Tomorrow at the Tampa Bay Full Stack Meetup: Intro to mobile development with Flutter!

by Joey deVilla on November 12, 2019

If you’re looking at “write once, run on Android and iOS” tools, you’ll want to check out Flutter. If you’re in the Tampa Bay area tomorrow evening, your chance to get an intro to Flutter is at the Tampa Bay Full Stack Meetup, whose topic will be Introduction to mobile development with Flutter.

The event details

  • When: Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
    Networking and food from 6:00 – 6:30
    Presentation starts at 6:30
  • Where: ClearlyAgile’s 4th floor conference room, 201 E. Kennedy Blvd (Fifth Third Bank building)
  • Where to register: Introduction to mobile development with Flutter Meetup page

Here’s what they plan to do:

In this meetup we will go over the basics of this framework created by Google which uses Dart as its programming language. We will learn how to install Dart and the Flutter SDK and start creating a basic app. You will see how easy is creating a Flutter app (really fast process) using either the CLI or Visual Studio Code’s Command Palette. We will know how the file structure in the solution looks like and understand its architecture.

Want a head start? Try installing Flutter and deploying your first app.

Why Flutter (say, vs. React)?

You can’t talk about Flutter without talking about the 800-pound gorilla in the cross-platform app development sphere: React Native. Both are trying to solve the problem of developing apps for the two very different platforms of Android and iOS without having to write two different applications using two different SDKs and two different languages.

React Native enjoys a number of advantages, including the first-mover advantage, being a Facebook project, the use of the most popular programming language in the world (JavaScript), and a strong development community. On the other hand, Flutter has a couple of challenges, including:

  • It’s a Google project: While Google is one of the biggest names in Silicon Valley and probably won’t be going away anytime soon, they have a reputation for abandoning projects, including AngularJS, whose end of life happens in June 2021. The farther away a project is from their core cash cows of search and advertising, the more precarious its position.
  • It uses Dart as its programming language. Dart is a Google project, which means that it’s in the same precarious position as anything not directly tied to search or ads. It’s also not as well known or supported as JavaScript.
  • It doesn’t have the maturity of React Native. React Native’s just been around longer, has more developers, and a much bigger community.

So why Flutter?

  • Excellent documentation. The Flutter team have done an amazing job here. React may have more third-party tutorials, but when it comes to direct-from-the-source docs, Flutter beats React Native.
  • Performant architecture. Flutter has native mobile OS components built into its framework as opposed to React Native, which uses JavaScript bridges to connect to native components and modules. Flutter apps have better performance.
  • On-par support for both Android and iOS. React Native is considerably better for iOS app development than Android app development, while Flutter builds Android and iOS apps equally well.
  • Faster development. With “hot reload”, you can make changes and test them almost immediately without having to restart the app. If you’ve ever had to tweak the look and feel of an app, you’ll appreciate the speed of hot reload.
  • Better-looking apps. Flutter makes use a widget sets to get the look and feel you want, with Material Design widgets, Cupertino widgets, and even the capacity for you to roll your own widgets.
  • And finally…

I’ve taken the approach of balancing my skills in the same way financial people balance their stock portfolio:

  • I invest the majority — about 70% — in “sure thing” skills, such as mainstream platforms, programming languages, and technologies. In my case, this is Android and iOS, C#, JavaScript, Kotlin, Python, and Swift.
  • I invest 10% of my time in skills that I consider to be longshots. For me, this is blockchain technology.
  • The remaining time — about 20% — I spend on “maybe” technologies, and one of these is Flutter. At the very least, its in-language reactive way for building UIs mirrors SwiftUI in the iOS world.

See you at the Full Stack Meetup!

 

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sebastian Castaldi November 13, 2019 at 9:39 am

Hi Joe,
good article! I’ll try to make it tonight.. I just want to clarify, “Angular, whose end of life happens in June 2021.” This refers to AngularJS not Angular. Angular still live and well :)
Whomever still doing AngularJS in 2021 I feel sorry for you
Thanks,
Sebastian

2 Sam November 14, 2019 at 2:58 am

Nice!!!

3 Joey deVilla November 14, 2019 at 10:36 am

I always keep using the wrong “Angular” to refer to the wrong thing. I’ve made the correction — thanks for the heads-up, Sebastian!

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