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33 Engineering Challenges of Building Mobile Apps at Scale [Beta]

I've been noticing how while there's a lot of appreciation for backend distributed systems challenges, there's a lot less empathy for why mobile development is hard when done at scale. Building a backend system that serves millions of parallel customers means building highly available and scalable backend systems and operating these reliably. But what about the mobile clients for these systems?

The book is being currently being written and is in beta: by purchasing this content, you'll get access to updates, until the final version. By pre-ordering this resource, you get earlier access to the content.

See MobileAtScale.com for launch discount pricing and more details on the contents of the book.

The content will be released on this schedule:

  • Already released: Part 1, Part 2, 6 Mobile Learnings at Uber (full version)
  • 22 Jan 2021: Growing as a mobile engineer (full version)
  • 29 Jan 2021: Part 3 (12 Engineering challenges due to stepping up your game) is added to the eBook. The same content is out online later in February
  • Feb 2021: Book finalized & launched publicly (subject to change).

Table of Contents

Part 1: Challenges due to the nature of mobile applications

1. State management

2. Mistakes are hard to revert

3. The long tail of old app versions

4. Push notifications

5. Deeplinking

6. Crash reporting

7. Offline support & weak connectivity

8. Accessibility

9. CI/CD and the build train

10. Device & OS fragmentation

Part 2: Challenges due to app complexity and large dev teams - 17th Dec 2020

11. Navigation architecture within large apps

12. Application state & event-driven changes

13. Localization

14. Modular architecture & dependency injection

15. Automating testing challenges

16. Manual testing

17. Build and merge times at scale

18. Planning and decision making

19. Not stepping on each others’ toes

20. Shared architecture across several apps

21. Tooling maturity with large apps, many apps, or large teams

Part 3: Challenges due to stepping up your game - 22nd Jan 2020

22. Advanced code quality checks

23. Mobile platform libraries and teams

24. Experimentation

25. Feature flag hell

26. Monitoring and alerting

27. Force upgrading

28. Client-side data migrations

29. Backend-driven mobile apps

30. Performance monitoring

31. Compliance and Privacy

32. Cross-platform development

33. Multiple languages within the same app

Mobile learnings from my time at Uber - 4th Jan 2020 

6 mobile-related learnings from my 4 years at Uber.

Growing as a mobile engineer

10+ pages on growing to senior and above levels as a mobile engineer, at tech companies. During my time at Uber, I've helped with 10+ mobile engineering promotions in my org, 3 of these to above senior levels. I've sat on multiple promotion committees and mapped out promotion paths all the way to staff for iOS or Android engineers. How do you break the senior and above glass ceiling, when you specialize in iOS and Android?

Refund policy

If you're not happy, I'm not happy. Don't get what you expect? Email me at scale@pragmaticengineer.com and I'll issue a refund.

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33 Engineering Challenges of Building Mobile Apps at Scale [Beta]

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