Flutter Global Summit 2022
After the Lean-Forge team attended their first in-person conference after a long while, the conference season continued for us with our participation in the Flutter Global Summit 2022, hosted by Geekle.
This event is the second iteration of their online Flutter conference, which focuses entirely on Dart and Flutter topics and is divided into a free junior track and a paid senior track with more in-depth talks and the opportunity to interact and question the speakers.
An experienced and diverse lineup of speakers presented attendees with new opportunities, ideas and practices for their personal and professional journey with Flutter, here are just some samples we particularly enjoyed.
The Junior Track featured a talk by Anna Leushchenko, Google Developer Expert for Dart & Flutter and the first ever Ukrainian GDE! She presented basic and advanced networking with Dart in the context of a Marvel comic app, her code available here.
Serialization, data classes, setting up an HTTP Client as well as serving API requests with REST and the tooling behind it, are the main subjects of her talk - if these sound interesting, you can re-watch it again or follow the blogpost linked in her GitHub.
Flutter and gRPC
Brian Mwangi touched upon one of the most promising frameworks in combination with Flutter: gRPC. gRPC, a framework introduced by google, provides real-time communication between applications, utilizing a specialized binary data format, ProtoBuf. His sample app showcased the near-instantaneous changes between two instances of it.
I recommend anyone interested to clone it and try it out, it really feels like working with cutting edge technology. I'm currently experimenting with this combination and may elaborate on it in another blogpost on our website.
In the final presentation of the conference, Fabian Varela introduced a concept that is already being used in existing Lean-Forge projects: Build Flavors. Build Flavors help distinguish between different builds or versions generated from the same codebase, most commonly used to have a distinction of dev, prod and release flavor. This enables custom assets, settings, different databases or persistence options for each flavor, you name it.
Since the talk was part of the Senior Track and Fabian didn't share any additional material, I recommend checking out this list from flutter.dev, which contains community written articles about flavors.
Microservice Architecture and Flutter
Another Flutter & Dart GDE, Teresa WU, shared her experience working on large projects and the challenges of respective architectural decisions. She suggested modular deployment of Microservices and Frontends, the common alternative to a monolithic design, that reduces cyclic dependencies and facilitates CI/CD, among many other benefits.
Flutter enables this capability by structuring individual services into plugins. Where a normal Flutter project would use packages to separate responsibilities, a set of microservices can use individually versioned plugins that can then be imported into other packages and used via dependency injection
Something every developer will appreciate: simpler and less testing is enabled by the modular architecture, as each component can be tested individually and testing is decoupled
I really enjoyed the Summit, and while not every talk was relevant to my work with Flutter & Dart, one of the many joys of developing is getting a glimpse into the mindset and experiences of other developers around the globe. The more I learn about the ins and outs of Flutter, the more I can appreciate the features and capabilities it offers. I can not wait to get my hands dirty and try out some of the new things I have learned for myself. Stay tuned for the next Flutter conference, I will certainly be there!