a hiring manager can be quite daunting, but it shouldn’t discourage you. If you’re dedicated to becoming the best Android developer you can, you will surely ace your next interview.
Study these 5 things hiring managers look for in Android developers to have the best chance possible of landing your dream Android developer job:
1. Mastery of foundational technologies
Before you study the minutia for your next big Android interview, be certain you can talk about basic Android concepts and technologies in depth.
Specifically, you’ll want to freshen up on topics related to Android Studio, Gradle, XML, Java, and Kotlin. Android Studio is the de-facto IDE of Android, so even if you do use another technology to write, debug, and test your code, great Android developers should always brush up on the latest capabilities of the platform.
As an Android developer, you should be fairly familiar with XML, the markup language as well as Java.
Although, it’s important to note that with the release of Android Jetpack, we’re seeing a greater push for the Google-created programming language Kotlin. So, if you are unfamiliar with Kotlin, you may want to take a course or two to get the hang of the Android programming language.
2. A strong portfolio
The foundation of any strong developer’s resume is the breadth of their repositories and the scope of their portfolio. GitHub is the most popular, and one of the most complete, platforms for developers to display their work and interact with other developers.
The forums and groups on GitHub allow developers to constantly work on new projects while also showcasing their projects and gaining insight into their skills.
A great android developer will have a GitHub profile that will allow hiring managers to gain valuable insight into how the candidate approaches problems and how they find solutions. GitHub is an incredible gift to hiring managers everywhere as it speeds up the hiring process and separates the good from the best.
It is also critical to ask for any working android applications that the candidate may have already completed to gain a better understanding of their mastery of android. Functional apps that are already performing on the android market are always better for determining actual skill than the resume.
Hiring managers will also want to see code snippets of projects that the candidate is most proud of to assess their level of self-evaluation.
Additionally, these code snippets will demonstrate their organizational skills and display their method of coding which may differ drastically from your current team. Almost as important as the skills sheet is the style of coding that the candidate demonstrates as the cultural fit plays a larger role in success than talent alone.
Published apps on the Google Play Store
Beyond apps as simple projects, hiring managers may also want to see candidates who have released official apps on the Play Store to assess their practical development and business skills. Many tech companies will seek out those developers who have created apps that have followings or some form of traction that warrants a special level of attention.
Diligence is required to test the legitimacy of the product and each product should be assessed compared to its relative market. However, there is no denying that those developers with proven apps are always desirable candidates.
3. Familiarity with Android Jetpack
Android has had plenty of sweet updates with their candy-covered updated nomenclature. No update has been as monumental as Android Jetpack, however. It’s a comprehensive update to the very framework of Android itself, collating and improving upon AndroidX libraries.
This massive reconfiguration of Android allows for faster prototyping, reuse of boilerplate code, and improvements to security, robustness, and additions to important behavior APIs like WebView.
Leveraging Android Jetpack will become increasingly important as the older versions of Android will slowly lose support, and ultimately, become deprecated.
4. Strong communication and collaboration skills
Hiring managers should be primarily concerned with your soft skills. After all, you can’t create great Android apps without working as a team. Teamwork makes the dream work, as they say. It’s the most important aspect of any interview. Are you easy to work with? Do you understand how to communicate your ideas?
Collaborating on Android projects means working with a variety of people in all sorts of disciplines, which means you must be able to thoughtfully and succinctly express both technical and non-technical ideas.
Great communication also encompasses a willingness to accept constructive criticism, an ability to own up to mistakes, and a dedication to mastering digital collaboration platforms like Trello, Jira, and Slack.
5. An agile mindset
An iterative design methodology is the cornerstone of software development today. Products are no longer seen as static entities but are instead improved upon regularly.
Hiring managers will want to guarantee that their Android candidate is familiar with the iterative design method and is comfortable developing in such an environment as the agile method demands. Agile development teams are founded on communication and iteration.
Agile teams are known for their communication protocols that prioritize openness and cooperation. Part of guaranteeing this level of teamwork is setting a schedule of weekly meetings through which team members can share their progress and their concerns.
This weekly dialogue will confirm a certain level of trust and understanding between the team members which will limit miscommunication or misdirection.
Ability to work as a team
The candidate must also be willing to work as a team as the agile environment relies on teamwork. A candidate that has all the right skills but lacks the right personality will ultimately drag the team down overall.
Candidates that show a willingness and commitment to cooperation are almost always going to be the best in contention. When Android developers cannot work as a team, they are not ready to advance their careers.
Landing your dream developer job may not be an easy task, but it is certainly an enriching one. Study basic logic puzzles, practice coding, and publish a few dormant projects. If you study and practice, you’ll be prepared to inspire awe in the next hiring manager that comes across your resume.
Develop diligently, work on presenting your ideas clearly and concisely, highlight relevant experience and integrate these tips to prepare for your next Android developer interview.