29th January 2014
Don’t you just hate when you have so many interesting projects on your mind to pursue but not enough time to give them the love they deserve? When I was still finishing my degree it was way too easy to be carried away by all the courses’ workload, the side jobs and everything else in life. Now that I started working abroad and on a different city than the one I live in, the situation didn’t get much better, with long commute times, language courses and other time eaters.
However, one thing this long commute gave me was a nice portion of free, offline time everyday to use as creatively as I can. After having devoured many blog posts and news with Pocket (I completely fell in love with that app, BTW) and complete ebooks, I now want to try something different: use these time blocks for programming and for experimenting with projects that have been dormant for far too long.
For a long time now I have been interested in Android development. However, due to the typical time constraints, I’ve never been able to give it a proper shot. I’ve actually developed a simple Android app as part of the work for a Master’s course, but it was too simple and too focused on the course’s objectives to give any sense of accomplishment. Therefore I am starting an experiment of learning to develop for Android for a month. To shake things up a little bit more, I’m giving it a challenging theme that has also been on my mind for quite some time: game development. Enter Android Game Development February.
For one month I will be following tutorials on Android game development and posting updates on my blog with project updates, thoughts, discoveries and more. All programming will be done offline, during my commute hours. This presents some interesting challenges, such as very defined time constraints (no pushing in the weekend to finish some desired milestones), no Internet help (all tutorial pages will have to be fetched beforehand, and all of Google/StackOverflow/etc will be out of reach), unplanned interruptions (good luck trying to program in those trips where you can’t even find a seat, which are actually quite a lot), among others.
I will try to do all my writing during those time blocks, as well, so that the only online tasks are the unavoidable retrieval of new tutorials and the publication of my updates on the blog. All these constraints will deeply limit the amount of time for this project, so it will be interesting to see how much can be done with such limitations.
This experiment will start by following the tutorial available at kilobolt.com, a tutorial that I tried to follow very long ago but failed to find the time to commit to it. I hope to be able to finish it in time to try some other alternative tutorial (suggestions are welcome) before the end of the one-month experiment.
Curious with the experiment? Subscribe to this blog to get all the updates and see if the project is a success or if it’s failing miserably. Also, needless to say that all feedback is welcome, including great beginner tips or interesting tutorials/resources to dig into. You can reach me by Twitter or, of course, simply leave a new comment in this post.
Update: here’s the list of posts describing this challenge’s progress: