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I'm a self-taught Android engineer. What fundamentals should I learn to feel confident enough to apply to jobs?

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Aspiring Software Engineer2 years ago

I'm a completely self-taught software engineer aiming to get a full-time role as an Android engineer. I have no published apps in Google Play at the moment; I'm currently working on a metronome app as I am a musician.

What kind of fundamentals should I know to feel confident, specifically confident enough to apply to jobs? It’s hard for me to feel confident from a non-traditional Computer Science background. I keep doing more and more tutorials and courses to build up my confidence, and it just goes on and on. Is there some roadmap I can follow?

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    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    2 years ago
    • Confidence is overrated: It's very hard to be confident when you're starting out, especially if you're a self-aware, hard-working individual. Don't be afraid to just be bold and try things. Failure in software is often cheap.
    • In your case, publish your metronome app, get it to a good state, and start applying to jobs ASAP. The worst case is you just get rejected: In that scenario, you can just step back, improve your portfolio, and come back in a month.
    • As a self-taught engineer, landing a full-time position off the bat could be difficult. Consider looking for contract work on platforms like Upwork to bridge the gap.
    • There's really no roadmaps when it comes to software; a big reason why software is hard is because it's so ambiguous. In your case, the clearest roadmap you can make is to work backwards from the needs of your metronome app and learn those things.
    • If I were to make a "roadmap" for an Android engineer starting out, here are the common components:
      • Rendering a list of items
      • Making an API call
      • Parsing a JSON model into a data object
      • Knowing how to navigate from one screen to another (activities or fragments)
      • Standard UI widgets you see in everyday apps like text, images, text input, buttons, etc

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