Understanding the need for secure, anonymous communication between tenants of condominiums and apartment buildings, StackLife was created with the simple goal of turning buildings into neighborhoods.
StackLife allows users to communicate with people living nearby safely and privately.
Carlton Branch, Founder of Stacklife: StackLife was an idea that I had been thinking about for a long time, but the pandemic really brought home the need for tenants to be able to safely communicate with their neighbours. With all of us now indoors, sometimes for days at a time, it was becoming obvious that simple things like seeing building announcements regarding things like maintenance that were posted in the common areas were going to be more challenging. The previous method of inter-building communication just wasn’t going to work effectively. This would also apply to anyone living in an apartment complex, dorm, student housing, etc.
This is where StackLIfe comes in. StackLife is a mobile app that allows users to create a social network based on their building address. Using geolocation, other users can access the building’s network for sharing information from Safety & Security to building management announcements. While the primary goal is to make it easier for people to share emergency information, it also has rooms or “quebes” for facilitating general information, as well as a local marketplace where users can buy/sell items within their building.
I am currently a professional C/C++ developer working in London, Ontario with about 7 years’ experience in software development.
As I would be working as a solo founder and developer, I chose to build StackLife in Flutter/Dart. This gave me a great excuse to use a new technology as well as leverage the multi-platform targeting capability of the Flutter framework to build one codebase for both iOS and Android. I gave myself 4-6 months to develop and release version one of StackLife.
Since I was coding the frontend, to speed things up, I knew I was going to need to handle a lot of basic backend tasks as quickly and hands-off as I could. So I started looking for low-code backend options that work with Flutter. After trying and getting frustrated with a few options that had very poor documentation for Flutter, I came across Backendless on Stack Overflow and decided to give it a try.
Having used Backendless for more than six months now, I can definitely say it was the right choice. I chose Backendless because the price was reasonable and I get to keep full control of my data. It’s a simple relationship with a backend service. I know that my data is protected and if I ever need to take it elsewhere, I would be able to do so.
Backendless handles the whole user management process for the app – user login, session management, user data storage, etc. I also utilize Backendless for the app’s database, and part of the reason I chose Backendless is that it was clear that it would be able to scale with my app.
The Backendless APIs are fantastic and well documented. Those plus the Backendless Flutter SDK makes it very easy to connect the frontend and backend. I also use some of the other tools like email templates because they’re very easy to use out of the box.