I am on a crusade to see if #nocode tools are really mature enough (yet) to build a full app.
so … in my downtime, while Helen Jones was working on her jigsaw, I signed up for an account with FlutterFlow.
I chose FlutterFlow because I strongly believe #Flutter is the future of cross-platform development. (Something for another post)
Overall the experience has been positive, it’s really easy to:
1️⃣ Create navigation between screens and on-screen
2️⃣ Set up an entire authentication flow using their templates
3️⃣ Create, Read, Update, Delete data within your screens
There’s a lot of power in FlutterFlow but is it possible for someone WITHOUT an IT background to pick it up and build an app?
Probably Not (yet).
The challenges I faced were around:
1️⃣ Testing the app. It’s still slow to make a change and test it out. This is partly the IDE, but also partly that Flutter is a big beast with many dependencies.
2️⃣ Deployment is so hard. A non-IT person would give up at this stage. To do a build and test on a real device (Android or iOS) is crazy hard. Again, not really FlutterFlow’s problem, but to be true “No Code” they need to solve this.
3️⃣ Knowing how to structure (and secure) your queries and collections still needs an experienced brain otherwise you will build an app that’s expensive, slow and insecure.
So … right now, at the end of 2021, I don’t think no-code tools mean that anyone can pick them and get going.
I love the way FlutterFlow is maturing and I do think, one day, we might see citizen developers using tools to create full-blown apps.
Does FlutterFlow save me time?
I have done 100% code development with Flutter before and creating the UI is painful. FlutterFlow will definitely save you time, but I would like to see that Dev to Test cycle time slashed.
In case you’re interested.. the app I am playing with is to convert the Collab365 Daily Digest to a mobile app that works cross-platform.