I decided to base my next project on a score app for Rugby Union football using the Court app for guidance. The app has two sets of score buttons, one for Team A and one for Team B. Each set of buttons consists of:
+ 7 for a Penalty Try
+ 5 for a Try
+ 3 for a drop kick
+ 3 for a penalty
+ 2 for a conversion (successful kick between posts following a try being scored.
This was an exercise about creating buttons as “onClick” events in the xml and then creating click handlers in the Java. Everything seemed to go well until I turned my phone into landscape mode – the scores disappeared. The solution, it turned out, was to create two static variables “SCORE_TEAM_A” and “SCORE_TEAM_B” the capitals to show that they were static when the user user interface refreshed, and to write two pieces of code – one to onSaveInstanceState to save the scores in those static variables and another to onRestoreInstanceState to show the scores in the refreshed page. It seemed to go well after I had got over that little problem so I submitted to the project and moved onto learning how to add other functionality. During the course all of the learners were linked by Udacity message boards with a general chat room and a chat room for each of the projects.
I will entertain you with the next instalment very soon. ‘Bye for now.
I started my Nanodegree on the 6th of November 2017. The course was administered on-line as so many of these courses are and I was assigned a mentor.
I was first shown how to install Android Studio and then set about creating my first project – a birthday card. It was really an exercise in getting to grips with the user interface and XML. Android Studio created a Main Activity (Java) but I wasn’t expected to go anywhere near it at that stage. I was encouraged to play around and make a variety of designs of birthday cards/Christmas cards in XML using LinearLayout and Relative Layout. Very soon it was time to sent off my first project for “marking”:-
The first project was a single page “Business card” or similar using various styling instructions in .xml – margins, layouts, sizing of text, pictures and “views”. This was mine. The address is that of Udacity in Mountain View, the logo – Udacity and the photo; an appropriate one was found with a web search. Quite fetching, don’t you think? Unfortunately, it wasn’t interactive yet.
The next step was to learn how to get our designs to do something which meant getting into Java coding. I was guided through an app called Court Counter – a score keeping app and was encouraged to code “as you go”. In the end I had a score counter based on the the game of tennis to refer to before creating the next submitted project, but I’ll tell you all about that next time…
As you may well have read in my “About” section, I was once a Registered Nurse and later, a Resuscitation trainer – this little factoid will come in useful once I get to the bit where I describe what I have been working on recently. Please bear with me. I had always taken photographs and thought that it would be a jolly wheeze if I was to retire early and make a living as a photographer. I have a photography blog which gives a fuller picture of the photography adventure (link on header to each page if you are interested – please visit at least once) but suffice to say, it didn’t bring the fame and fortune that I craved. During that time I started to play with Android photo editing apps on my phone after a very talented photographer called Gerry Coe came to the local camera club that I attended. He had won numerous awards for his photography and had moved on to win awards with his iPhone photography. I was hooked. I started to play with Snapseed, Picsart, PhotoLabPro, Prisma, and a whole lot more using my photographs and posting them on my Photo Instagram page*. My next thought was to see if I could find out how to write an Android photo app for myself. I mentioned this to a friend of mine one evening at the camera club and the following morning, he sent me a link to Google Garage where they were offering scholarships to study for one of four Google Nanodegrees.
Android Basics Nanodegree
Android (advanced) Nanodegree
Android Basics Web development Nanodegree
Android (advanced) Web development Nanodegree
At the age of 56 I decided to apply for the Android Basics Nanodegree; I did not have any previous experience of writing code, just a kid with a crazy dream!
I applied and was accepted. The course was run by Udacity and the first stage was “The Google Developer Challenge”
The scholarship was for three months and there were 20,000 selected across Europe for each of the two basic strands and 10,000 for each of the more advanced strands. I did well in the first phase and was given another scholarship to study for a further six months for the full Nanodegree. There were only 2000 people on each strand invited to continue and I was one of the fortunate ones.
There will be more about my journey through my Nanodegree with Udacity in my next post.
*I have two Instagram pages; a photography page (@paulcullenphoto) for which there is a link through my photography website and a new “Developer” page (@cullendevelopment) to which this website is linked.
I have a third site “uncorked bottle” (link under header on each page) if you are interested in my wine blog.