Thursday, September 30, 2021
5 ways we use automation to get your app to market faster
App developers develop apps, right? It’s what we’ve spent years honing our skills for, and it’s what you’re spending your hard-won budget on. But when building an app, there are a whole bunch of other little tasks between each development phase. And they can end up adding way more time to the process than they need to.
That’s where automation comes in. We’re firm believers that if you’re going to do something 10 times or more, it’s better to get some tools in place so you don’t have to do it manually. The more efficient we make the process, the more we can focus time and energy into building your project.
These tools can be complex and they aren’t trivial to set up. Sometimes it can take hours to get things fully integrated. But even if it only saves us a minute each time we use it, it’s worth the effort because it ensures a client doesn’t have to pay for those minutes.
1. Automatic issue management
When it comes to speeding up app development, project management software like ClickUp makes things a breeze. As we move through the build process, the built-in automation keeps up as we move tickets from one phase to another, automatically notifying the right people so they can keep the whole operation flowing.
It’s a small thing, but it puts everyone on the same page and saves someone the time of sending manual updates by email. And with automation taking care of the admin, we can keep our focus on the development.
As we’re developing new features, we use ClickUp’s GitHub integration to keep each task as streamlined as possible. When a developer submits a pull request, ClickUp automatically stays up-to-date ensuring ticket status is consistent across all systems.
That means developers can move seamlessly from task to task, without needing to keep an eye on ClickUp or search for specific pull requests themselves. Every second saved is more time we can spend using your budget to build your app.
2. Automatic issue creation
Once an app’s live, we use ClickUp Forms to generate user reports so we can learn about issues in real time, not when customers start tweeting about them. Forms automatically logs a ClickUp card, we get to work on the issue right away.
In the same way, we use Sentry to monitor bugs. It automatically creates tickets for us as bugs come up, and we can get them fixed before they become a problem.
3. Automatic deployment
In the app world, everything needs to be rapid. When there’s a new feature to test or a bug fix to implement, you can’t afford for your app to be on the market without it any longer than necessary.
Using Expo, whenever one of our developers submits a new piece of code for review, it’s automatically deployed to a test version of your app. You’ll get pinged straight away, you’ll see there’s a new version to review, and you can approve it in minutes of the code being submitted.
In theory, one of our developers could write and submit a feature at 11am, have it tested and approved by 10 past, and it can be in production on user devices before lunch. Nothing’s rushed, we just want to make sure you’re getting the best version of your app in front of people as soon as possible.
4. Automatic calls
Even project meetings can be automated. No, that doesn’t mean we’ve got an AI chatbot to do them for us. But it does mean we take advantage of Slack’s scheduled daily calls and reminders to make sure we don’t drop the ball when it comes to communicating.
It keeps our communication reliable and focused, and we don’t get into the habit of wasting development time by starting meetings late. If we were doing that, we’d be wasting development budget too, and that’s simply not what we’re here to do.
5. Automatic testing
Thorough testing is a must for every release and iteration. But with automated systems like Appium and AWS Device Farm in our arsenal, thoroughness doesn’t always mean time-consuming.
We’ll code in a key user flow, like going from login to checkout and order confirmation, and AWS runs through it automatically on real devices. We then get videos and screenshots of how that user journey happened to make sure everything’s working across all platforms. It’s still the same rigorous process, just without someone manually clicking through a dozen different devices themselves.
At the end of the day, automation is a win for everyone. It means that we can work efficiently without getting bogged down by admin, and you get a development team that can focus solely on fulfilling your vision.
To see how Morrow can help get your app to market, don’t hesitate to
get in touch.