Engineering

DevBit Recap, Fall 2023
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I’m finally getting a moment to reflect on our Fall 2023 edition of Algolia DevBit. DevBits are similar to our annual DevCon event but a “bit” smaller — it’s a 90-minute livestream about all things search and Algolia.

This quarter’s theme was frontend development, with sessions on our JavaScript libraries and mobile development best practices. This was our first time having a theme, and I like how it brought a crisp focus to the event.

Here are the highlights, including embedded videos and links to the recordings of each session. There’s also a playlist on YouTube, including sessions by our developers, product teams, field engineers, and partners.

Instant impact: Rapidly building intuitive search experiences

What better way to kick off a developer event than with live coding? Senior Product Manager Imogen Lovera did just that, building an entire search frontend in five minutes using Algolia’s InstantSearch and Autocomplete libraries for React. Her secret? npx create instantsearch-app! You can use this script to quickly build a frontend scaffold for your web application’s search.

Migrate a React InstantSearch app from v6 to v7 Algolia

Going even deeper into our frontend libraries, Senior Engineer Aymeric Giraudet took us deep into the latest version of InstantSearch for React (v7) to show us some of the changes and improvements migrating from v6. All of our frontend libraries are moving to a common core, which means we can iterate and add features faster. We’ve also embraced hooks in React and he shows several scenarios for updating custom search widgets to take advantage of them.

Integrating Algolia into native apps with FlutterFlow

If you haven’t played with FlutterFlow yet, you should give it a try. Flutter is the first cross-platform mobile development framework that has made sense to me. FlutterFlow puts a really clean interface on top of it, including pre-built widgets for building mobile search. John Higgins is Head of Education and Training at Flutterflow, and he does an amazing job of introducing the platform as well as showing how to quickly build mobile search.

Mobile search done right: Common pitfalls and best practices

Keeping with the mobile-first theme, Senior Solution Architect and general frontend guru Alex Colins walked us through ten best practices for building mobile search. While the focus was on ecommerce, some of these tips can apply for any application — particularly things like proper filter placement and limiting use of endless scroll.

Recommend Guides Hub: Craft your next discovery experience

Moving beyond search, Frontend Engineer Maria Lungu rounded out our September livestream with a tour of Algolia’s new Recommend Guides. These are recipes for building various recommendation UI patterns into your application. Let’s face it — we developers are lazy. Building on top of existing best practices is almost always a good thing! Our Recommend Guides Hub is available now for you to do just that.

And that was Fall 2023. Give them a watch, and make plans to join us live in December for the next edition of Algolia DevBits!

About the authorChuck Meyer

Chuck Meyer

Sr. Developer Relations Engineer

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