Why Frontend Developers should learn Firebase in 2020?

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While Firebase is around for quite some time, it really got the traction in the last couple of years after the popularity of Google Cloud Platform increased, and several other Firebase services were introduced. If you are really React.js, Angular, Vue.js, or any other frontend development framework, you will benefit from Firebase. It provides an online, free database and several other useful services like FireStore, FireAuth, and Firebase Cloud function. Firebase is equally useful for Mobile developers as well as people using Swift, iOS, and Android to create mobile apps. They can also use Firebase services to create the backend for their application.

More often than not Frontend developer stuck if there is no API to consume, they need an API to download data, authenticate the user and make payments and if that’s not available then they don’t make progress.

While many companies have both frontend and backend developers which work in tandem but for POC and demo, you feel stuck when there is no backend developer and you don’t know how to setup backend. Firebase solves that problem by providing you a database and pre-built APIs, and Authentication and Payment support.

And, I can say from my experience that if you can handle CRUD, authentication, and payment then you are more or less can do POC for any application.

In this article, I am going to tell you why frontend and mobile developers should learn Firebase and how it can help them to quickly create a web application or mobile apps in 2020.

I first come to know about Firebase when I was learning Vue.js and looking for a public API to develop my application. I end up using Github User API, which was good for loading users and showing their repositories but you don’t have control over data, Firebase allows that to you.

What is Firebase Exactly?

If you don’t know, Firebase is an online, free service provided by Google which acts as a very feature-rich, fully-fledged back-end to both mobile and web applications. Frontend Developers can use Firebase to store and retrieve data to and from a NoSQL database called Firestore, as well as to authenticate their app’s users with the Firebase Auth service.

While Firestore, the Realtime Database is really just one big JSON object that the developers can manage in realtime. It allows you to set up the data you want for your application, while Firebase Authentication is built by the same people who created Google Sign-in, Smart Lock, and Chrome Password Manager.

Firebase also provides a service called Firebase Cloud Functions which allows you to run server-side JavaScript code in a Node.js environment, and you can also deploy all of your applications to Firebase hosting.

What are Important Firebase Services for Frontend Developers?

Actually, there are a lot more Firebase services then I have mentioned here and you can basically divide them into two categories like Development and Testing Services and Analytics services.

Here is a list of some of the most popular Development and Testing Firebase Services for Frontend Developers:

  • Realtime Database
  • Auth
  • Test Lab
  • Crashlytics
  • Cloud Functions
  • Firestore
  • Cloud Storage
  • Performance Monitoring
  • Crash Reporting
  • Hosting
  • Grow & Engage your audience

The best thing about Firebase is that with just a single API, the Firebase database provides your app with both the current value of the data and any updates to that data.

Why Frontend Developers should learn Firebase?

So now that you know the capabilities of Firebase, we can summarise why Frontend Developer should learn Firebase. here are some of the key reasons why I think both frontend and mobile app developer will benefit from learning Firebase:

1) Unblocks Frontend Development

Firebase provides a ready-made backend system that frontend developer can use to hook their GUI without waiting for the backend to be ready.

2) Faster Development

Firebase provides database, authentication, payment, and API which are an integral part of any frontend application, and with that is made readily available, your development time is significantly reduced.

3) Better Code

People might argue that using Firebase means you are locked into Google Cloud Platform and you may not be able to deploy your web application or mobile app into AWS, Azure, GCP, or any other Cloud platform, but that’s not true. As long as you follow standard coding practice and separation of concern you can encapsulate interaction in service or data layer.

In most cases, developers use Firebase on the development stage with an actual backend on production. So they design their app in such a way that switching to a different backend is easier, this approach results in a better structure.

4) Speed and Simplicity

Firebase not only provides a blazing fast data storage capabilities but also a simple API, which can be tempting if you are considering to use Firebase in Production.

That’s all about why frontend developers should learn Firebase. These were just some of the most important reasons I can think of now, but there are many more. Firebase is evolving and adding more and more services so that more and more companies start using them on Production as well.

If you are learning Angular, React.js, or Vue.js then Firebase can really help you with developing projects and mastering the frontend framework of your choice.

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