In the high-speed world of mobile app development, developers need to be quick on their feet and continuously hone their skills to stay ahead of the curve.
The reality is that the traditional approach to mobile app development can no longer keep up with the speed and agility of the mobile landscape. It’s time to look towards new practices to overcome today’s unique challenges, such as Mobile DevOps.
Mobile DevOps refers to a series of practices that streamline the mobile app development process, giving you and your team the necessary tools to handle all aspects of mobile development—from the tech that allows for rapid iteration and continuous feedback, to a culture that strives for effective collaboration between every facet of the development team.
However, direct learning experiences can be few and far between, so how can the mobile developers of today ‘level up’ and handle the challenges they’re facing?
In an episode of Mobile DevOps Is a Thing! with John Sundell, we talked about how Mobile DevOps can be a driving force in improving your team’s mobile skills, which we’ve narrowed down to three major points below.
“Things are moving fast, which can also be stressful sometimes. But it is really cool just how quickly you can learn new things and evolve yourself,” – John Sundell
3 ways your team can benefit from Mobile DevOps
1. Building empathy with continuous feedback loops
From project managers to the user, feedback is vital to mobile development. A more direct feedback loop for everyone involved in the development cycle (and not just the developers) can help keep everyone on the same page, ensuring that the final product is as close to what the users need as possible.
John says one of the significant advantages of Mobile DevOps is the quick feedback loop and iteration the process can achieve, especially when you compare it to traditional feedback methods that may result in development teams becoming detached from each other for weeks on end.
Apart from a more productive workflow, you should not underestimate the benefits that continuous feedback brings to the human aspects of a project.
As consistent feedback loops require you to spend more time with your team members and multiple stakeholders, you build a lot of empathy and collaboration as you gather insight into everyone’s work and progress—all of which helps foster better teamwork and communication within the team.
Continuous feedback loops also reduce “JIRA Ping Pong” (where tasks get bounced back and forth within the team) as it creates room for more communication, allowing team members to quickly discuss and resolve issues.
2. Instilling confidence with test automation
It can be daunting to make changes to your codebase for fear of breaking it, especially when working with several developers at a time. This is why having test automation saves you the headache of modifying your code to suit new changes.
Implementing a comprehensive coverage of automated testing gives you the much-needed confidence to iterate and improve your code bases—so long as there are no visible regressions, you’re good to merge.
In the podcast, John notes that he appreciates automated testing because it saves time, especially when he’s working on libraries where he can’t manually test every change and possible edge cases.
While manual testing is still relevant in mobile app development, having the ability to complement your manual tests with automated ones will significantly help with code iteration, even considering the initial resource costs of creating automated tests.
3. Improving collaboration with continuous delivery
John mentions that developers need a setup where you’re able to get your hands on any changes that are made to the project immediately. This is what continuous delivery can do.
With continuous delivery, your team will always have access to the latest version of the project without manually pushing out beta or developmental builds, making collaboration between teams a much easier and less stressful process.
Continuous delivery also acts as quality control. Once everyone has access to the latest build, you’re able to smooth any rough edges you find and give the appropriate feedback before the build is pushed to users.
This aspect of Mobile DevOps helps bring all parts of the development team together, allowing you to innovate on your apps while greatly reducing the time it takes to work on improvements.
Getting started with Mobile DevOps
John offers a key piece of advice for those wanting to adopt the Mobile DevOps mindset—it’s not all or nothing, and it will not be perfect from the start.
Changing something as central as your development structure will take time, so while you can rack your brain over the perfect CI/CD setup, it’s best to start simple and work your way up from there instead. Spending a few hours weekly setting things up, such as test creation and improving overall workflow, can have a big payoff in the long run.
As for learning the ropes for Mobile DevOps, John recommends starting by following people in the community who are passionate about the topics you’re interested in learning. He also recommends going old-school by using an RSS reader to personally discover new websites and people to follow, as it can be a more well-rounded source of information than the algorithm-led social media we’re used to.
Level up with Bitrise
The future of mobile app development lies in Mobile DevOps—and to successfully implement it, you’ll need the right tools for the job.
With Bitrise, you’ll have a platform for Mobile DevOps that’s built from the ground up, with features that will allow your team to build, test, and deploy faster and more efficiently through a mobile CI/CD that works.
Request a demo today to find out how we can help your mobile app-building process.