Udacity Android Nanodegree: Study How to Develop Android Apps

Have you got an amazing, groundbreaking, and world-changing idea for an app, but lack the skills to develop it? Well, why not take a Udacity Android Nanodegree, and learn how to develop the app yourself?

Now, sure - you first thought might be something along the lines of “Android engineering being extremely difficult to figure out and master”. Fair enough - however, we’re talking about the Udacity Android Basics course here!

What this means is that the course will take things from the top, and allow you to start studying the topic from the very beginning, with no prior knowledge required.

Having said that, this doesn’t mean that the Nanodegree in question is good, or worth checking out! In order to figure out whether or not that’s the case, we’ll need to take a good, long look at the course in question.

That’s exactly what we’re going to be doing in the article below!

Why Study to Become an Android Developer?

Before we jump into the Udacity Android Nanodegree review, let’s cover a few of the basic points regarding becoming an Android developer, first.

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Naturally, the first question you should ask yourself is exactly that - why should you study to become this type of a dev, in the first place?

While each individual is going to have their own reasons for why they chose to go down this career path, there are a couple of big reasons that are the same for most people.

Udacity Android: the Android mascot on a laptop.

For starters, the thing that I’ve mentioned in the beginning of this article on the Udacity Android Basics course - the wish to develop an app of your own.

If you have a genius idea for an app, you might not want anyone else to find out about it! On top of that, perhaps the application would possess some really difficult-to-explain design or functionality features, and you can only trust yourself to get it right.

Whatever the case might be, if you do have a passion for developing apps (or feel like you would), this might be a really interesting career path to explore. That’s the other thing too - becoming an app developer as a way of earning a living.

With the technology sector booming, Android app developers are constantly in the need. These people tend to make really good salaries, and also usually have rather flexible working hours, too.

The popularity of the career path is also evident by taking a look at other student Udacity Android Nanodegree reviews, too! Since there are more and more people coming into the space, however, the competition is becoming increasingly fiercer, too.

Udacity Android: Android Basics by Google.

In order to stay ahead of the curve, you need to make sure that you’ve got the right education, and are ready to start entering the app developer job market. Following that, if you’re wondering where to start, the Udacity Android Basics course will often come up as one of the first suggestions, at least as far as online learning is concerned.

Granted that this is the case, let’s take a closer look at the course in question, and see what it has to offer.

Udacity Android Basics Nanodegree (ENROLL HERE)

  • Platform: Udacity
  • Duration: 3 months (10 hours / week)
  • Price: €927
  • Certificate: YES
  • Level: Beginner
  • Where to apply? HERE

There are quite a few different Udacity Android courses available on the platform in question - a single look at the course list will reveal that much pretty fast. However, in this specific article, we'll be discussing the Udacity Android Basics Nanodegree.

The term - Nanodegree - is something that will probably come up countless times throughout this review. That’s because of the simple fact that most of the benefits that you will receive from studying the course in question are due to it being a - you’ve guessed it - Nanodegree, and not a standalone, simple course.

That’s actually the discrepancy that we’ll address straight from the get-go. After that, we’ll move on to discussing the actual benefits in some more detail.

A Standalone Course VS a Nanodegree - What’s the Difference?

So - on Udacity, there are both simple courses, and also ones that are known as “Nanodegrees”. Both of these groups of learning materials are very different from one another, with the main differences lying in the benefits that they provide.

For the sake of simplicity, you can think of it this way - if a course is a single class that you have in a university, a Nanodegree is the entire subject. Naturally, it’s a bit more complicated than that, but the general idea remains the same.

Nanodegrees are Udacity-specific programs that allow you to study a set specific subject in detail, while also being able to utilize some very attractive benefits offered by the online learning platform in question - Udacity.

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Table: The main features of the Udacity online learning platform

When it comes to this Udacity Android Nanodegree review, it’s actually aimed at anyone who wants to start their app development career, but isn’t sure where to do so, or what are the main things that they need to figure out first. However, that much we’ve established already.

