Why as a Flutter Developer, you should come to the Dart Side? (Seriously) – Learn Dart Backend

by easazade
9 minutes read

In this article, we are going to talk about why Dart backend (The Dart Side) is important in the world of software development. And why Flutter Developers should take it more seriously.

Flutter has evolved so much after the first stable release of the framework in December 2018, but so has dart. Folks at Google are doing an excellent job developing Dart. Flutter has become the reason why the dart community has evolved so much in the past few years. So many features have been added to the language. Thanks to the googlers and the open-source community now we have a programming language that is constantly and carefully evolving.

What makes Dart backend interesting?

Being able to write both backend and frontend and frontend in one language is the reason why dart backend is interesting. This is the reason why many developers and software companies are using dart backend frameworks. Some teams even try to make their own dart backend framework.

Now you might be telling yourself “that is not a good enough reason to use dart for backend”. And I tell you, being able to create and deliver software using a single programming language, has (potentially) so many benefits that probably didn’t cross your mind. 

I’m going to explain later why doing things in one language can benefit developers and software companies (also businesses) so much.

It all comes down to profit

There is only one other language that is hugely used for front-end and that is JavaScript. which can be used for backend as well.

When Flutter came out everyone had their doubts about it. There were Developers having doubts about the framework saying it’s not gonna gain popularity, Or become as big as react native. Or that we are better off with native frameworks when it comes down to mobile. But Flutter compared to other frameworks introduced many advantages and benefits for its users, whether they are a software development company, a startup or a full grown business company. They could not just ignore benefits. Things like developing and delivering much faster, easily creating apps with complex UI elements and animations and great performance which greatly affects the user experience. These features of Flutter reduce the cost of creating and maintaining an app and also gives an advantage to whoever is using it over their competitors. 

Same is with Dart backend. Using a single language to create backend and frontend of a project just gives us so many benefits that we just cannot ignore. 

So right now it is not a matter of whether dart backend is going to get traction and be accepted by the community, it’s a matter of which dart backend solution or solutions are going to be accepted by the early adopters which will become the go to options for the majority of the community afterwards.

If you see companies like very good ventures create a dart backend framework of their own, it’s not because they just have the resources and manpower. It’s because it profits them.

Why Dart and not other languages?

Some may say. Ok cool, creating an entire project from back to front in a single language has so many benefits but why Dart and not other languages? Like Javascript. I think Javascript is a good option to compare with Dart when it comes to writing entire softwares using a single programming language.

With Javascript it is possible to use it as a programming language for the entire project. We can use Node.js, React & React-native to create any app that we want but should we do it? When it comes to front end web Javascript is the obvious choice, no argument there. Now about React-native, Do we really want to use react native for creating a mobile application in 2023 when we have Flutter?  (I don’t think so).

Dart has rich language features

Nodejs is great which enables us to run javascript in environments other than web browsers. We can use Nodejs and create a backend for our app. But When it comes to using Javascript in places other than front-end web when there are other languages as options, Javascript gets some negative points just because of some of the language’s limitations and issues. It just hasn’t evolved like other languages (some may say it doesn’t even have types). So It is possible to use Javascript for this purpose and it is being used out there but the language issues are always there.

Dart is more evolved than Javascript. That alone makes Dart a much more reliable language to be used for backend projects. This is probably why Javascript is not on top of the list when it comes to choosing a language for large scale backend projects. Though there are many factors to consider when it comes to choosing a language for a large-scale backend project, Just keep in mind if we compare ONLY Dart and Javascript language features, issues and limitations Dart is the obvious winner.

Here are some of the benefits of using a dart backend for Flutter projects

Faster Development and Delivery

When we use the dart backend alongside flutter which is basically the dart front-end. When all or some of the developers are working on both sides, they can apply changes much faster. make decisions quicker and with more precision. Obviously faster delivery is a result of that.

More developers on projects means faster development (for real)

Usually that is not the case. If you make a project crowded with developers things will go slower. But when you do dart backend along-side flutter. you can just assign developers a task and they will develop. Because they are not going to be blocked by front-end developers or back-end developers. Each developer can handle both back and front of the application.

Faster Delivery is essential to winning over your competitions

There has always been a problem of delivering the software in this industry. It doesn’t matter if it’s a big company with a lot of resources. bigger is even slower in most cases. in any business when you got a product most likely you got competitors. Now if your product is a software, faster delivery is really important to you. It doesn’t matter how good your product is if you can’t deliver as fast as competitors, you will lose the race. dart backend for flutter projects can give this edge to the project.

