A couple of months ago we ran our first codebar android dev workshop. Not only did we have the demand from students (we had a waitlist of students who wanted to come). We also had a bunch of *really* capable coaches. We even had some super nice people who offered to host us. All thanks to the awesome community in London!
Our first workshop went so successfully students and coaches asked for us to run another. So that we did in February.
We built a tutorial based off of the historically popular Cookie Clicker game; the premise of which is pretty simple, you tap a cookie picture to increase a counter.
We start by gently introducing students to Android Studio, and it’s multitude of scary looking buttons. Then we move on to designing our user interface. Not everyone likes cookies, students could make a cake clicker game instead. We then finally help by making the user interface actually do something! Students can then run their app on their own android device if they have them. If not we’ve got a couple of spare devices, so everyone can play!
One of the benefits of the way codebar operates is the high number of coaches to small numbers of students, and the discussions that can happen because of this. The tutorial was built with specific break points to encourage those discussions between students and coaches in different areas, such as which version of Android should our cookie clicker app support.
As an added bonus the tutorial currently appears to be the *perfect* length for a workshop. Everyone gets to see what they made work by the end!
Last workshop we ran a mini retrospective at the end. Asking what people liked, and taking on board which things we can do better next time.
Something we definitely need to get better at is the communication around how students should prepare for the event. Downloading Android Studio sadly isn’t enough. When you open Android Studio for the first time, it will also need to download a bunch of things (like an Android SDK).
However we also do a lot of things right. Which you don’t need to take from us, these are some of our previous coaches and students voices :
We’re making it so both students who have never tried Android dev, and those who have visited us before can benefit. We’re working on more tutorials for the next workshop! Firstly we’re extending the cookie clicker app to persist state and save your scores. And also making new tutorials to explore other interesting concepts such as utilising maps, Bluetooth LE, or connecting to APIs. If you’d like to attend and learn a specific concept feel free to reach out below or privately, we’d be happy to help make sure you get the most out of a workshop with us.
We’re hoping to run every other month over 2017. The next workshop will be happening on April 20th at Novoda - click here to register to attend. We hope to see you there :-)