What you might not be aware of, however, is the fact that, by studying a Nanodegree (the Android Basics one included), you do also receive a Nanodegree-specific certificate of course completion, too. That’s awesome - you can distinguish your effort, whether it be in front of friends, colleagues, or even potential employers!

I’m getting way ahead of myself, though. Let’s take it one step at a time, and discuss one of the first things that you’ll notice when visiting the main landing page of the Udacity Android Basics course - the fact that it’s made in collaboration with Google.

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A Course by Google

Yup, that’s right, you’ve read that correctly - we’re discussing a Nanodegree that’s provided to you by Google (or at least in collaboration with the industry giant).

In many of my Udacity Nanodegree reviews, I tend to emphasize that course quality should be the very main thing that you look at when evaluating a specific course, on any given topic. Naturally, this isn’t a simple thing to do - this is amplified by the fact that, if you’re a beginner, it can usually be extra-difficult to tell right from wrong.

Evidently, this is not going to be an issue when it comes to the Udacity Android course in question.

The fact that the Nanodegree is made as a collaboration with Google immediately gives it the highest amount of credibility possible. The company wouldn’t put its name onto just anything - you can be sure of that!

Furthermore, as we explore the rest of the Nanodegree-specific benefits, you will also be able to figure out that this fact alone means that the course is perfect for anyone who’s planning on working towards becoming a Google employee, or even simply a dev for a similar company.

Right, then, let’s tackle the reason why that’s the case - real-world projects.

Work on Real-World Projects and Challenges

Whenever you purchase an online course on some of the online learning platforms, in most cases, you are going to have the opportunity to perform some tasks while studying the course material. This way, you get better at the topic, and can understand it much faster. Some courses might even have homework attached to them, too!

That said, however, if you’ve spent any time studying various different online courses (granted that in 2017 there were over 6 million US citizens enrolled in online courses[1], I’d say that’s likely), you might have noticed that these tasks are often… Rather generic.

Indeed, this is one of the issues that people face with unregulated online learning. Whilst studying a course that was made a few years ago, chances are that you’ll encounter a lot of outdated information, and will be forced to complete assignments that are very arbitrary.

That’s not ideal. It’s also not something that you would need to concern yourself with when it comes to the Udacity Android Basics course, either.

Udacity Android: the central Google office, and the Android mascot in front of it.

Here, same as with all other Udacity’s Nanodegrees, you will receive the opportunity to study and learn fresh and up-to-date information. More important than that, however, is the fact that you will also have the possibility to partake in real-world assignments and tasks!

This is made possible with the help of Udacity’s partners. In this case, it’s Google - student Udacity Android Nanodegree reviews will tell you that you’ll be able to study assignments not unlike those that app developers perform while working in the aforementioned company.

Obviously, that’s an amazing perk!

With being able to solve real-world challenges, you will also become much better prepared for the job market, too. You’ll develop an understanding of what sort of tasks you can expect from a potential employer, and will be able to perform those tasks with added peace of mind.

Study at Your Own Pace (Kind of)

One of the major benefits of online learning include the fact that, in most cases, you can study the course material at any given point in time, thus giving yourself the flexibility that you wouldn’t be able to possess if you were, say, studying in a university, on campus.

That is, obviously, really cool! It basically means that you can adjust and consider the timeframes that are best for you, in regards to studying hours. If you have a full-time job, or a family to take care of (or any other responsibilities, for that matter), these types of courses are surely very useful.

That said, however, things are a tad bit different with the Android Udacity course. Same as any other Nanodegree, this course does offer a lot of flexibility in regards to your studying hours. The main difference is that it still urges you to create and stick to a specific timetable.

Udacity Android: the features of a Nanodegree.

