Increasing Speed To Market In Mobile Development Through Continuous Integration

Tina Su (Intuit Inc.)
Sponsored, Ballroom E
Average rating: ****.
(4.44, 9 ratings)

In the past few years, Intuit has put an intense focus on ramping up its innovation engine. A big part of this effort is speeding up time-to-market for its hundreds of native mobile apps, while maintaining the highest quality standards. The apps need to work across an ever-increasing number of devices and versions of the operating system.

Although there are off-the-shelf solutions that address this problem, they didn’t work for us for a number of reasons:

  1. We handle our customers’ highly sensitive data. Some solutions required a private test cloud, making them cost prohibitive.
  2. We need to do pre-release testing that’s dependent on accessing Intuit-internal code and data. Some solutions couldn’t handle pre-release iOS apps and worked only for those already in the App Store, where apps can’t access their corporate network.
  3. Some solutions would lock us into a proprietary framework or toolset for continuous integration, and this doesn’t work for us given the diversity of our engineering environments. We needed the flexibility to use our existing tools and be able to upgrade to those that are best-in-breed. Furthermore, Intuit’s growth strategy includes acquisitions, so we need to be able to fold in whatever tools and processes are used by companies we buy.
  4. Given the rapid growth of platforms/devices/OS versions, off-the-shelf solutions weren’t cost-effective due to the enormous test matrix for our hundreds of native mobile apps.

For all these reasons, we built our own solution. The first step was to build a virtual device lab that enabled engineers to test pre-release apps virtually on actual devices. This gave us the ability to share devices across dozens of teams and nine geographical locations – a huge savings of time and money.

Once our engineers had access to all possible combinations of devices and operating systems, they needed to be able to kick off automated testing whenever they checked in code. We enable mobile continuous integration by integrating our virtual device lab with our test execution platform and Jenkins system. A notification system detects the arrival of a new build of our mobile products, which kicks off execution of automated tests based on a pre-configured test matrix.

The result is a 95% reduction in the time it takes to test our mobile apps.

This session is sponsored by Intuit

Photo of Tina Su

Tina Su

Intuit Inc.

Tina Su is the Director of Engineering for Developer Productivity at Intuit. She leads Intuit tools strategy and development focusing on improving developer productivity, automation and end-to-end software delivery for Mobile and Web.

Tina has close to 20 years of industry experience in R&D, Quality and Engineering Management with a strong passion for automation. Prior to joining Intuit, Tina was a Sr. Engineering Director at Yahoo where she was responsible for delivering highly available and scalable mobile platform services for Yahoo product teams to develop great mobile experiences rapidly on thousands of devices. Tina was also in Sun’s Java Division for many years and held leadership responsibilities for both Standard and Mobile editions of Java.

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