My Journey with ALC
Having been playing around with some beginner text books and online video about android development for over a year+, a had the basic knowledge of what it takes to build a simple app, but deep down I was looking for a comprehensive book that to launch me into the a more advanced level, unfortunately all my effort prove abortive as the books i usually encountered usually started simple and then suddenly jump to the complex part leaving my semi-experience eye complete bemused, so I was really excited when I saw a post while perusing a WhatApps group that Andela was inviting programmers with 1–2 years of experience to apply for a training program.
Andela! I whispered to myself, knowing the reputation of the company in question, I already knew that this was an opportunity of a life time, going through the application requirement I found out that it was going to be an online training and it will only requires 10 hours of my time weekly, I sighed in relieve as I didn’t have to worry if training was going to be available in my locality and also the training schedule was flexible enough for me, immediately I applied for the Intermediate rank.
In order to make it to the ALC intermediate program proper, we had to go through a screening test that required we complete a project within a stipulated time, it was a bit tricky but achievable if you had master the basics of activities, listviews, connecting to a server and extracting meaningful information from the result, and also knowledge about Github for submission purposes.
Then the program itself, for three months plus we studied both offline and online contents provided by Udacity, I most confessed that the guys at Udacity really did a great job of compiling this invaluable up-to-date learning material, we were also split into groups for team work and support. The teaching method was fun and in a conversational form with lot of exercises and to-dos that helps to drill the core basics of each module, of which there are 3 of them. At the end of each module, we are expected to complete a project encompassing what we have learnt in the previous lessons.
Finally, we took the Associate Android Developer Certification Exam to be certified officially by Google as an Android entry level developer, the exam was in two parts: in the first we were expected to finish a project started by another developer, this is to stimulate a real life situation where you are contracted to upgrade an existing software or to finish a project started by a colleague. The second part deals with taking an interview to explain your work to the examiner.
As I look back on this journey of sweat, tears and heart ache I must say, it was an important step in my life as an aspiring developer because we learned the essence of time management, completing a project within a time frame and been part of a community.