This isn’t the sexiest video you’ll ever watch, but it is likely the most important you’ll watch this week. Education is something dear to my heart and at Google’s I/O developer conference, ex-GoogleX employee, now Udacity founder, Sebastian Thrun talks about how anyone can learn to develop for Android.
Current estimates are that the next billion people to go online will do so from developing countries like China and India and will do so using a mobile devices, not a traditional PC. With Android accounting for 8 out of every 10 phones that shipped in the last year, we can see it’s an incredibly important platform now and for the future.
During Google’s I/O keynote on Thursday, they dedicated a small part to Nanodegrees. A partnership with Udacity means an Android development course created and delivered by professionals at Google, runs for 9-12 months with around 10hrs per week work expected. This formal qualification costs a massive $200/month, so you have to be serious about it and have to have existing Java and development knowledge. Google is hoping their Nanodegree is formally recognised in the industry and a far cheaper option that a full computer science degree at a top university, much of which would be superfluous to Android development.
If you’re looking to get starting, then the ‘Android Development for Beginners’ course may be a great place to start. This one is free, keeping in-line with the non-for-profit organisation that democratises education.
When talking about the Internet.org, Founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg said “the first billion users online have far more money than the next 6 billion combined, it’s not fair, but that’s the reality.” So providing apps and websites that work great on phones is important for access, but the question of business revenue being derived from people with less money is something the world still needs to work out. In India for example, pre-paid plans account for 90%+ of users, so as the developed world moves to subscription services, it’s something unlikely to work in that market.
Enough about the talk, here it is, please take the time to watch it, even if you don’t plan to signup for the course, the discussion around education is important enough to spend the time.
For more information head over to http://udacity.com/android