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Software architect's book a comprehensive guide to developing Android apps

November 12, 2015

An accomplished software architect, Adam Gerber focuses primarily on software engineering for enterprise Java and Android development. Recently, he co-authored a programming how-to book, Learn Android Studio: Build Android Apps Quickly and Effectively, which uses both online and offline resources to teach students how to create their own apps.

Gerber has taught in UChicago's Master's Program in Computer Science since 2011. He teaches Java programming, advanced Java programming and Android development. He has been a judge and speaker for the UChicago Mobile App Challenge, and is the president of Mythic Mobile, which specializes in developing mobile apps and streaming TV channels.

The subject of his recent book, Android Studio, is the integrated development environment that enables users to create Android apps. The Android operating system powers more than a billion phones, tablets, TV consoles and other devices worldwide.

Gerber believes that the most important tool of any software developer is resourcefulness.

"Software engineering is evolving very rapidly," he said. "Therefore, a good software engineer must stay current with the latest developments in the field, and he must be a resourceful researcher adept at triangulating across various media including; print, online and video."

Gerber explained that his philosophy lies in the structure of Learn Android Studio. Printed information can become outdated almost as soon as it is published. Usually, the most current information is found online on sites like stackoverflow.com and developer.android.com. However, these sites present information as it rises to the surface, which can make learning piecemeal. The advantage of printed material is that it organizes this information.

"A book's long format is ideal for communicating a logical progression of ideas, which maps well to the course format," he explained. Learn Android Studio is used as a textbook at many colleges and universities. It takes the most current information and aims to present it in a cohesive narrative that is ideal for learning.

For example, it takes students through every step of creating an app--from setting up a program, to refactoring code, to testing. Additionally, the book shows students how to use online resources to stay current and further their understanding of the material.

Learn Android Studio became the number one best-selling book among new releases in several categories on Amazon upon release. The textbook's success has led its publisher to ask Gerber and his co-author, Clifton Craig, to work on serial editions, with a second edition scheduled for release as early as 2016.
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University of Chicago

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