Firebase Developers on Medium — 2020 in Review

👋🏻 Hello everyone!

As we’re on the final stretch of this year, we, the Firebase team, wanted to take a moment to reflect on the past year and express our gratitude to you, our readers and authors!

This year has turned out to be unlike any other, and I am sure many of us had to go through some difficult times. Despite all this, you’ve continued to amaze us with your resilience and creativity. At Firebase, we love to read about all the ways you use the tools and SDKs we provide. It’s great to see what y’all have been building, and we’re grateful for each and every one of you who has gone above and beyond to take the time and write an article for the Firebase Developers on Medium publication.

We sat down to compile a list of articles that reflects the diversity of the Firebase community, and quickly noticed just how much ground y’all covered.

So without further ado, here it is — The Best of Firebase Developers on Medium 2020!

Peter Friese
Developer Advocate, Firebase

PS: make sure to read ’til the end — there’s a little gift for you!

🌐 Firebase and the Web

Ah — WWW, the wild, wild web. Or was it “world wide web”?

Anyway — the web forms the backbone of many of our activities, and as more and more people start using your web-based apps and services, it becomes more and more important to ensure a smooth and high-performance operation. But how fast is fast enough? Well — David East is here to tell you exactly how fast in his article How Fast Should Your Site Load?

David also published a piece on using RxJS and Firebase — this post is observable (that’s an RxJS joke…) over here.

Ok, so maybe I should stop trying to be funny, because we’ll have to talk about a pretty serious topic — security! Gary McGhee shows you how to build Secure Authenticated Single Page Application (SPA) Hosting with Firebase.

🍏 Firebase on iOS

The launch of SwiftUI at WWDC 2019 had many developers excited about Apple’s new UI toolkit. It is quite encouraging to see its declarative DSL has resulted in an influx of new developers, especially coming from a web and design background. This year, we’ve had a bunch of articles focusing on building iOS apps with Firebase and SwiftUI — for example this one about building a to-do list app and this one, by Peter Hrvola, about building a note-taking app.

At WWDC 2020, Apple introduced a couple of changes to the way the application life cycle works, which had an impact on Firebase as well — here’s an article that explains the details.

Our very own Firebase intern Nick Cooke wrote an article about Email/Link Authentication in SwiftUI apps, and Myrick Chow covered Phone Number Authentication and Email/Password Authentication. Yours truly rounded out the authentication story with an article about Sign in with Apple and how to migrate data when signing in.

Getting your application in your user’s hands can be quite a bit of work that you’ll want to automate — Marsel Tzatzo has you covered with his article about Firebase App Distribution and fastlane. Of course, before you can even think about distributing your app, you need to build it and hone out as many bugs as possible. Juan Sagasti explains How to setup Debug and Release Firebase environments in an iOS project.

🤖 Firebase on Android

Getting started with Firebase on Android is easy enough — especially thanks to the much improved onboarding flow in the Firebase Assistant in Android Studio. But once your application goes beyond “Hello World”, you’ll want to think about good, scalable architecture. Yashovardhan Dhanania wrote a great introduction to using the Android MVVM pattern with Firestore. And for the Kotlin fans among you, Shreyas Patil covered reactive programming in 🔥 Firebase-ing with Kotlin Coroutines + Flow 🌊.

Many apps need their users to sign in, and Android has some nice tricks up their sleeves to make this as smooth as possible. Learn more about this in Firebase Auth + One Tap UI on Android by Rosário Pereira Fernandes.

Once your users have signed in, you’ll want to provide them with a great UX. RecyclerView is one of the workhorses of any UI-heavy app, and here are Alex Mamo and Shreyas Patil to tell you How to delete a record from Firestore on a RecylerView and how you can Update Queries without changing RecyclerView Adapter using FirebaseUI — Android 🔥.

How can you be sure your app doesn’t crash when you put it in your users’ hands? You need to test, test, test. Thanks to Firebase Testlab, this doesn’t have to be a menial activity, and Py ⚔ shows you how to make this even easier in Instrumenting Firebase Test Lab.

