Image for post
Image for post

Simply put, when it comes to actually carrying out the work on a day to day basis, the difference between being a contractor vs a permanent employee is basically… nothing.

Let’s imagine you’re given a 6 month contract as a mid level developer to work on an app for a company, on your team is a permanent employee who has the same skill level as you, working on the same app as you.

In this scenario — you both carry out the same work, you both work on the same code, you both push to the same GitHub, you both pull tickets from the same Jira board, you’re both involved in the same meetings about the product & you both work to roughly the same schedule. …


Image for post
Image for post

I recently had the opportunity to be a guest on Mitch Tabian’s podcast, which was live streamed on Youtube (please excuse my shabby appearance — I was not prepared!). We had a great conversation about my experiences as a freelancer however at the time, being a newbie to the world of live streaming, I didn’t realize the title of the video was “Making Money as an Android Freelancer”.. So while some people have approached me to say they got value from it, I feel like I could’ve been a bit more practical with my responses and a little less biographical. …


Image for post
Image for post

When it comes to Android Development I think it’s safe to say that there’s the way things are taught, and then there’s the way that things are done. And in my 8+ years of Android development experience it’s safe to say that Junior Android Developer I’ve ever worked with has known how to do things the way things are taught, but not the way things are actually done.

Now that’s not a slight against anyone, we all have to start somewhere.

But no matter how you’ve learnt to build Android app’s -whether you learnt on a coding boot camp or have just finished a degree, whether you’ve been following a Udemy course or have been following online tutorials.. …


Image for post
Image for post

In this entry of my ’s series I’m going to fill you in on an easy, one line piece of code you can use to detect if you’re running in a Firebase Test Lab.

Why would you want to do this?

There are a number of reasons you might need to detect if you’re running inside a Firebase Test Lab, a few of them being:

  • You might want your app to react a little differently than it would when being run by a real users.
  • You might want to disable analytics in test lab so as not to dilute your analytical data.
  • You might want to disable access to certain features that cost you money such as uploading to image buckets or running certain backend requests. …


Image for post
Image for post

Welcome to my ’s series — where I’ll try to share the most interesting, useful & little known tips & tricks I’ve learned in my 8+ years of being a freelance Android developer.

To start with we’re going to start with one of the more boring but advantageous components of your app — the changelog.

I’ve always shipped changelog’s with my apps as they’re a nice way of keeping users updated of what’s changed in the app. Especially if it’s a bug fix they’ve been waiting for, or a feature that they might not realize has been added unless they’re explicitly informed. …


Image for post
Image for post

As has become the norm for me in 2018, I’m going off again to travel for a couple of months. During which time I plan to have a little detox from coding which means, aside from bugs which need to be fixed & support emails that need to be answered - I won’t be doing much else regarding work on my apps.

However, as an indie dev I still need to keep on top of things like installs, uninstalls, usage, IAP purchases & the like, mostly to identify any issues that might not necessarily trigger a Crashlytics email but could still substantially impact my user base. Unfortunately for me, that still requires more manual interaction then I want — I can live with the Play Developer console app but Firebase Analytics requires firing up a laptop, and sifting through the data across all my apps on the Firebase Dashboard — which definitely does not qualify as a digital detox of any stretch! …


Image for post
Image for post

Any project I’ve ever worked on that wasn’t my own, there’s always the one project owner who wants every analytics SDK they’ve ever heard of compiled into their app. Measuring everything they can think of, mostly in case it be useful, with no plan of how to compile, correlate or even understand the mass of data they were unnecessarily collecting.

And then there’s my own apps. …


Image for post
Image for post

I’ve been an Android developer for 7 years, I’ve had 20+ apps on the app store, hundreds of thousands of downloads, had apps featured on Lifehacker, Gizmodo & Yahoo.com (when Yahoo was still cool), worked for more clients than I can count & I’m about to teach my the first comprehensive Android Developer Bootcamp in Bali.. Along with that experience I get a lot of questions from new dev’s wanting to break into the space, the biggest one of which being, “how do I find work”.

It’s a good question. Sensible. But I don’t get it. Mobile developers of any stretch are in demand. If you’ve been at this a minute your phone is probably blowing up everyday with at least one unknown number from some recruiter on behalf of a client looking for your skill-set, your inbox is probably full of “are you looking for a change” emails from companies who want to pay you pennies to do the same job they’ll pay contractors millions. (Alright, yes, that pay scale is an exaggeration — but the wage structure of permanent vs contract really is massively out of wack!). …


Image for post
Image for post

So I recently received a cease & desist letter from a rather large company (think Google large), I won’t say who, requesting I remove one of my apps from the Play Store, an app which allowed the user to auto-reply to incoming messages from any app, for violating their terms of service.

Specifically relating to terms which state using the accusatory app in way that:

  • ████████


Image for post
Image for post

I mentioned on a previous post that in my opinion an app’s (relative) success always comes down to the ratings. A good rating & more people will be inclined to give your app a try, a poor rating & it’s almost certainly doomed to the app landfill.. RIP.

In my experience the majority of users aren’t inclined to leave a rating unless the app either a — blows their mind & they have to tell everyone or b — it absolutely blows & they need warn everyone “IT SUCKS!!”. Personally speaking all of my apps end up somewhere in the middle, a place where a user doesn’t even think to leave a rating — they use the app, it does what it said on the tin, job done. The only users of mine who will definitely leave a rating are those for whom the app is buggy & therefore they think it sucks (fair play), or users who think the review section of the Play Store is actually the feature request section 🙈 (this happens wayyy to much). …

About

Rob J

Freelance Android Developer since 2012 🎙️Host of CoffeeAndCodingPod.com 🌍 World Tourist ☕ Coffee Addict | robj.me

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store