With the dawn of Google’s open-source UI framework, Flutter, its users have increased significantly. Today, we have a whole generation of developers remarked as Flutter developers who are busy building numerous cross-platform applications equipped with native performance, working efficiently by saving time and effort. To become an efficient Flutter developer, you have to go through a few basic steps.
This highly flexible and open-source UI is easy to learn and you can get the hang of it by following the guideline below. Before you jump directly into how to be a Flutter developer, it is advisable to read some prerequisites to improve your familiarity.
Some Prerequisites for a Flutter Developer
Sources of Learning Flutter: With Flutter’s increasing popularity, it is time for you to install and learn Flutter as well. You must be questioning yourself by now what could be the best source for Flutter learning. The Internet is overloaded with plenty of online courses and books about Flutter development that can overwhelm you with information.
To take off this stress ball from your mind, let’s help you out with 4 simple steps to learn Flutter:
- Go to the official website and check out the Flutter documentation and sample videos available there in detail.
- After this introductory phase, explore different Flutter courses available on the internet. If you cannot pay for any of these courses, no worries, YouTube is here to help you out. Go through the online tutorials or beginners’ guides that are available for free.
- Books! Books have always been the best source of learning. You can either get yourself a hard copy or an e-book for learning development with Flutter.
- Make use of GitHub. The productive and interactive Flutter community of GitHub has a lot of demos and samples to help you start your Flutter skills.
Flutter Installation and IDE Setup: Now that you are deep into the study of Flutter and have learned everything you need to know, it is time to get Flutter and set up an integrated development environment (IDE) to start building the app. There are two IDEs quite popular for flutter development.
Visual Studio Code: VS code has everything you would want in an IDE. Supporting multiple programming languages, it is fast, lightweight, and coding-friendly. Its code-error recognition is a great step towards improved and efficient app development.
Android Studio: Being an ideal IDE for app development, Android Studio provides a unified environment to its users. Its structured code modules divide your project into functional units that can be built, tested, and debugged independently. Get the plugins of Dart and Flutter, set up the SDK, and begin your journey as a Flutter developer.
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Get Familiar with OOPS Concept: Before you begin your journey with Flutter, get familiar with OOP concepts – object-based programming, not just functions or procedures. Through OOP’s structured programming features, you will get familiar with new ways of developing programs with programs divided into objects. By learning any of the OOP languages (preferably Java), you will pick up Dart and Flutter in days.
First Step towards Flutter Developer Skills – Learn Dart
Flutter’s SDK makes use of Dart. As hinted above, if you are familiar with any of the OOP languages, learning Dart would be relatively quick and easy. For example, if you know Java or C+, the transition toward Dart would be a piece of cake. If not, get yourself registered in a course to completely understand the mechanism of this language and get the best practice out of it.
Make sure to learn the following concepts from Dart:
- Control flow statement
- Data types and variables
- Await and Async
A Flutter Developer’s Roles and Responsibilities
When working as a Flutter developer, there are some responsibilities that you have to fulfill. These are:
- Code and build robust applications and ship them to iOS/Android devices by using a single code.
- Test these apps to make sure they do not crash and stick to the system and user requirements.
- After developing and testing the application, it is time to deploy it. A Flutter developer also must check users’ feedback on those applications from time to time and make changes accordingly.
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Explore the extensive library of Widgets
The central and crucial part of Flutter is its Widget library. The modern framework of Flutter manages the underlying render tree which is responsible for constructing a view with its state and configuration. To write a Flutter application, it is essential to know the difference between Stateful and Stateless widgets. A stateless widget once built, cannot be modified. Stateful widgets are dynamic and create a State object. So, they are helpful if you want some interactivity in your application. Flutter’s library is vast so take your time and explore it alphabetically.
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Make API Calls and Get Database Integration
Now that you are familiar with widgets and view trees, it’s time to make API calls. After getting the API URL and endpoints, add relevant packages to make calls. The most commonly used package is HTTP, but dio and chopper can also be used. After API integration and call, you can access the data directly, by creating a model class to parse the JSON.
With so much data flowing around, it is only wise to use the database to store any data from your app. Two popular databases used with Flutter are:
Hive: Written purely in Dart, Hive is a lightweight, fast key-value and offline database with no native dependencies and runs on Flutter web. Hence, it will be an ideal choice for you.
Firebase: You can also consider data integration with firebase. The platform offers hosted backend services like cloud storage, real-time database, crash reporting, and much more. Flutter when used with firebase, makes development faster.
Most Important Concept in Flutter – State Management
As you continue with app development, it grows both in size and complexity, and you will soon be unable to manage your screens. Here, state management comes into play. You will find various state management packages, but you can take start with Provider, Redux, or Bloc. You can read a complete guide on State Management in Flutter from here.
Which additional tools the Flutter developer may need?
Panache: An open-source theme editor for Flutter that will help you in creating customized material themes for your mobile applications. Set the shapes, colors, and other theme properties of your own choice. Later export it to your Google Drive folder as a .dart file.
Supernova: This powerful design-to-code tool – a bridge between design and development, helps in creating UI code for Flutter. With supernova, you can see the changes happening in real-time allowing you to edit the code and edit your design side-by-side. Moreover, Supernova manages your asset creation and saves your time by importing your Adobe XD or Sketch designs into native front-end code.
Codemagic: With this app development tool, you can build a workflow for running tests only. Build apps with codemagic and assure quality with automated testing. Get fast feedback on your builds by setting up build notifications. In short, with codemagic, you get to have a straight pipeline of build, test, and release.
Count.ly: This analytics tool specifically focuses on your data privacy and security. The free version, although with restricted features, can help you track the basic KPIs and metrics that show your application performance. With the paid version, however, you get an increased set of metrics and other features.
Amplitude: As a Flutter developer, it is important to know the user’s interaction with your application. You can take action accordingly based on this monitored data of Amplitude, combined with famous mobile app development.
Other Important Skills Flutter Developer Needs to Know
Basic Knowledge of Native Languages: It is preferable to learn native programming languages like C, C#, Java, C++, Kotlin, and Swift for iOS. This prior familiarity and experience will enhance your overall experimentation and development with Flutter.
Gain Experience with Dart: Dart is a multi-dimensional programming language. If you wish to be hired as a Flutter developer, gain some practical experience with Dart.
Agile and Waterfall Methodologies: Waterfall is a sequential methodology where tasks are handled linearly so testing comes after the phase of building. Agile on the other hand is known for its flexibility as your project moves through a series of cycles – development, review, feedback, and approval so can do testing alongside development.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
Relying on a single source of learning: There are so many platforms and sources available for Flutter and Dart learning, so you need not rely on just one. Multiple sources and sufficient knowledge will get you unique experiences in app development.
Ignoring Practical Experiences: The more you apply your learning, the better you get at developing powerful applications. Create sample applications at first and work your way towards small projects that you can later add to your portfolio.
Avoiding Other Languages: Learn other programming languages as well. It may sound repetitive but it’s significant. Most of the job descriptions also demand native language knowledge. By learning Swift and Kotlin, you will be in a much higher preferable position than your competitors.
Dart is friendly and Flutter’s framework is easy to get your head around, but becoming a Flutter developer is a whole different thing. From the above-detailed roadmap on how to be a Flutter developer, you can become a part of this community and march toward the future of application development with a huge competitive advantage.
FlutterDesk always inspires Flutter developers to learn newer skills and enhance their skill set to its fullest. It’s never late to learn Flutter app development. The only thing you need is to start learning right away. Furthermore, if you have any queries regarding Flutter app development, feel free to comment below. Our team would love to help you pave out any technical issues you’re facing.
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