Is flutter the future?

TLDR- It just might be

This weekend I decided to take the time to take a class on Flutter. As you may know I’m an Android developer so dart isn’t completely new to me. I’ve tried and disliked a lot of hybrid mobile platforms but I can see that flutter is gaining more traction than expected.

Back in July while at [Chain React Conf]({{ site.baseurl }}{% post_url 2019-8-8-rn-and-portland %}) I was pretty excited about the work being done with React Native (RN), but I asked on twitter why nobody was looking at Flutter. It brought up some interesting convos and ultimately the answer was that Flutter didn’t have the community adaption of RN. Fast forward to now, I work in dev ops with a focus on mobile development. At work the most common things we build in are native Android, native iOS, and Xamarin. Now…I say this a lot and 95% mean it…I hate Xamarin. I don’t enjoy C# and that’s ok. When developing it's not about you, it's about how to get the job done cleanly and efficiently for the client.

The same things applies here with hybrid development languages. It is all about preference and I think, as of finishing this class, I have a pretty strong and biased opinion. Flutter is going to be BIG in the future. I’m talking the next 1-2 years. Why? It’s so easy to get started with. If you already know an OOP language (most colleges teach python, java, and c++) then I think a move to flutter to build for both major platforms is a no brainer. Xamarin is somewhat an acquired taste and not many people are jumping into using it on their own. React Native comes naturally from a web perspective but dart…dart is just like any other OOP class.

Now you might be thinking “yea ok, you still biased tho” and you’re only 50% right. When people ask me about what they should study to get started in mobile development I always ask what they already know. Java background means you start with Android, web background means you start with RN, .NET background and Xamarin is that girl, but if you don’t have any of those then iOS is a solid choice. Why? I’ve been in this space long enough to just know. I’ve tried all of these things myself and talked to others on how they made the switch.

A big thing I want other native developers like myself to realize is that we are going to have to learn a hybrid platform. People want faster build times and 1 codebase for everything. I get it form a business perspective and I know it makes sense to still know native development to it’s core, but let’s not get left behind here. If you aren’t liking the other options seriously look into Flutter. I’ll be building out some unpublished apps in flutter and going through the publishing process in the coming weeks, but thus far I’ve really enjoyed my time spent with language.

Let me know your thoughts on flutter by tweeting me or sending me anemail

P.S. I’m working on moving platforms so we get comments back