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Who powers the majority of smartphones in the world? Android! Who runs both overpriced latest-generation phones and entry-level ones? Android! Who is able to turn in your watch, in your car or in a spaceship? Android!

What's the story behind Android?

Android is basically a startup founded by Andy Rubin, which Google bought in 2005, two years before the announcement of the iPhone.

At the time, it was a stack of software, which included a linux kernel, various libraries, and above all an application SDK. It embeds a super compact java virtual machine called Dalvik. It manages different and varied human-machine interfaces (buttons, touch screens or not, rollers). Its founders thought it to be the OS of the next connected objects, see the next robots. And they mainly intend to market it in digital cameras.

But then in 2008, Google decided to open-source it. They have two purposes.

The first is to develop the ecosystem of open-source applications. And they organize two "Android Developer Challenge" during which, fifty applications share a bonus of 10 billion dollars.

The second is to have it adopted by smartphone manufacturers. They are brought together in a consortium called OHA (Open Handset Alliance) which serves as a SIG (Specific Interest Group) to help in the governance of the open-source project.

Since then, Android has seen several significant changes. Version 4 Ice Cream Sandwich handles both tablets and phones. Since version 5 Lollipop, Dalvik has given way to the ART runtime. In 2018, the Android Jetpack libraries radically change the way of developing interfaces on Android.

It's really important to write Android and not Android or Android. Fans are very upset otherwise!

What skills do Android developers have?

Android developers must code in Kotlin today! They mainly use Android Studio which is an IDE maintained by JetBrains.

Android is no longer as popular in schools as it was in 2012-2015. Also, there are fewer and fewer juniors, and Android developers are more and more experienced. This explains the median salary of Android developers which is rather high! The market itself is getting smaller and smaller, the gold rush is over!

Especially since today there is a lot of competition from hybrid technologies: Flutter, React Native and others. There are fewer and fewer business cases that require a pure mastery of Android. Many Android developers have learned to use these technologies from elsewhere!

So why is Android dev fun?

Doing mobile development is generally nice, because we are often brought into the field. Business use cases for applications are often more original than for backoffices. And Android applications are carried by a very interesting variety of devices! We have already seen particularly resistant tablets used in car workshops, cameras with business applications, or even Phygitalisation terminals in stores.

Which companies hire Android developers?

We will find major accounts like the SNCF: SNCF Connect & Tech Or even NGOs like Médecin Sans Frontière.

But above all a lot of startups: Japet Medical, Biloba, Oledcomm, Be narrative.

Startups recruit fairly punctually, unlike service companies that recruit on profile! We quickly think of La Mobilery, Xpeho or Fabernovel Technologies.

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