Book Review: Learning Android by Marko Gargenta (O’Reilly Book)

Learning Android by Marko Gargenta by O’RelilyLearning Android is a collection of many years’ experience of the author, Marko Gargenta, who has been teaching the Android bootcamp training to thousands of software developers. It covers all necessary topics about Android starting from a high-level overview (history and concept) until the nuts and bolts (writing codes for Twitter-like application called Yamba application).

As an avid user of both Android phone and tablet myself, I have an interest in learning about this platform and hopefully writing some applications on it. I’ve read many Android books before. Most cover a lot of topics but without coherence – you feel like you learn a lot about many things but you still can’t put them together to make them work well. This book is one of the few books I really like. It walks you through creating a reasonably complex application from scratch. Not only the author explains the concepts and sample codes really well, but he also guides you through his thinking and design process on how to write a good application. The latter, I think, is more important for laying a good foundation for writing other applications in the future. The tips, suggestions, and notes throughout the book show you that Marko really understands what works and what does not.

I highly recommend this book to everyone who has an interest in learning about programming on Android and would like to build a good foundation on good programming practices. People who know Java programming language should have no problem following the sample codes presented in the book. But for those who don’t, I suggest getting yourself familiar with Java first. (Obviously if you don’t plan to use any other mobile cross-platform or rapid development tools, you must write in Java codes.) Knowing it a bit will help you tremendously with understanding the sample codes. Needless to say, you can still pretty much read for concepts, tips, and even some codes because the explanation from the author is very precise and clear.

It took me a longer time to finish this book because my plan is not to just read through it, but also write the sample application along with it. At the end I’m proud to say that I’ve successfully coded the Yamba application.

Here is the list of useful links on this book:

  • Overview of this book from the publisher’s web site
  • On-line partial book preview
  • Forum to discuss about Learning Android by Marko Gargenta
  • Micro-blogging web site used for sample application
  • Personal note on the book content
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