🐦 Firebase and Flutter

Firebase ❤️ Flutter, and Flutter developers ❤️ Firebase — that’s what you’ve been telling us at many events, and that’s what we see on Stack Overflow. So why are there so few articles about Firebase and Flutter on this publication? Well — mostly because there are many great community-driven Flutter publications on Medium that authors tend to flock to. [Ok, ok — I’ll stop the puns now.] So we’re super happy to have a few Flutter & Firebase articles on our publication as well.

For those of you just getting started with Flutter and Firebase, check out Ashton Jones’ article on Cloud Firestore Basics in Flutter. After that, indulge in this series of articles by Paul Ruiz about Firebase Authentication and Flutter: no matter if you’re interested in Email and Link Sign-in, Phone Number Authentication or Anonymous Authentication, or Identity Provider based authentication (such as GitHub or Google) — Paul has you covered.

🎮 Firebase and Games

Firebase can also be used in Games, and I’m thrilled we’ve had a number of really cool articles for game developers this year.

What would a game be without a good competition? In his article Domenico Rotolo takes you through the process of using Firebase Realtime Database to implement Firebase Multiplayer Game & Matchmaking in Unity!

Many games have a core thing in common when you really dig under the surface: there’s almost always a soft nougaty core of C++ — so if you’re curious to learn more about the nitty gritty details of adding Firebase to your mobile or desktop games written in C++, our Games Developer Advocate Patrick Martin is your man.

Once you’ve built and shipped your game, you will want to understand how it is played in the wild. This article by Paul Ruiz shows how you can do just that and use Google Analytics for Firebase to improve your Unity games.

🔥 Firebase everywhere else 🏠 🌴

Of course, most apps require some sort of backend, and Firebase equips you with the tools you need to meet your server-side needs in a serverless world. In a world that is increasingly going online, it is more important than ever to stay safe and secure. No wonder many of the articles we received center around security and user management! Firebase Security Rules are a centerpiece to keep your users’ data safe and secure — Jorge Menjivar has put together A List of Firestore Security Rules for Your Firebase Project.

Managing users is important for a smooth and uninterrupted operation of your app. The Firebase console is a great tool if you need to add a single user or reset their password, but how do you handle bulk operations? Firebaser Hiranya Jayathilaka walks you through what it takes to manage large number of users in Firebase: Fetching and deleting user accounts in bulk. Have you ever wondered Why is my currentUser == null in Firebase Auth? Well, this post by Doug Stevenson explains why, and what you can do about it!

We all know that perf matters, and to understand the driving forces behind your app’s performance, you should definitely check out Organize Cloud Functions for max cold start performance and readability with TypeScript and Firebase and The trade-offs between performance, cost, and security with Firestore by Doug Stevenson.

One of the true gems of the Firebase platform are Firebase Extensions, and we’ve had a couple of articles about these as well. First, we’ve got Myrick Chow, who explains how you can easily translate text using the Translate Text extension. Renaud Tarnec takes it up a notch and shows you How to Create an Image Translation Web App in 25 Lines of Code.

Firebase truly is everywhere, and this article by Elvis Sun proves that, given enough time and creativity, you can build almost anything with Firebase: Smart Garage Control With Firebase AutoML Vision Edge and RaspberryPi.

🖋️ Write for us!

We’re always looking for new articles from the Firebase community, so if you’d like to contribute a piece you wrote, please reach out to us!

Be sure to read our submission guideline to get an understanding of what kind of content we’re looking for. We’ve also put together a couple of tips for writing great articles you might find useful. Once you’re ready to submit your article, use our submission form, which will make sure you keep in the loop regarding the review process.

✨ And finally…

Thanks for sticking with us, and congratulations for reading this far! As a token of appreciation, we’ve prepared a little video gift for you — enjoy our 2020 Firebase Fireplace! Perfect for when you want to curl up against a crackling fire, but without the carbon footprint.


Firebase Developers on Medium — 2020 in Review was originally published in Firebase Developers on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.