Course Review – Programming Mobile Applications for Android Handheld Systems: Part 1 (Adam Porter, UMD)

Here is my review of Mar-May 2015 incarnation on Coursera of Programming Mobile Applications for Android Handheld Systems: Part 1, which is the first course in Mobile Cloud Computing with Android Specialization. It is ranked 4 out of 5 (good), while I passed with 100% grade. Technologies: smartphones are taking over the world and most of them run Android. This course teaches Android UI + some backend + some inner workings of the operating system. Programming assignments involve completing Java code, which strongly enforces the learnt concepts. Students are asked to build a fully functional app from scratch for a final project, which brings them up to speed with creating own apps. Course apps are implemented in Eclipse. Material: The course is aimed at beginners and includes structure of Android platform, main services, structure and inner working of Android applications. The topics include activities, fragments, intents, permissions, and UI classes. Lectures are very applied, mostly consisting of in-depth discussions of working apps and their source code. Instructor/lectures: Adam Porter is a professor at UMD with decades of experience teaching CS. He is very enthusiastic about the subject, has great articulation and gesticulation. His lectures are extremely clear and precise. However, a huge number of in-lecture quizzes is often counterproductive for learning.

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