During the christmas break of 2017 I set myself a goal. I wanted to design, develop and release an application on both iOS and Android before the end of the following year. Now fifteen months later (close enough!) I am super, super thrilled to have achieved that goal.
As a web developer, I knew next to nothing about where to even begin with this project - that’s why I found it so exciting. It would give me a chance to really push myself and expand my design skills more than my day job generally affords. I wanted to build something that I would find useful, but without totally over stretching what I was capable of within the set time frame. I’m also well aware, that if you want to have any chance off standing out in the modern app ecosystem, you need to pick a niche and stick to it. My niche of choice was vegan home chefs, in other words, I was just trying to appeal to people similar to myself.
It’s far from perfect, and I have heaps of things I would like to improve and build upon, but the time felt right. Some times you just have to ship it and see how people react. I learned heaps over the last year building this, I’ll leave a quick little break down below of my workflow and tools, mostly as a note to self so I can expand on them one by one at a later point.
It is literally my full time job to write React code on the web, so people will probably be wondering why I didn’t chose to go with React Native. The answer is pretty simple, the purpose of this project for me was to grow as a developer, not to stay in my comfort zone. Flutter was the first cross platform solution I tried (besides React Native) and it was love at first hot reload. Though relatively young (it was still in beta when I started this, has since graduated to 1.2 stable) Flutter’s developer experience was a total breath of fresh air. I felt reborn and incredibly powerful.
If you’re writing Flutter apps, you’ll be writing them in Dart. Dart is a modern, type safe language being developed at Google. There was a bit of a learning curve, but taking the effort to learn has made me a better developer (going back to dynamically typed languages now is a bit of a struggle). Bonus points - the Flutter and Dart teams are very closely collaborating with each other, so the tooling is phenomenal.
By far my favourite UI design tool available. This choice was an absolute no brainer, I didn’t even consider using anything else. Figma, I love you.
I’m barely scraping the surface of what Firebase is capable of, but I really look forward to utilizing it more in the future. Heaps of incredible features and a really stunning UI.
My not so secret weapon, Edamam is the one stop shop for food related APIs. An heap of quality data, but more importantly, a great support team as well. Always happy to answer questions or help me out, even though I’m just a little fish.
I built a recipe app. I’m really, really thrilled that this is a finished thing out in the world. I like Flutter a lot. Big thanks to my friend and collaborator Jeremy for helping me out with some of the art assets and bouncing ideas with me all year. I am super open to feedback, so if you’ve downloaded the app and given it a try - let me know. Either hit me up on twitter @jacobimpson or email firstname.lastname@example.org.