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#4 - November 2023

Welcome to the fourth edition of The Flight Deck, Runway’s monthly mobile-release-management-and-other-mobile-engineering-stuff newsletter. Today’s newsletter is a week late because otherwise it would have gone out on Thanksgiving in the US. Our assumption was that our American subscribers wouldn’t be on the lookout for mobile news while on their third serving of turkey (or maybe even Tofurkey) and mashed potatoes. Maybe that assumption was wrong, though, and The Flight Deck would have been just as popular as the Macy’s Parade and the NFL. Guess we’ll never know.  

Each and every month we bring you perspectives on scaling your mobile team, juggling extra work even without scaling your mobile team, keeping mobile team members happy, and just having an all-around better experience shipping mobile apps.

Read on for this month’s highlights. 

Posts we liked 

How DoorDash manages mobile releases
Ever wonder how the big names in mobile engineering manage their app releases? Us too. Teams often don't talk about this stuff! CI/CD and build pipelines and technical bits and pieces, yes, sometimes. But the human side of organizing and running mobile releases, not so much.  Manolo Sañudo has been close to DoorDash's release process for quite some time, and in this post he gives us a peek into how one of the world's top mobile orgs does mobile releases. We may even make an appearance or two ;). 

Switching build systems, seamlessly

Patrick Balestra describes how Spotify migrated their build system to Bazel, working on multiple build systems side-by-side so they wouldn’t have to stop development for the 120+ teams that contribute to their releases and without missing even a single weekly release for their millions of iOS users. Unlike the above, we make no appearances in this post (but we think we should have).   

Adding Konsist and Ktlint to a GitHub Actions pipeline

Automating code and architecture checks in CI pipelines can significantly reduce the amount of time spent in code review and guard against human forgetfulness, ensuring a healthier codebase that follows project guidelines. ​​Aleksander Jaworski provides examples of how to approach this that would apply to any Kotlin / Android project. 

Deliver reusable components without making them reusable

Tjeerd in 't Veen gets philosophical about the purpose of components and looks at how removing the use case from the name of a component can and will make it far more generic and reusable, even though all you’re doing is changing its name and nothing else. 

Posts we wrote 

Introducing Rollbacks by Runway

What if you could instantly resolve a critical issue in prod, with a single click? Now, you can. Runway automatically re-signs your last live production build and preps it for a possible rollback release — including preemptive submission for review (iOS only) — to remove all possible sources of delay. Runway is now the first and only platform to enable rollbacks for native mobile apps. 

Mobile releases are broken for engineers. Why are we ok with this?
Releases are messy. Chaotic. Time-devouring. The many complex (and mundane) tasks required to get an app shipped and into the hands of users is a huge time sink that pulls engineers away from more important work. Why are we ok with a broken process? Well, if you use Runway, your process probably isn’t broken, but you get where we’re going here. 

Releases are fine for engineers. Isn't that good enough?

Releases are fine. Anyone who would say otherwise, perhaps on their blog or in a newsletter, is engaging in hyperbole. The process can be convoluted and slow — and maybe it takes too much time and is an annoyance for the engineers who have to focus their attention on it — but that’s just work. Work isn’t always supposed to be fun. Just because a process isn’t perfect doesn’t mean it’s broken.

What to consider if Apple opens up the iOS app ecosystem

Reports continue to emerge that Apple is taking steps to allow app distribution outside their ecosystem, via third-party app stores and/or sideloading. How exactly this all might shake out is anyone’s guess, but, as this may be top of mind for a lot of people, here's a post we wrote earlier this year exploring the potential ramifications of Apple opening things up. 

Featured feature 

Rollbacks isn’t the only big feature we released in November. You can now put an end to ad hoc madness by letting Runway manage your iOS devices and provisioning profiles.

We can automatically register new devices in the Apple Developer portal and disable them when folks leave your team, freeing you from needing to stay on top of this constant cleanup. 

Each and every time your list of registered devices changes, Runway takes care of updating the necessary provisioning profiles to ensure new builds are installable by all the right team members.

Events happening right now 

In Buenos Aires 🇦🇷? Be sure to stop by our booth at Swiftable today or tomorrow! Pick up one of our signature mini lego planes, enter our raffle to win a huge lego space shuttle, and learn all about the newest features in Runway that make mobile releases (and even rollbacks) a breeze.

Not in Buenos Aires? We’ll surely be in your city someday and we’ll let you know in this section when we are. 

For now, though, this email is at an end. We’ll see you back here in the New Year!

Release better with Runway.

Runway integrates with all the tools you’re already using to level-up your release coordination and automation, from kickoff to release to rollout. No more cat-herding, spreadsheets, or steady drip of manual busywork.