Just as Mr. McGuire blurted out “plastics” in the movie
The Graduate to the young Benjamin, we have always been a society looking for the next big thing that will create seismic shifts and earthquakes. The last 10 years have been dominated by mobile phones, and the next will be internet of things (IoT) devices.
As a software developer for 30-plus years and a Forbes New York Business Council member, I am constantly asked two fundamental questions by companies. The first is, “Should we develop our own IT department, or offshore or outsource development?” The second is, “What development language should I choose, and what tech is coming around the next corner?” Well, here it is — Flutter and Fuchsia. In 2019 you will see these two words everywhere, and now is your chance to get ahead of the curve.
Flutter is Google’s new evolutionary development platform that will allow coders to write in one simple language for both Apple’s iPhone/iPad iOS platforms and Google’s Android phones/tablets. This has been attempted many times before with moderate success, but Google has finally solved the mobile development puzzle with
Flutter. It is open source and free, which is perfect for students and others on a limited budget. My advice is to just download it and get started. It is that simple. It will be the best investment in yourself or your company that you will ever make.
Next up is Fuchsia. Based on Google’s experience with Android and Chrome OS, they have decided in their infinite wisdom to embark on the journey of creating a new operating system. The OS is the core of the devices you use, iOS for mobile devices, OSX for computer, Windows for Microsoft and Google’s Android and Chrome OS. Why would any company want to create an entirely new OS in today’s world? The answer to this question is three simple letters: IoT. It’s all those hundreds of millions of devices that are starting to be embedded in our everyday lives: Amazon’s Alexa, self-driving cars from Tesla, intelligent temperature control devices and even smart locks for our homes.
Fuchsia is based on a microkernel, which is small but powerfully simple. It was first championed by LINUX, which Android and ChromeOS are based on, but now Google is ditching LINUX and creating a microkernel operating system with the capability to run on universal devices — from embedded and IoT devices to smartphones, tablets and personal computers. I am sure their plan is to have Fuchsia in the billions of IoT devices in the next five years. The secret sauce is Fuchsia’s user interface and apps, which are being written with
Flutter. Not only will
Flutter make app development easier, but it is also being developed as the future system for mobile and IoT devices.
There are many reasons to offshore or outsource, such as improved efficiency, time savings and cost benefits. The most important reason for outsourcing in the past 10 years was the lack of mobile app development skills within companies. Effectively training native mobile development for Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android usually takes two years and $100,000 investment for salary and education. Very few companies are willing to make this kind of investment to train staff. However, there are also huge risks in offshore or outsourced teams. Compromising quality and the extra cost of communication time and travel has proven to eliminate most cost benefits. Flutter will greatly improve the prospect of in-house development and startups in the coming years.
Flutter is so easy to learn that you can even teach yourself with no prior coding experience. It may be a bit of a learning curve for new coders, but anyone with a little experience will learn in two months, not two years. This is why getting in now is a real opportunity for businesses and potential startups. The ease of learning and using
Flutter will lower the barrier to entry for both learning and cost. Now is your opportunity to get ahead of the curve in the fast-paced world of technology. Start by just searching for
Flutter on the internet. There are thousands of articles, many free lessons and meetups all over the world that will help you get started.