Less communication between the project management team and developers

When project managers need to communicate with a single (or a single type of) developer instead of two, they will spend less of their time on that project. This means they have more time to spend elsewhere.

Much less communication between Developers

There are so many things that require backend and frontend developers to communicate. We all know how much time can be wasted there. Sometimes even a single bug can take a lot of time. When developers use the same language for both frontend and backend, many of these communications that happen between two developers turn into thoughts of a single developer. a single developer that can write code for both backend and frontend. In most cases we don’t need to go ask a backend developer to fix a bug or change something or explain something that there is no document for. We just do it ourselves since we can do both dart backend and flutter.

Easier Resources Management for software companies

When most backend developers and frontend developers in a company use dart language, resource management is much easier. Developers will be assigned interchangeably to the frontend and backend of a project and between different projects. But it’s not just developers, When communication required to manage projects is decreased. there will be more time for other parties involved in that project as well. Time is an important resource.

Much easier to create quality software

Testing is much easier. Less people are involved in the project. Less code is required to be written to create things which means less code to maintain and debug. Especially with this approach we can write almost any test scenarios, even very complex ones. much more things can be automated. more codes can be auto generated. This can all result in less bugs and mistakes, so better quality.

So many things can be automated

When we don’t separate our application in two different languages there will be more room to automate tasks. If there was anything that we couldn’t automate before, simply because backend and frontend programming languages were different or we didn’t have any knowledge of what is going on in the backend of our program. Now we can simply do it.

Also so many codes can be automatically generated

When we write code for both backend and frontend in a single language there is a lot of time that we know and can predict how the code will be on the dart backend side of our program. When there is room to predict code there is always room for auto generated code.

A very good example of this is serverpod. Serverpod automatically generates your protocol and client-side code by analyzing your server. Calling a remote endpoint is as easy as making a local method call. All these codes are auto generated by serverpod. That is a huge amount of code generation and a lot of time saved.

Test your project in any scenario you like (literally)

before it was hard or impossible to write complex test scenarios because we should have written them in different programming languages. Using dart backend alongside flutter for our frontend app it is simple to write the most complex scenarios. Now it is possible to write code for both our dart backend application and our flutter application in a single test unit. Whether we should do it in our project or not is a different topic. But keep in mind that limitation is no longer there.

Less time wasted pending other tasks

Developers are doing dart backend and frontend. So there is no task assigned to a backend developer whom you need to wait for. You do it yourself.

Bug fixes can be faster

Sometimes there are bugs going back and forth between the frontend and backend. Sometimes bugs require frontend and backend developers to work together to fix that bug. rarely it’s unclear whether the bug is from frontend or backend. Bugs like this can happen in any project. Again when one developer can inspect both backend and frontend side of the project bugs like these will take much less effort and time to fix.

Developers have better understanding of what is going on the entire project

The reason things like openapi standard exist to act as a middleware language between backend and frontend is enough proof that there are programming problems that need to be solved by processing the data and code between two different languages. Where the backend and frontend languages are the same we don’t need a middleware language to figure out what is going on the other side. Note that openapi only specifies what is going on in the backend

This results in better decisions, faster development, faster and cheaper to fix issues, better product quality and so on.

Code reviews are much faster

Writing less code means reading less code when it’s time to review. it’s that simple. And if you use frameworks like Serverpod, most of the backend or client code will be generated, so there is no need to review it.

Less resources are needed to deliver a project

Developers and other people working on a project, time and money spent on a project are the main resources we use for a project. All the benefits and advantages of using Dart backend alongside Flutter for frontend will result in less resources consumed by projects.

More profit for the software companies

Of course, when companies need less resources to deliver a project there is always room for more profit.

Maintaining software projects costs less resources (much less)

Flutter projects that use a dart backend overall need less developers to maintain them. If the backend of our project would have been written in another language, We would have needed at least two developers to maintain it. But it’s not just that it reduces costs. Hiring and managing developers in a software company is not easy. When companies need to manage different kinds of developers that is even harder. If they are not careful in managing resources, it’s money out of their pockets.

Final words

Dart backend will gain traction and will be popular just like Flutter. Maybe not as fast as flutter but it will find its place in the backend community. Be one of the early adopters just like many did with Flutter.

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