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Question for Dawn and David

 
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Hello,
I'm curious bout your experience writing a Head First book. Did it change the way you think about Android and how to explain things in general?
I'm also wondering if this is a major update from the second edition?

Thanks,
Burk
 
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I'm also wondering if this is a major update from the second edition?


Kotlin is one of the changes, and the third edition covered the latest features of Android Jetpack, including Jetpack Compose.
 
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Hello Burk,

Yes! Every time you sit down to teach something, it inevitably changes the way you think about it. An important feature of Head First books (don't tell the competition...) is *motivation*. When we start work on a topic we begin with a survey of all of the material that's available, and then we start to ask *why* things work as they do. The best way to motivate a topic is to find a problem that a thing solves. Then you create a project to do something. Point out some difficulty that needs to be overcome. Then introduce the new thing that you *really* want to teach. And finally step through how to use the new thing.

This is closely related to an analytical technique called OODA: Observe, Orient, Decide, Act.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OODA_loop

Consequently, when we started writing the first edition of HFAD we started to identify the *whys* behind the major topics, and the problems that each of the concepts solve. This has continued with each new addition.

For the changes in the new edition, Randy summed it up nicely: the switch from Java to Kotlin, and the use of new APIs. The new edition is a complete re-write of the book. There may be some similarities in the first chapter (things like how to create an app with Android Studio) but fairly quickly the book is very different from earlier versions. If you compare the tables of contents, you will see that they are quite different.

Thanks for the question.

D+D
 
Burk Hufnagel
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Thanks for the information.  I had heard about OODA (and John Boyd) a long time ago but had never thought about using it as a way to teach something.  I'm putting together a 4-hour class on TDD and I think your suggestion will help make it a better class.

I believe that teaching something is a great way to learn more about it since I have to understand the *why* behind what I'm recommending. I find that teaching a topic means I have to look at it from multiple points of view. I've also found it helps to remember the issues I had when I was first learning it so that I can address those issues and make it easier for my "students" to succeed with it.

Thanks again,
Burk
 
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