My journey building a (hopefully) successful Android App.

Hello dear friends,

I was listening to Fragmented, an Android developers podcast, and their guest is an Android GDE that happened to have a blog of his own. While listening to them discuss Constraint Layout, I started thinking about making my own blog. But what would I write about. I’m too green as a developer to be any use to others devs, and everything else I am interested in has been written about to death. Then is hit me. I am currently rebuilding an app that I published almost a year ago. Why not blog about my experience doing that. A self taught (with some help of course) dev looking to build the next fun app? Why the hell not?

So first a little background. One of my closest and oldest friends used to drive for hours on end for no other reason than there was nothing else for us to do. While we drove we came up with little games to play. One such game is a movie trivia game in which one player thinks up an actors, and then gives the other player(s) clue as to guess by. These clues come in the form of descriptions of roles this actor has portrayed. The guesser then has 4 clues to figure out the actor/actress.

This sounds like a blast, no? So we decided to make it an app. I published to game to the Android Playstore last fall. It was a first version and had some minor bugs, and requires a Facebook log in and for you to have friends on Facebook that also happen to have the app installed for you to even start playing. The game logic works very well, but the limitations and honestly the design and UI are sub par.

I have decided to do a ground up rebuild, partially due to the fact that Parse.com, the service that handles the back-end, is folding. So i will rebuild from the ground up with a better login UI, Firebase for the back-end, and a much more material design aesthetic.

I only have so much time to work on this between being father, husband, full time Geek Squad Agent, and an Uber driver, so these posts may not be consistent in release. I will try to update at least weekly.

Since I have already begun the rebuild, allow to let you know what I have already done.

So far I have copy and pasted all my old code to a text document on my desktop. There is a lot of good logic there that I will be reusing. I have then deleted all the old classes, and created new ones in there place. Why didn't I just start a new project you ask? Simply put, poor planning. I was going to re-use the existing classes that I could, but when I started incorporating the new Firebase features, everything started breaking and I could not test as I went. Lesson learned.

I have created all the new activities, and matching classes, at least in name. Most of them are empty, but they exist. I have created new classes for each of the objects that will make up the bulk of the app. I will be forking all of this to my Github account, both as a back up, and so potential employers can see how I write.

The next time I think I can work on this is next Tuesday or Wednesday. So I will follow up with you then.

I hope you follow along with me on this journey, and Ill see you at the end.