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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Back as solo mobile developer - not easy

Being the solo mobile developer at a job is not easy. I had just gotten used to having a couple of developers around me at my previous contract position. Everyone had bits and pieces of experience in different areas so you would quickly get answers to questions without doing a Google search. They might have some sample code laying about from another project or just know how to do it.

Sure the big boss here wrote the initial iOS code that I have been cleaning up and adding features against but I rarely get to speak with him and he has no Android background. I have been working on the Android port this week getting stuck on silly things that the guy I worked with at the last place would have handled with ease as he had a lot of background in those areas. Now that the core networking is in place I can start moving forward at a pretty good clip.

A real feeling of isolation when you have developers all around you but they either don't know the language (Objective C) or the framework (Android SDK) thus you can't really bounce any ideas off of them. Sure I can hit them up for general business knowledge or Java questions but not for the meat of the development cycle.

For my Android work I have been using Android Studio. I know it is a 0.1 release but that is really just the Android plug-in side of things. The over all IDE is at version 12 and I have enjoyed using IntelliJ in the past. I like the dracula theme as far as colors go.

The ability to edit layout XML and see the results side by side in the preview window is super handy. I have gotten that to generate crash reports from time to time but they did not kill the IDE or lose any of my work.

What I miss from Eclipse is the new class wizard. It asks for the base class and interfaces and lets you quickly build things out. I have asked about this on the IntelliJ forms and they basically stated you can do all of that via a number of steps. I want a Wizard. I also want the auto add of the Activity to the manifest. I should not have to do all that work manually every time I add a new activity to the project. Since this is a new project that has been happening a lot.

The Log Cat filter seems pretty iffy too. I turn it on to filter out things but it forgets about that between program runs so I have to go back to "No Filters" then back to my filter again. It is silly how much junk the emulator kicks out into Log Cat. Since I am using the HAX high speed emulator I get a ton of extra stuff.

I was happy to get the upgrade to 0.11 this morning. Good to know there is active work on Android Studio and I am sure it will continue to improve. I have been using it at home on my Win7 64 bit PC and my Macbook Pro at work. Both seems to run equally well.