This is simply due to the fact that Nanodegrees often require a lot of “live interaction” with other people  - students, instructors, technical staff, and so on. With a standalone course, once you’ve bought it, you can study it at any given point in time simply because there are no such interactions involved - the course is pre-recorded.

Not the case with Nanodegrees, though. Well, at least not to that extent.

Either way, this is still a point worth considering - the Udacity Android Basics course will allow you to customize the timetable of your studies in accordance with your responsibilities, which is definitely an appreciated feature!

Taught by Professional Instructors

This point, yet again, advocates the aspect of quality in regards to this particular Nanodegree.

As alluded to a few times in this Udacity Android Nanodegree review already, studying Android app development isn’t necessarily a simple task. By extension of that, it also means that you are probably going to want to find a course that’s taught by competent professionals in the field, and not just some random individual who read about app development online, and is now coming to teach you, pretending to be a pro on the subject.

Udacity Android: some of the instructors of the course.

The problem here, however, is that it’s often difficult to distinguish these two types of individuals, especially via the online medium. This is where the Udacity Android Nanodegree comes in and solves the issue.

Upon looking at the course’s landing page, you will see the list of instructors that are going to be teaching you throughout that runtime of this program. What you will also notice rather quickly, however, is the qualifications of each of these instructors - that’s the key point here, too.

Let’s have a really quick look for ourselves, shall we?

  • Katherine Kuan - a former Developer Advocate at Google, former software engineer for Google Keep, Google Play, and the People app.
  • Jessica Lin - Udacity Android Basics (this course, frankly) curriculum lead.
  • Jennie Kim Eldon - product lead for Android and iOS Nanodegrees on the platform. Has previously worked at Udacity as a software engineer.
  • Asser Samak - Is creating Android apps with Udacity and Google for more than 4 years now.
  • Lyla Fujiwara - a professional in regards to Android Jetpack, Kotlin, and testing, teaches people about Android development.
  • Joe Lewis - is working with Google Analytics since 2014, author of multiple books on web development.
  • Vicky Tu - Android app developer, course manager of this particular Nanodegree.
  • Chris Lei - M.S in Embedded Systems, B.S in Computer Engineering.

So, then - the list of instructors is, admittedly, somewhat significant. You will be taught by quite a few professionals in the field!

That point aside, however, you can probably already see what I meant when I said that the instructors really do advocate for the quality of the Android Udacity course in question.

Well, rather, the reputation of these instructors - each of the individuals mentioned on the list above have some significant credentials that should be very important for anyone who’s considering studying Android app development!

All in all, it’s awesome that you will have the chance to learn from true professionals in the field. This will not only reflect on the course materials and assignments that you receive, but also on your overall learning experience with Udacity, too!

Receive Career Services Upon Finishing the Course

Likely one of the most unique benefits that you’ll receive by taking the Udacity Android Nanodegree does actually come after you’ve taken the course - career services!

This is a very interesting feature that is only available with the Nanodegrees of Udacity - you won’t find it with other, standalone courses on the platform.

What are these “career services”, exactly? Well, after you graduate from the Nanodegree in question, you will have the chance to request help from the professional over at Udacity - this help would come in the form of polishing your resume, optimizing your Github, and making sure that your LinkedIn profile is in-line with the industry standards.

Udacity Android: career services.

While it’s not exactly a feature that would be related to the actual course in question, specifically, it’s still amazing, nonetheless! Career support after you finish learning can be the crucial element that helps you land the job of your dreams!

It’s also noteworthy that these kinds of benefits don’t really linger around, either. If you take a look at some other online learning platforms, or simply at some random and standalone courses available on the web, you’ll find that there aren’t really services like this readily available!

Naturally, if you’re looking to create an app by yourself, and for yourself, career services might not be the most amazing benefit offered by the course in question. However, student Udacity Android Nanodegree reviews do note that, for anyone thinking of working as an app developer, this is truly significant!

Any Notable Cons?

