Getting your first job as a Flutter developer
It's 2022, and the tech job market is very hot right now. Not so much for Flutter jobs, unfortunately. Since Flutter is still relatively young, not too many companies currently use it, or even plan to do so in the future.
For mobile applications, some companies still prefer to go native, and the ones that do choose to go cross-platform seem to be more leaning towards React Native because it's been around longer and comes with the whole NPM ecosystem which is more mature than pub.dev.
For desktop applications, this is where Flutter would potentially be a great candidate as you can develop for Windows, Linux and macOS with one codebase. However, Flutter's support for these platforms is even younger than mobile, and depending on the complexity of the desktop applications there could still be a need for native code due to the lack of plugins. Similarly with mobile and React Native, companies might choose to use Electron, if not stick with native apps.
With all that in mind, you might still want to work with Flutter full-time anyway. Flutter's developer experience is pretty great after all, and so is the community. So, let's not lose hope! Even though there's currently way less demand for Flutter compared to other jobs in tech, it's still possible to land your first job with Flutter. After all, Flutter is a popular choice with new companies or startups, and more and more established companies are looking to adopt it.
In this post, we will go over some possible ways to find and apply for a Flutter job. We will cover some places to look for a job, as well as alternative places you could look at or things to do in order to find potential opportunities. In some cases, opportunities could find you!
Go through job boards
The most common way to find yourself a job to apply for is simply to start looking online. Any online search for "flutter developer job" could get you quite a few results. However, since there's not as many Flutter jobs out there, you could only come across either outdated job openings, or job descriptions that simply mention Flutter as a nice-to-have, with the job being mainly for a native developer position.
LinkedIn's job board is a good place to look at to avoid coming across outdated listings. A lot of professionals are already on LinkedIn, and so are companies looking for developers. So if any companies out there are looking for Flutter developers, it's likely they've put this up on LinkedIn as well. Additionally, if you haven't listed Flutter as one of your skills on your LinkedIn profile, you should do so! Recruiters looking for Flutter developers could come across you when searching for candidates.
There are also a few Flutter-specific job boards out there, but a few are not really active or kept up-to-date. Flutter Jobs seems promising and they also have a Twitter account and a mailing list which you could follow to be notified of any new job posts.
Start with an internship
This was how I got my first job, but way before Flutter was stable! An internship is a great way to get started, especially if you've recently graduated from university or finished a programming course or bootcamp, and looking to start your career in software development.
As mentioned before, however, it might be even harder to find companies that are offering internships for Flutter developers. But if you do find one, there's a good chance the companies will be happy to help you get started with your Flutter career, and you could potentially move on to a full-time position with the company after your internship.
Go freelance or consulting
Because a lot of new companies and startups could pick Flutter for their apps, it's possible to get a job as a freelancer or consult for companies that are just starting out and looking to use Flutter.
At places such as Upwork, you can sign up and either look for freelance jobs or get hired for an hourly rate. There are also websites such as Flexiple or Toptal where you can apply as a freelance developer and get assigned clients and projects.
If you have a good network and portfolio, you could even do that without needing a middleman, but you'd need to find your own clients and work which is more challenging. But if your network is good enough, instead it could be that clients find you!
Join the Flutter community
There are many benefits to being involved with the Flutter community. The Discord server in particular has a
#hiring channel where companies or people looking for Flutter developers share information on their openings. There is also a
#for-hire channel in which you can share your resume and portfolio, and anyone interested can reach out to you directly.
Write about Flutter
While this might not necessarily evolve into a full-time job, writing about Flutter is a great way to improve your Flutter skills as well as get your name out there as a competent Flutter developer.
Start a blog
The best way to learn something is by teaching it. By starting a blog, you could share some of the knowledge you pick up while working on your Flutter apps. Did you use some fancy new package in your app to do something cool? Write a blog post about it! Others could find this useful.
But you're looking for a job, and a salary, so a blog is unlikely to become something that will get you a proper developer salary (at least not very early!). However, simply having a blog out there is great for your resume, and I've personally had a couple of companies reach out to me on Dartling's email to offer me a job (or at least, to interview for one).
Become a technical writer or editor
You could also have a career as a technical writer, or simply do this on the side. Companies such as raywenderlich.com and Pieces can pay you per article, and you can start with just a couple of articles per month. Digital Ocean will even donate to tech-focused charities in addition to compensating you!
A personal blog, or guest posts in other blogs could definitely help you land a technical writer job, so if you're interested, just get started! It's easy to get started on a tech blog with Hashnode, and it would be nice to see more Flutter-focused blogs on here also.
Publish your apps
If you're looking for a Flutter job, you've at least built a counter app with Flutter, and hopefully something a bit more complex. But publishing it to the Play Store, App Store or any store could potentially earn you some money if you implement in-app purchases. There are plenty of indie developers making a full-time income by building apps, either by going all-in one one app, or building several small ones. With the right idea and execution (Flutter helps with the execution!), you can earn money on your own, with your own apps.
Going indie and making your own Flutter apps as a full-time job is probably the hardest option of all mentioned here, however, at least in my opinion. There's no guarantee you will get to earn as much as you would by working full-time for a company as a developer, and it could take a while to get there. I released my first Flutter mobile app a couple of years ago and I'm perfectly happy with the few coffees and lunches I get from its in-app purchases every month. It's something I'd really recommend having on the side, and it's also a great addition to your portfolio!
In this article, we listed a few ways you can go about finding a job as a Flutter developer. It can be challenging, but your best best is to keep looking and applying to any opportunities you come across and are interested in. Freelancing is a viable alternative but can be more challenging, and perhaps a bit less stable than a full-time job.
In the meantime, getting more involved with the Flutter community, perhaps writing about Flutter and publishing and iterating on your Flutter apps is a great way to improve both your Flutter skills and your portfolio, as well as expand your network. These could also get more job opportunities coming your way, as well as increase your chances of getting hired next time you apply for a job as Flutter developer.
If you're reading this and looking for your first job as a Flutter developer, we wish you good luck! And if you have managed to land a job in a way not mentioned here, do let us know in the comments.
Images generated by OpenAI's DALL-E.
This article was published as the #week1 article for #4articles4weeks.
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