Dr. Rajesh Vasa is an Android guru who lectures at Melbourne’s Swinburne University of Technology. He will be taking you through the steps of creating your own Android app.
Dr Rajesh Vasa first saw the potential of mobile technology a few years ago. He’d just picked up a BlackBerry. “I used the BlackBerry for the first time and thought it was actually quite a powerful platform. That was 2007 and 2008. Then I started looking around at various other platforms, Apple released its iPhone, and I started playing with that, and after that I looked into Android.”
That’s when he understood the power of mobile. At the time, Dr Vasa was lecturing at Swinburne University and was also the IT Director for company cvMail, having previously worked for a range of organisations, from Telstra to the United Nations. His programming background was in Java and .NET. “I wrote a few articles on mobile platforms and how they were going to be the next big thing, so the Dean asked me to develop a series of programs around that.”
Dr Vasa now teaches mobile development and is enthused about Android. “The greatest thing about Android is that it’s open platform, and easily customisable,” he says. Not only is Android becoming the preferred mobile OS for many businesses needing customised apps but, along with other mobile platforms, it’s also providing a massive opportunity for Australian developers.
He should know, because he is seeing what Australian developers are capable of in his other roles. He’s also a business technology adviser to mobile development companies such as Long Weekend Mobile and a judge for the ACM Programming Competition and iAwards run by the Australian Information Industry Association.
“The best thing about mobile applications is that they’re small; you don’t need a really large company to build an app. If you’re trying to build a big web application, you need scale and massive resources to put that out.
“You can be a single developer and you can solve contextual problems for customers. You don’t try and take on Google, but you can say to people ‘I can fix a small problem for you right now which will let your phone do what you want it do.’ It might be only two weeks work and you can get a contract for that. It doesn’t require you to have a team of 10 people. That’s where I see the greatest opportunities in mobile technology, not in building things like Angry Birds or stuff like that, because those things are difficult to make. At last count, Angry Birds had 70 people working for it.”
Dr Vasa believes that as long as developers are realistic and work around the local market, the opportunities are vast as mobile technology becomes central to people’s lives.
“Local contextual knowledge is what you need to build an app. For instance, one of the projects I’m involved in can help people in their garden. A gardener can say, ‘What shall I grow today?’ Or they see an insect, take a picture of it and the app does a quick analysis and finds out what insect it is and what to do about it.”
In another project, Dr Vasa is working with a physiotherapist to develop a program to send exercise plans to customer’s phones.
Go to Dr Rajesh Vasa's Android Masterclass