We’ve discussed quite a few aspects of the Android Udacity program for beginners. All of them revolved around the positive side of the Nanodegree - the benefits truly do speak for themselves!

That said, are there any notable issues that students would mention, and that you should know and evaluate before deciding if this is the right course for you?

Well, naturally, not everyone is going to be happy with the Nanodegree - there are no such things as products or services that would please everyone! However, reading through the aforementioned student reviews, it seems that when it comes to this Udacity developing Android apps course, apart from preference-based feedback, there aren’t all that many complaints!

Having said that, before you dive head-first into the program, there is one thing that you do need to know, and that’s actually an issue with all of the courses offered by Udacity - there are no accredited certificates to be had upon completing your studies.

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A Lack of Accredited Certificates

Visiting some online learning platforms, you will probably quickly notice that, if the platform DOES offer accredited certification with some of its courses, this is something that is going to be advertised as much as possible.

It makes complete sense, too - this is something that is going to be important for the vast majority of students that aim to learn a specific topic or skill.

If you didn’t know, accredited certification means that the certificate of completion that you receive at the end of a course is backed by some official and prominent institution, in the realm of the topic that you were studying. Such certificates hold a huge amount of value, since they are viewed as truly credible proof of your skills and knowledge.

Udacity Android: what you will learn.

As opposed to that, generic certificates are, well… Let’s just say that their value depends on the eye of the beholder. In most cases, though, if you go to a job interview and bring a bunch of random, no-name certificates, your potential employers aren’t going to be extremely impressed.

So, as you might have gathered, the issue here is that, if you want to study the course on Udacity developing Android apps, you are not going to be receiving an accredited certificate in the end. That’s a shame, truly.

However, there is a somewhat-brighter side of things to note here, too - you will be receiving a Nanodegree-specific certificate, and not a generic course one.

Do Nanodegree certificates hold any tangible value? Well, kind of - many employers and companies nowadays do recognize these certificates as being “the real deal”.

Furthermore, in regards to this very specific Udacity android Basics course, there is another thing to keep in mind, too - it’s made in collaboration with Google.

Udacity Android: mentors available.

By extension, this also means that it’s backed by Google, too. While there might be no “official” accreditation in place, this single factor alone will surely impress the vast majority of potential employers that you might come across!

That aside, though, there aren’t really any more notable concerns that students of the course would have, or at least would express in their Udacity Android Nanodegree reviews!

Pricing Options

Pricing is, obviously, an important aspect to consider when picking out the best Android developer course for yourself.

One thing that you might notice pretty quickly is that these development-related courses tend to be on the pricier side of things, mostly due to the subject matter in question. Well, this is yet again something that you do not need to worry about if you’re thinking about Udacity developing Android apps!

This is the case simply because all of Udacity’s Nanodegrees follow the same pricing pattern - Udacity Android Basics included.

The course will cost you €927, for all three months of your studies. It’s not exactly cheap, but when you keep in mind all of the earlier-discussed benefits that Udacity provides its students with the Nanodegrees that it offers, the price truly does become justified.

Udacity Android: the pricing options of the course.

Following that, though, there is actually an alternative pricing option, too! If you would prefer to, you could pay €359 per month, for the three months of the course’s runtime.

This option is amazing for anyone who’s living on a strict budget, but still wants to invest in education, and further (start?) their knowledge in the field of Android application development.

So, then, the conclusion here is that, while the course isn’t necessarily very affordable, the benefits that it provides the students outweigh any negative connotation that might linger in this regard. Furthermore, you could choose an alternative payment method, and pay for the course in increments!

The Beginning of Your Journey as an Android App Developer?

As with any other Nanodegree offered by Udacity, if you were to scroll down to the very bottom of the page on the Udacity Android Basics course, you would notice that there are some related programs offered by the online learning platform in question.

In other words, if you were to choose to continue with your studies of Android development, Udacity does have more courses that can help you in this regard. Not just any courses, either - Nanodegrees!

