Improving the Productivity of Mobile App Developers: Think React Native

Coding is more an art rather than science, and that’s why numerically measuring the developer’s productivity is a hard nut to crack in. However, in the IT industry, when it comes to project management and estimate the project timeline and cost involved, quantifying the developer’s productivity is all-important. Also, it plays a vital role in preventing cases of cost overruns or project failures.

Indeed, you have come across the various articles addressing how to measure and increase the developer’s productivity. Unfortunately, the myriad of tips and the slew of tools such as TDD, agile scrum, or XP haven’t helped tech leads or engineering managers to surge the developers’ productivity by a significant margin.

It’s upsetting!

The management team at Prismetrics found the solution, that’s measuring the developer’s activity and then assigning a numerical output to the developer sounds brute. The better approach is assessing the speed and quality of the software built by the development team as a whole. After pouring in several hours, efforts, and resources in measuring the development team performance on various projects, the managers found going React Native way would unlock the numerous opportunities to make the most out of the developer’s talent and coding time.

Here are the ways how React Native enable the developers to get in the zone and maximize their productivity:

JavaScript is an old kid on the technology stack, and coding using JavaScript is no difficult task for the developers, be it rookie or experienced player. React Native is built on the top of JavaScript, which indicates having proficiency in JavaScript programming allow the developers to play with React Native framework with no steep learning curve associated.

Opposite to imperative programming, the declarative style of React Native makes it easy-peasy for the developers to engineer a breath-taking app as the declarative programming won’t require the developers to get entangled in the intricate details of control flow and define what the app should do with the logic. The comprehensible coding style makes the code easy-to-read and easy-to-understand for both developers and system.

Additionally, when a new developer joins the team, it will be easier for him to catch up with the current state of the project and start working together with the team due to the simplified coding paradigm, else he will end up spending a couple of hours in reading and understanding the code, logic, and control flow.

Quick learning ensures less time will spend on learning the nitty-gritty of the framework, thus better the app developer’s productivity.

The developers’ efforts and time will get reduced by a large fraction when they develop the apps for multiple platforms using a cross-platform framework. React Native is one of the frameworks that allow the developers to use 90% of the number of lines of code in the “AS-IS” condition, and just 10% of the code is changed for deploying the app on different platforms.

In addition to code reusability, the framework facilitates the slew of pre-built components, which eliminate the need for creating the functionality from scratch for every platform.

The cross-platform capability, code reusability, and pre-built components availability expedite the development process, which means the time that developers invest in creating the same logic for the app of separate platforms will reduce, and that can be used in crafting innovating UI.

Who likes to reinvent the wheel in writing the code for the feature, which is available in the ready-to-use form? Of course, no one. React Native facilitates an extensive list of pre-built components, third-party plugins, and readymade solutions and libraries that power the developers with all the tools and technologies for developing the app packed with a native feel.

For instance, using pre-built navigation component, the developers don’t require building the navigation functionality, the simple integration process makes the navigation feature available to the app.

Adding native functionality to the app is no easy task with plugin implementation. For example, the native functionality like- Google calendar or device functionalities like- compass, Zoom, or rotate can be added to the app by directly downloading the plugin and linking it to the native module. The addition of native modules improves the app performance, which means neither the developers have to spend extra hours in building the native functionalities and optimizing the app performance.

Code reusability stays at the heart of React Native framework that allows the developers to share the code through “Write once and work everywhere” approach. The developers when begin developing the app for two significant platforms, namely- iOS and Android, they often get involved in the tedious and time-consuming task of building the same functionality for both platforms.

With React Native, it doesn’t exist. The framework enables the developers to write the code for the functionality just one time, and then they can make the functionality available to other platforms as app packages with no fuss. The high degree of code reusability power of the framework lets the developer build and publish the app for the multiple platforms at the time investment of one app development.

The changes are integral to app development for enhancing the project and when they come, making changes in the code eats up much time because the developers have to recompile the entire code again and again to view the results. The process is exhaustive and wastes valuable development time.

