The way apps are developed, tested and launched has changed. The new breed of mobile DevOps is moving from native to non-native, automating processes, integrating resources and tools, and streamlining workflows from end to end.
With the digital transformation and the established hybrid world, apps have evolved from unique selling propositions to indispensable tools for every sector and every industry. In June 2022, according to Statista, around 90,000 mobile apps were released via the Google Play Store alone, and the number continues to grow.
More than 2,500 mobile practitioners and global business leaders, including experts from Meta, WeTransfer, Salesforce, eBay, Reddit, Microsoft, Nubank and others, gathered on November 10th at the inaugural Mobile DevOps Summit.
At the summit, hosted by Bitrise – a mobile DevOps and continuous integration and delivery platform – leading companies presented the latest trends and emerging technologies that will power the apps of tomorrow.
A shift in mobile DevOps
During the keynote speech, Bitrise CEO and co-founder Barnabas Birmacher spoke about the tools and practices available to mobile developers to solve today’s complex challenges. Birmacher addressed the new technologies and future roadmap for 2023 that will support the entire app development process for Bitrise’s 6,000+ members.
To meet the global demands of end users hungry for innovative apps and companies opening new digital channels, developers are turning to end-to-end platforms that automate core workflows, shorten release cycles and provide insight into code, pre-release, testing and offer commitment.
Automating and integrating tools saves time and expense while fostering creativity as teams move into experimental modes for mobile apps. Security, agility, accuracy and accessibility are now top priorities for the industry.
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Grouped under the Bitrise event, the community shared technical insights in focused sessions, keeping in mind the big picture, best practices, app performance tracking, actionable insights, and the app’s impact on society. The event focused on saving time through automation.
The mobile DevOps community is growing. The summit featured more than 100 speakers, over 80 workshops, customer case studies and live Q&A with mobile executives. One thing is clear: the new generation of mobile DevOps is in full acceleration mode, collaborating and collaborating, inspiring and finding new ways to improve apps.
Challenges: From ranking to agility and accessibility
With a mobile CI/CD platform, developers can integrate hundreds of tools and steps, easily connect processes, troubleshoot, perform automated testing and quality assurance, and accelerate the entire workflow. Maintenance, updates and continental development are also optimized in these platforms, but the sector is not free from challenges.
With a wide range of constantly evolving tools that work with various programming languages such as HTML5, XPath and XQuery, Java, Swift, ActionScript, LiveCode, C, C++, Ruby and others, maintaining integration and staying current is a must new challenges for developers. Platforms like Bitrise allow developers to automate manual tasks and implement systems where code, configurations, scripts and documents can be easily tracked across different platforms.
Experts added that frequently updated apps rank higher in app stores. The speed of mobile app delivery and faster and more iterative releases are critical. Regular app releases or rolling deployments speed up the process while automating the deployment pipeline. This reduces the time it takes to roll out new iterations and allows teams to be more responsive to user feedback.
Marco Porcho and Letticia Nicoli, Senior Software Engineer and Lead Software Engineer respectively at Nubank, spoke about the importance of installing a culture of experimentation in large-scale projects. Nubank developers focus on in-house custom solutions and market analysis, driving experiments to meet the expectations of 65 million users worldwide.
The company is also migrating from its native technologies to the open-source, non-native framework Flutter to gain speed and agility. The migration process started in 2019. Nubank developers assure that the experience has been improved. Other benefits of migrating to non-native technology include better testing capabilities and stable and documented APIs.
Porcho noted that when her team of over 2,000 engineers is working on the codebase and a new app version is released every week, it’s important to have the ability to “turn off a single problematic feature” without impacting the user experience .
Developers are also under pressure to launch apps faster, although the way managers lead teams sometimes proves counterproductive. Jan-Erik Lorfeo, Agile Coach and New Work Consultant at Meta-System, spoke about Best Technical Practices. Lorfeo advised against using KPIs to track a team’s progress. Lorfeo added that training developers is a good approach to improving performance.
In another session, Amy Tom, Tech Strategist and Creator at Bitrise, and Aleksandra Kulbaka, Full Stack Developer at Theodo UK, spoke about accessibility, diversity and inclusion in app development. With 15% of the world’s population having some form of disability, the speakers discussed the urgency of incorporating best practices into any new app project from the start. Tom emphasized the need to consider diversity and inclusion as accessibility components.
Incorporating accessibility and inclusion concepts from the start makes the whole process easier for developers.
“I want people to understand that accessibility happens at all stages of the app development process, especially at the beginning when you are planning,” said Tom.
Kulbaka presented an accessibility calculator to guide and support mobile app developers. Kulbaka added that while her calculator can grade projects, the tool should only be used as a guide. According to Kulbaka, users decide whether an app is barrier-free. Kulbaka explained how app testing processes that typically don’t involve users with disabilities can be developed to broaden the spectrum and get real insight into accessibility.
Laws such as the European Accessibility Act require that some everyday products and services be accessible to people with disabilities. The law covers products and services such as computers and operating systems, smartphones, telephone services, banking services, e-commerce, websites, mobile services and others directly related to mobile development.
Kulbaka also addressed inclusive design, where products allow people of different backgrounds, races, cultures and ages to ensure that the “real world” is represented.
Mobile DevOps: Practices and Values
With the continuous improvement of technologies and automation, the mobile development community uses the time, resources and costs it gains to improve the sector and take different paths towards creativity, refinement of quality and value creation. Mobile DevOps practices and their values are even more crucial than the technical tools they use.
Mobile DevOps continuous communication and planning goals include sustainability, accessibility, customer satisfaction, shorter development lifecycles, increased quality, transparency and security. DevOps works with management, website developers, and quality teams to accelerate workflows and achieve these goals.
The documentation of the development process is also important. It helps teams learn and accelerate while keeping track of the stages and details of the entire process. Visibility also supports the latest stages of updates, such as B. Patching and monitoring.
Going beyond building the app has also played an important role. Developers also focus on meeting the standards of different app stores. Developers try to understand the quality and risk of each new version.
“Besides implementing an iterative process for testing, adding monitoring and real-time performance, tracking tools are essential in mobile app development,” says Bitrise. “In this way, teams can find the cause of failures faster and also save on hardware costs.”
Adding third-party SDKs, creating crash reports, and continuously monitoring app performance and app store feedback help developers to constantly improve app quality.
Mobile DevOps practices and CI/CD are the new norm today. The core values of the new generation of developers building the apps of the future are value, speed, quality and efficiency.
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