Android is a mobile operating system app led by the American giant Google. This operating system is based on the kernel of another system called Linux. It is used by millions of devices, including smartphones, tablets, televisions, etc.
The development of an Android mobile system app is based on two pillars:
- Java or Kotlin language. The SDK helps have an integrated programming environment.
The achievement of each of these pillars leads to the collaboration of different technical skills within the same team of developers.
The Primary Skills Required Within A Project Team
To develop an application ( Android or iOS for iPhone ), you must combine a specific set of skills. These skills require technical knowledge and know-how directly related to programming.
These skills, which do not include personal skills, can be grouped into four categories, namely:
- The design
- Design interface.
- User experience.
- Management of different types of devices.
- Mobility safety.
- Hybrid apps.
- Applications natives (Android, iOS, Windows).
- Object-oriented programming (Java-like languages).
- Business and Management
- Management of applications on behalf of companies – bringing applications to market.
Considering that all developers do not necessarily have these skills and that project team numbers are generally small, it is necessary to determine a balanced distribution of the different tasks.
The Design And Programming Phases Of An Android Application
Whatever the consistency of a project, the development of a system app generally takes place in four phases.
- The design phase
The duration of this phase depends both on the complexity of the functions to be implemented and on that of the mobile terminals to be taken into account.
This phase is usually budgeted based on how long a team of developers needs to develop it.
- The programming phase
It develops the app’s graphical interface and web services while ensuring that exchange flows with the back office are secure.
The main difficulty that developers generally encounter during this phase lies in guaranteeing excellent connectivity between the mobile application and the company’s information system that requests it.
Carrying out this phase may involve several developers.
- The phase of tests, receipts, and corrections.
This is a crucial step whose purpose is to ensure the quality of the application before it is put on the market.
Like the previous phases, its duration depends both on the complexity of the tasks to be carried out and partly on:
- The variety of scenarios.
- Systems targeted for their deployments.
- The policy of the requested tests.
The specialized agencies systematically budgeted this phase because it is an integral part of realizing a mobile project.
- The maintenance phase
The maintenance phase is generally operational only at the end of a warranty period.
It has several functions:
- Ensure the scalability of applications, especially in the addition of new features.
- Ensure the viability of the solutions developed.
- Guarantee the quality of service of the application.
Its duration is generally framed by renewable contracts and can extend over the application’s entire life cycle.
On the budget side, the price strongly depends on the versions of the application and various other criteria, such as the content of the services. According to Android market trends, an average of 10 to 20% of the initial development cost is required.
Work Organization Policy
In the development of Android applications, the organization of work generally depends on two factors which are:
- The scope of the project to be carried out.
- The technical skills were available.
In most cases, a single professional can cover all the specifications of creating an app (using tools, coding, debugging, technical support, etc.)
However, as we have indicated, it may happen that, depending on the complexity of a situation, teams of more than ten people are formed. In this case, most agencies or specialized “mobile” companies implement the Scrum method.
The Scrum Method: The Basics Of A Development Team
The Scrum method is a method that has gained tremendous popularity in the management of mobile application development projects, whether Android or iOS.
It focuses on the human dimension of the work. It helps create good interaction between team members, managers, and clients.
In the case of the development of a complex Android system apps, the work is generally formed around a self-organized and multifunctional team made up of:
- Product manager.
- Scrum Master.
- Interface designer or User eXperience specialist.
- Developer or programmer.
- Quality control analysts.
- Security specialist.
- Responsible for documentation.
The Product Manager
The product manager is responsible for defining the functional specifications of the mobile application as required by the client ( company or individual) and will have to share this vision with the entire team.
In general, it is he who has the most responsibility and authority. He is responsible for identifying the scope and constraints of the project, i.e.:
- Determine the economic model of the application to be produced.
- Provide guidance on the nature of the content and its technical environment.
- Provide guidance on graphic models and system app design.
- Approve the final product and ensure that it respects ethics and legal constraints.
Le Scrum Master
As his name suggests, the Scrum Master is the one who ensures that the values of the Scrum method are respected at each stage.
Scrum Masters are generally developers who have already had to manage projects and play the role of coach, trainer, and teacher.
Their missions, therefore, also consist of:
- Ensure intermediation between the product manager and the teams.
- Determine the possible orientations (short, medium, and long term ).
- Identify obstacles and threats.
- Coordinate the work of teams to stimulate creativity.
- Ensure compliance with good agile practices (multifaceted programming mode).
- Facilitate and supervise self-organization.
The Interface Designer Or User Experience Specialist
He takes care of the graphic and artistic dimensions of the mobile application. Its role is mainly to:
- Design the visual presentation of the system app.
- Design the navigation and information architecture taking into account the usage needs of mobile users. Establish the graphic charter.
- Carry out the scripting of the
- system app.
- Create images, texts, colours, in short, everything that users see graphically on their devices.
To achieve this task, the interface designer mainly uses XML. It is a computer language that makes it easy to structure data using tags.
The Developer Or Programmer
He takes care of the technical part, essentially devoted to the actual programming. Developers are most of the time required to carry out different missions depending on the scope of the projects. They can be assigned to either the server pane or the mobile pane.
Overall, its role is to:
- Analyze the order.
- Split the application into several different components.
- Define algorithms.
- Fix bugs and ensure compatibility with different mobile devices.
- Perform both native and UI programming.
- Ensure the optimization of the weight of web pages.
To achieve this part of Android application development, any developer should have perfect command of Java.
What is its particularity?
For example, in an animation game for a mobile telephone, two characters represent two distinct objects. Using the Java language, we will assign specific functions to each of these objects to interact with each other.
The Quality Control Analyst
The quality control analyst has an essential role in the production chain of a mobile application (whether Android, Windows, or iOS ).
At the end of each sprint, he ensures that all the generated documentation (the code) complies with good practices to facilitate the relay or possible recycling of the application.
Its role is, therefore, to:
- Establish scenarios for testing.
- Evaluate the application’s functional and integration characteristics (functions, calculations, images, texts, colors, etc. ).
- Test bugs to identify working ones.
- Evaluate the application based on the specifications.
- Identify the characteristics of the different platforms.
The creation of mobile applications results from teamwork linking several specific skills. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that the developers involved in a programming mission have complementary skills.
For this reason, it is ideally advised for companies or individuals to have recourse to the expertise of professionals in terms of advice both for applications intended for the Android system and for those intended.