At Lyft we build apps at scale. Today, a team of over 40 people spread across a dozen teams push out new versions of our apps for iPhone and Android on a weekly basis. But it wasn't always like this. I'll talk about how we got from our humble beginnings with a pair of engineers back in 2012 to the machine that we have today.
While we have good reasons to be proud of where we are, plenty of mistakes were made along the way. We had to try many tools and processes to find what worked for us at the time, and to set ourselves up for success in the future.
Just as Lyft and the industry has reached this plateau of productivity, new exciting things are on the horizon. Smart digital assistants, chat bots and new web technologies are challenging the app as the default platform. Have we perhaps reached peak mobile?
Deploying a series of small changes is widely considered to decrease risk compared to doing fewer, large releases. This strategy is called Continuous Integration, and it has become standard fare for backend and web developers.
Continuous Integration is much more difficult to accomplish on mobile apps due to the way they are packaged and distributed. The app store model, while convenient for the customer, almost seems to be designed to prevent it. The app bundle is a single large binary that you can't push too often. Or can you?
I'll talk about how Lyft builds, tests and releases apps on a weekly basis with high quality. Our mix of homegrown and off-the-shelf build systems, test harnesses combined with feature flags and a careful release process makes it possible to get close to Continuous Integration for mobile.
Liftago is a local ride-hailing start-up with international ambitions. Being from a small Czech market can be limiting but it didn’t stop us from developing the best rated taxi app on the market. At the beginning however, we almost went bankrupt.
What were the reasons we pushed through? What part did technology play and what part the people did? How come the Liftago apps are far far away from perfect and how come we can still thrive?
Ondrej Kratky, the co-founder of Liftago will draw for you the secrets behind Liftago results and together with the development team they will illustrate the product differentiation that played the major role in staying competitive through people and technology.