Notes from OnAndroid conf: Scaling Mobile Development at Twitter

The OnAndroid conference was held at Moscone center on the 22nd and 23rd of Oct. Here are a few take-aways from the keynote by Jeremy Grodon on scaling Android development at Twitter. (Disclaimer: Does not contain verbatims but is mostly based on notes taken)

1. Android development started off as a 4-week cycle with 2 weeks of dev, 1 week of testing and 1 week of baking. The team worked on different ways of reducing this. They ultimately brought it down to a 1-week iteration, aided mostly by good automation.
2. Top level execs, who had been carrying IOS devices, were ‘encouraged’ to use low-end Android phones that end customers had. Android was heavily evangelized at presentations and demos.
3. The IOS submission process (rigorous, long cycle time for errors committed) helped the team get more rigorous around their Android releases as well.
4. They started off with having several feature branches but given the night-marish scenarios around branch merging, settled on everything going into Master, with selected features turned off via Feature Service. The ability to turn off certain features (say) via hotfix also helped the team get more aggressive with experiments.
5. They (obviously) use CrashLytics for crash-tracking.
6. The device labs runs continuous automation on several device types and configurations after each build – their top bugs are device specific

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