Co-Authoring The Book How to Build Android Apps with Kotlin
How to Build Android Apps with Kotlin, the book I have co-authored, has been published last month. With it, you can build your knowledge, skills, and confidence by working on realistic examples, practical exercises, and challenging activities. If you want to learn Android app development with Kotlin, you can check out our book which is available on Packt and on Amazon.
In this post, I will share about my experience writing for the book.
In late 2019, I received a message asking if I was interested in co-authoring a book about Android development. I immediately replied yes and after a little process, I became part of the team and I started my chapters.
I’ve been writing blog posts and tech articles for a while now but I haven’t worked on a book yet. This is a level up for me. The highest I’ve been is giving talks and conducting workshops but a book has a far wider reach.
From Note to Book
For my chapters, I started with outlines of how I envision the chapter will look. I wrote down words and sentences, group them into paragraphs, revise the draft, and repeat. I then added the exercises, update the text to match it.
Even if the book is about Android app development, I have to study some new stuff and re-learn old lessons. I also have to think of relevant projects and make the steps in doing them for the exercises and activities. The exercises I made was built on top of the preceding one so it will be easier for the readers.
Table of Challenges
Working on a book about software development is a bit tricky as things move rather quickly. Motion Layout was still in beta when we started and then the stable version was released. Android 11 was launched so we also had to to target API level 30 and update the dependencies. Kotlin Android Extensions became deprecated so we have to remove Kotlin synthetics.
When we change code in the exercises and activities, we also must verify the chapter content if they needed to be modified as well. Since my exercises was based from the previous exercise, when something has to be updated on one, I would have to change it too on the succeeding exercises. It also have to go under technical review again.
The new Google Play Console was announced and a few months later became the default for all developers. This impacted the final chapter a lot, including in the steps to publishing apps and in the images.
I learned a lot from the other authors, the editors, and the reviewers. It took us months to finish the book and it’s feels great that it’s now available for everyone to read and learn from.