Discover PerformanceHP Software's community for IT leaders // June 2014
Agility? For mobile, you need hyperagility
Developers want to do their best work the first time. Here's how to empower them—and get better, faster results.
In the age of mobile development, speed and efficiency are more critical than ever. Traditional development has to give way to something faster and more flexible. While Agile development tosses aside the linear methodology of develop, test, install, configure, manage, and monitor, Agile's cyclical, iterative approach isn’t enough. Mobility requires a convergence of all those linear functions into a set of tools that will speed up development from the first line of code. Eliminating the old inefficiencies will let developers produce their best work in less time.
Here’s how to push your Agile into overdrive to better deliver on user demands.
Simplify the process for developers
Mobile development requires extra care from developers. Even in an Agile environment, where developers are moving faster and spending less time on individual tasks, they’re iterating those tasks more often than ever before. But work followed by endless rounds of rework is not how most developers want to spend their days.
Developers need the ability to do their best work without getting bogged down in the potential pitfalls of mobile development. If you can make the process easier for the developer, and give them tools that become an extension of the way they work—minimal handoffs, minimal iterations—they’ll give you results in less time, and get it right the first time.
- Make it easier for developers to spin up an environment. The less time developers spend waiting for a development or test environment, the better.
- Give developers more flexibility. Make it easier for them to distribute, do rollbacks, and allow customers to self-serve.
- Enable developers to code once for multiple platforms. Don’t waste time building multiple apps for every operating system and end user device.
- Provide a distribution channel. Make it easier for new apps to be offered securely on any device. Give the users a great self-service experience.
- Automate basic multi-platform functional testing. Developers should be able to access test and quality functions to catch errors earlier in the development process. Developers will correct defects faster if they can catch them while they’re still in the mindset of a particular app.
- Instrument for performance. Application performance monitoring and an understanding of how things work in a fluid environment are critical in providing a great customer experience, and provide feedback into the development cycle.
Get the right tools
Developers’ ability to do all of these things depends on them having the right tools to converge those old functional silos. The right tools will build QA and security into the process from the beginning.
1. Mobile application development platform. IT leaders are making it clear that they want choice and flexibility in how they build, manage, and deploy their mobile strategy. Unfortunately, there are challenges in developing multiple versions of the same app to run on multiple platforms. You might double or triple the length of the development cycle and alienate users of certain devices while they wait for their version. You also must contend with distribution and management of the application, and how to separate the business apps from the personal apps on personal user devices without having to maintain draconian control of the device itself.
As a minimum, the right mobile application development platform (MADP) enables developers to build apps for all major platforms and devices while only coding once. It also includes key functionality to simulate application performance, plus a self-service distribution capability. Another consideration and driver for mobility is social and communication. Having the ability to embed those aspects into the mobile app becomes a key advantage to driving more productivity in your mobile workforce. Incorporating all this in a development platform offers a distinct advantage in solving the most complex parts of the mobility challenge.
2. Automate the testing and security cycle. The true nature of mobile development is centered on velocity. Success is measured in releases. The ability to simulate and test an app in multiple user environments isn’t good enough if it’s done manually. Not only does it leave the app open to human error, it slows down the time it takes to get a bulletproof app to market.
Automated functional testing can cut testing time in half and more thoroughly identify problems. It can automatically feed testing data back to developers so they can fix errors faster. It also makes it easier for testers to QA all of the possible combinations of device and OS without slowing down the QA cycle. Combine the ability to turn performance testing up and down as needed in the cloud with minimal outlay in time and resources—all applied to a complete end-to-end environment using the latest virtualization technology to simulate real-world environment issues—and you have a winning combination. Add the industry’s best development security solution to catch and correct potential threats well before they end up in production, and you have the leading solution for mobile quality.
In the end, Agile and mobile processes have to be adapted to the particular challenges of mobile development. Call the result "hyperagility"—or call it empowering your developers from the start—but it’s what your team needs to do to stay competitive.
To solve your biggest mobile challenges, check out HP’s mobile app development platform, HP Anywhere. For more on taking agility to the next level, check out this blog post on the mobile app development capability of the new "Apps 12" suite of solutions.
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