This point is important for anyone who might take the Android Udacity course in question, love the way that the Nanodegree works, and prefer to continue their studies on the platform in question. The idea here is that Udacity does offer you the tools to do so, whether it be with Android app development, or many other topics!

Udacity Android: related Nanodegree programs.

Naturally, you can expect to receive the same list of features and benefits with any other Nanodegree, too - most of the things we’ve discussed in this article can be found with all Nanodegrees on the site.

The one difference, however, is that the Udacity Android course is made in collaboration with Google - that’s not something that you would see every day, even in regards to Nanodegrees!

That aside, if you do appreciate the quality of information provided on the course in question, and would like to continue with your studies, keep in mind that this is an option with Udacity!

Summary

To finish things off, before I let you go, let’s have a quick overview of all of the main points that we’ve discussed in this Udacity Android Nanodegree review.

The course in question is, yet again, a Nanodegree, which means that it does possess all of the Nanodegree-specific benefits that Udacity provides to the students of the platform. These benefits include things such as career services, flexible timetables, technical and other types of feedback, real-world project-based tasks, and so on.

The most-unique benefit that this particular course has to offer to its students, however, is the fact that it was made in collaboration with Google. This gives it an undisputed feeling of credibility, and emphasizes the quality of the information found within!

The course is also taught by quite a few different instructors, many of which have a lot of experience working for Google. Thus, you can be sure that the information that you’ll receive will be of the highest quality!

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From the shortcoming perspective, there really aren’t all that many things to talk about! Judging by the student Android Udacity reviews found online, the biggest gripe that individuals have with this course is one that does constantly come up when discussing Nanodegrees, in general - the lack of accredited certification.

In regards to pricing, the course is priced in the same manner as other Nanodegrees available on Udacity. You can choose to either pay for the entire course in one go, or pay in increments each month - the flexibility is much appreciated!

Finally, if you find that you do enjoy what Udacity has to offer, and decide that a beginner’s course on Android development isn’t really enough for you, the platform does offer plenty of related programs for you to study!

Conclusions

Android development can truly be considered as one of the more-perspective specialties that you can choose to study. This is because, as a developer, you are highly likely to be able to find work both as a freelancer, and within a company.

Not just any kind of work, either - Android dev jobs are usually quite well-paid!

In order to start thinking about app creation, though, you do need the necessary knowledge and skill to do so. The Udacity Android Basics course might, in fact, be the perfect option as far as gaining these skills goes!

The course in question is well-made, offers a vast array of benefits, and should fit most people’s wants and needs. It’s widely considered to be one of the better online learning options for anyone interested in Android app development, especially as far as beginner-level courses are concerned.

UDACITY EDX

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Table: Comparison between Udacity and edX

If you’re still uncertain, though, you can check out some alternative online learning platforms, browse through the benefits offered by them, and check to see if the Android app development courses appear to provide you with what it is that you need. Don’t be afraid to consider a few different learning options!

That being said, that’s it from me - I hope that you found this Udacity Android Nanodegree review useful, and that it helped you make up your mind on whether it’s the right program for you!


Scientific References

1. Online Learning Consortium: 'NEW STUDY: OVER SIX MILLION STUDENTS NOW ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION'

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FAQ

Is the Udacity Android Basics course any good?

Students of the Udacity Android course will tell you that the Nanodegree in question is truly an amazing option for anyone who wants to learn how to become an Android app developer! The course is made in collaboration with Google, features some truly skilled and knowledgeable instructors, and will provide you with all of the benefits that are usual for Udacity's Nanodegrees.

What are the prerequisite requirements of the Udacity Android Basics course?

There are none! As the name of the course might imply, it's aimed at complete beginners of the field - you do not need any prior knowledge in the realm of programming, web development, or anything in between. So, if you've wanted to become an app developer for some time now, and didn't know where to start, this might be the perfect course for you!

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