Android Blog series – Build challenges (Part 3)

As we talk with device vendors and their challenges in releasing high quality products to market timely, the need to address faster and accurate software builds stands out as one of the primary challenges everyone is trying to solve on a daily basis.  Build times, whether, individual developer builds, integration or release builds, take too long and break down too often.  In a recent survey conducted by Electric Cloud, over 350 Embedded/Android software device delivery professionals responded back.  And to no surprise, the need for faster builds stood out as one of the most pressing issues.  More than 65 of the respondents experience slow developer build times and more than 72 respondents reported release build times ranging from 20 minutes to more than 4 hours.

So, what is the impact to developer productivity due to slow build times?  Not only do the development teams wait frustratingly for their builds to complete, they can only discover the issues in the build once the jobs complete.  This means hours of lost developer productivity, both in terms of idle time but also context switching.  Only when the build is completed, do the developers get a chance to examine what went wrong.   But by this time, their focus is somewhere else and they have to re-examine what they were doing and start the process over again.  Slow build times also lead to fewer hours devoted to testing or longer test cycles.  Imagine if the builds were completed in less than 5 minutes – not only would the entire cycle time be accelerated, but developers could focus on fixing errors and work on new innovation instead of waiting around for builds to complete.

This specially resonates with folks who are working with the Android OS.  Google has done a very good job in optimizing Android builds and with enough hardware and under the hood tweaks, many device makers have been able to optimize Android builds to some extent, but to gain a competitive advantage, they need to go faster.  Learn from David Rosen’s upcoming blog in this series, how ElectricAcclerator provides the fastest software build in the marketplace.  Stay tuned!

PS: BTW, if you are going to be attending the Android Builders Summit 2013, make sure you stop by the Electric Cloud booth.

Missed Part 1 and Part 2? Catch up now.

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Electric Cloud is the leader in DevOps Release Automation and Continuous Delivery. We help organizations like E*TRADE, Gap, HPE, Intel and Lockheed Martin deliver better software faster by orchestrating, automating, and accelerating application releases.
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