Scaling Android Development

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Most Android apps are created by a single developer or a team of a few developers. However, what happens in a large company where potentially hundreds of developers each want to add their small feature? There’s a new video, from DroidCon Paris, on how Twitter went from a few developers up to of the order of 100.

The video shows how Twitter developers, who were more used to working on the Twitter Web site, had to adapt to working on Android. For example, their ‘web brain’ that previously allowed bugs in the web site to exist, because they could be reverted, had to be modified for Android where a crash usually means the user will install and might not re-engage with the app for another month. Also apps have a longer lifetime until upgrade and Twitter has up to 60 versions of the Android app running at any one time due to people delaying upgrading.

The session shows 50% of Android Twitter users will upgrade within 3 days if no extra permissions are required. 75% will upgrade within 14 days. When new permissions are required manual upgrade can typically take a month.

There’s also useful information on large scale training, test devices, code style wars, testing tools, emulator vs device, remote feature on/off and toolchains.