React Native provide live reloading and hot reloading tool that allow the developers to efficiently and quickly edit the code and reflect the changes.

With hot reloading tool, the developers can make the changes straight in the source code, and hot module replacement (HMR) intermediator immediately employs the changed code at its defined place even when the app is running, which means the developers can see how the app looks after every modification in the real-time. This, in turn, eliminates the need for code recompilation, thus React Native developers can produce more results in the reduced time.

The live reloading tool makes live editing in the code and instantly viewing the changes feasible with its capability of reading the changes in the file, compiling the code at its own, and updating the new files to the server, which takes off extra work the developer’s shoulder.

The app users are particular about the experience that app will deliver and they never compromise with it. So separately developing the native-like interface for the full range of screen sizes requires much effort.

React Native is the biggest rescuer as the third-party package utilities such as react-native-responsive and react-native-responsive allow the developers to create the same UI/UX that scale proportionally for varied screen sizes. Approaching the designing and implementation this way trim the designing time by half.

Taking a step ahead, React Native provides some fundamental UI building blocks that allow the developers to build a mobile app that’s indistinguishable from its iOS or Android counterpart. The developers require putting the building blocks together and React Native will create a sequence of action and implement them in order. Besides, React Native provides the freedom to the developers to tweak the look and feel of UI with CSS/LESS.

The highly responsive and native-like UI and UX can be engineered in the diminished time.

It’s essential to bring subtle changes to the app after regular intervals to make the users stay glued to the app. However, bringing changes to the app and then getting app store approvals for every update made is a time-expensive process. With React Native’s over-the-air update feature, the problem can be alleviated.

The updates in the form of bundles of app files are hosted on local servers, and whenever the developers want to push the updates on the user mobile, they simply need to send a push notification. When the notification is opened by the Android users (Not allowed by Apple store), the update gets automatically asynchronously downloaded on the mobile because of the CodePush SDK integration with React Native framework.

The events of app crashes, poor performance, less usability, and presence of bugs never let the app win the users and top the charts. Rigorous testing before launching the app is all-important, wherein testing the app for every device type, and screen size requires a lot of time investment. React Native offers the broad spectrum of testing tools, including Mocha for writing bug-free code, and PropTypes for type checking that allows the developer to build, test, and launch the impeccable application in the minimum time.

Unit testing, regression testing, and end-to-end testing allow the mobile app developers to make changes to the app and ship new feature without worrying about breaking the existing functionality. The ignite CLI provides services for API testing alongside streamlining the release pipeline.

The quickly the developers get the required assistance, guidance, or help in the events they face difficulty or problem, the more quickly they can finish up writing the project. That’s where the community support works wonder.

The vast community of React Native works as a walking cane for the developers as the developers across the globe readily help the developers to resolve the problem at speed. Also, the developer community has made a valuable contribution to the React Native framework by distributing the tons of learning resources, continuously working to enhance the platform security, and creating readymade components.

Simply, post a request on Stack Overflow, or search through Github, and you will get the instant solution, which saves a lot of development time that otherwise go in vain in searching through various resources.

Also Read: React Native: The Framework that makes your Business Ideas more Feasible

Epilogue

Prioritizing the developer’s productivity is indispensable for every IT organization because business can’t be run on assumptions. The practical implementation and tests suggest embracing React Native framework for the app development is the ultimate approach to make the team perform to the peak and produce maximum throughput.

In place of measuring the developer’s productivity, it’s better to make them jump on the React Native train because low learning curve, cross-platform development, code sharing, easy auto-updates, quick code editing, and the plethora of testing tools never let the project go off the track, make the developer’s productivity go southwards and negatively impact the bottom line.

Give an edge to your developer’s productivity by warmly-cuddling React Native framework.

Prismetric is an ISO 9001:2015 certified Mobile App Development company based in India and USA. https://www.prismetric.com