When mobile development was about to start, we went through our selection process whether to go with the current flow and use the “Latest & Greatest” technologies or to choose something which is rock solid and in the same time suitable for both the developer team and the business.

Our decision was the best cross platform mobile development tool available – Xamarin – which easily turns into native code in the hand of professionals. Among all the pros of using Xamarin for development, let us highlight a few we considered:

✓ Xamarin lets developers build native iOS and Android apps using a single language, C#, to create apps for all mobile platforms.
✓ C# is a mature language with strong safety-typing that prevents code from unexpected behavior.
✓ As C# is one of the .NET framework languages, it can be used with several useful .NET features.
✓ Xamarin comes in one package with a complete development toolset, thus, you don’t need to invest in additional tools or integrate the third-party apps to build, test and deploy your Xamarin apps.
✓ Xamarin is natively compiled, which makes it a go-to option for building high-performance apps with native look and feel.
✓ Apps can be tested on hundreds of devices via the Xamarin Cloud service.

Our conclusion was that the platform can decrease the time to market and engineering cost, by sharing the code and using a single technology stack. With standard UI which covers 90 percent of the projects, all the core product logic can be easily shared across the platforms. Hence, platform customization will only take 5-10 percent of the engineering effort.

Slack - we have a lot to talk about...

…and there’s not enough coffee in the world to make time for everything.

The more we connect, the easier the cooperation, so to find a solution to keep everyone posted is the key to smooth operation. We had a few ideas to ease the burden on office emails, and as everyone know Slack, we decided to give it a shot.

Now, the countless options we have are kind of overwhelming. Sharing and discussing ideas and drafts quickly and effectively is a breeze and once everyone’s on the same page, we don’t have to have lengthy conversations on meetings and we can focus on what we do best: implementation and development.
Automatic messages like pull requests or various business, operations and infrastructure related alerts from Jira, VSTS or Pingdom directed to Slack. How convenient.

And also, it’s a totally different feeling to “check-in” what the chatter is about in the #funtechnologies channel than to have unread emails you HAVE TO process. Our main goal was to keep our mailbox for official correspondence and not to discuss the gazillion tools available from office management to design. Creating polls to find the best place for the company dinner or shopping list for kitchen supplies are just a few of those small things that simply make our life easier.

JIRA & Trello

Daily standup meetings at 9 am. 15 people in a cubicle. Summer, no AC, tech people, smell. My first experience of Scrum. Sprint reviews, retrospective, planning poker, ticket workflows, swim lanes, timesheets, stakeholders, shareholders, scrum master, product owner, kanban, six sigma, lean, muda… this list never ends. Business wants Return on Investment, Software Engineers only want to do programming.

Irreconcilable differences. All we can do is ask the same questions over and over again: Do we need bookkeeping? Can a project be finished? What are the qualities of a good developer? Do we need specification? Is the project worth doing? Every project needs bookkeeping, every project needs guidelines and objective measures.

It doesn’t matter what we choose, but we do need to choose something. Here at DGITALwe use JIRA and Trello. We use them for keeping track of our projects, tasks and bugs. We even use Agile carefully, very carefully