Build, test and release 5-star apps without burning resources

Nevercode helps mobile app developers build better apps faster. Nevercode has built a cloud-based continuous integration service that automates the key steps in the development process — building, testing and distributing.

Kevin William David interviewed Triin Kask, CEO at Nevercode to know more.

Hi Triin, Let’s get started!

So tell us about Nevercode?

Nevercode is a cloud-based continuous integration & delivery platform for teams that want to ship defect-free mobile apps faster without burning resources. We take care of all the manual grunt work like the housekeeping of the entire CI/CD infrastructure, including updating the builders with the latest SDKs. So developers can fall in love with coding again and create awesome products without being distracted.

Tell me more about why you are building this?

Having worked with developers for many years, I always noticed the lingering frustration caused by repetitive tasks of building, testing and deploying apps manually. And the most unfortunate part was that these tasks could easily be automated, if only teams had the right tool. Our own developers were previously building mobile apps for companies such as Skype where speed was really important. So the problem was directly linked to our own pain.

This is why we built a simple cloud-based CI service that automated the entire mobile app development process. So nothing could come in developers’ way when it came to creating that perfect app.

How is Nevercode different from what already exists in the market?

There are self-hosted services and there are cloud-based solutions like ours. Self-hosted tools like Jenkins CI require a lot of maintenance. First of all, you need to buy expensive hardware (e.g. Mac Minis for iOS). Secondly, the installation process is troublesome as you need to install & configure many 3rd party plug-ins just to get started. Not to mention that every update can potentially cause mysterious build failures and you’ll spend a whole day figuring out what caused it.

As we’re cloud-based, there’s zero maintenance. We also keep all the builders up-to-date 24/7, allowing you to dive into development without distractions. And with Nevercode, the entire setup & configuration is automatic so you can make your first build in just a few clicks.

Our super-simple setup is also what sets us apart from other cloud-based solutions that heavily rely on configuration files. We offer custom-made solutions for all teams of all sizes. Collaborating with our users through our beta software program allows us to develop a unique product that users both need and love.

Can you tell us a bit about the different customer segments using Nevercode?

Every team has a unique vision and it’s important to us that our product perfectly fits their unique requirements. Our customers are professional mobile app teams in big companies, but we also serve smaller teams and freelancers across the globe.

In addition, many customers are coming from different industries, such as automotive, transportation, education, finance or health. As the mobile industry continues to grow rapidly, we see more industries picking up mobile app development for internal usage, for example in production.

Our customers are of course developers, but very often it’s the CTOs and project managers that approach us to help them maximize their team’s productivity and reduce overhead.

Some of our long-term clients are Toyota, Sainsbury’s, Pearson, JibJab, Thunderhead, Mooncascade, Eurostar, ingogo.

How are your customers using Nevercode? Could you share a few different use cases?

Mooncascade — Replacing Jenkins with Nevercode

Mooncascade is a leading software development company who used Jenkins for their iOS development projects. They had to build a second build server for every major update and hire an additional DevOps engineer just to test the compatibility. In addition, managing the iOS signing files was a constant headache that distracted developers a lot.

Switching to Nevercode’s cloud-based CI allowed Mooncascade to forget about server update issues, plus the signing files management on iOS became effortless with Nevercode’s automatic code signing.

TUYA — Automating Development Process with Nevercode

TUYA Technologies is a logistics platform that was heavily dependent on a 3rd party vendor for mobile app development. There was no automated build, test and release process in place, which required manual intervention.

Once they automated the process with Nevercode, they did not only save numerous hours of manual work, but also cut down on costs.

Have there been unique use cases for Nevercode that you hadn’t thought of or expected?

Our continuous integration tool was at first meant for individual mobile app developers and small teams. Suddenly, we started to get requests from big companies. It soon turned out that many of our hobby users were actually involved with some larger enterprises, and as they experienced the benefits of our product in their personal development projects, they introduced our solution to their team members and decision makers as well.

Before we knew it, Nevercode became a great choice for enterprises as as well!

That’s awesome!

Were there any early ‘growth hacks’ or tactics that have contributed to your current success?

From early on, we started to focus on the quality and speed of our service. We saw our competitors develop new features and covering all sorts of additional steps in the mobile app development process, but we stubbornly kept our focus on our core value — quality — which is really hard for a startup company that wants to scale fast. Now we are seeing it pay off. Some customers that at one point went to others for some cool features have come back to us precisely because of the stability and quality of our service.

What were some of the biggest challenges while building the product early on and how did you solve them?

At the start, we had created our first CI solution based on our own needs as mobile app developers. When we wanted to launch the product for other mobile developers, we were unsure whether our solution would meet their requirements as well. So we started gathering feedback from beta testers as early as possible to ensure our product had universal appeal right from the moment it launched.

When our user base started to grow rapidly, we faced our next challenge — scalability. Huge amounts of data ran through our servers and we needed a fast solution to scale our service. Long story short, Amazon Web Services was exactly what we needed.

What have been some of the most interesting integrations you’ve added? Are there any that have been particularly impactful for you?

I think it’s hard to bring out one specific integration as we support all popular frameworks & integrations for mobile app development starting from Git repositories, such as GitHub and Bitbucket. These seamless integrations allow users to add a project in just a few clicks. Nevercode of course supports iOS and Android, but also cross-platform frameworks such as Ionic, Cordova and React Native. The out-of-the-box Nevercode automatically detects all major test frameworks, such as Appium, Espresso and KIF. And when it comes to deployment, we support a variety of 3rd party services, such as Slack, HipChat, Google Play, iTunes Connect, Testflight, Crashlytics, HockeyApp, TestFairy and Relution. These integrations enable users to work with their favourite tools, thereby easing the development process.

The most interesting integrations happen to be cross-platform application frameworks, such as Ionic, Cordova and React Native. These frameworks opened the door for web developers to put a foot into mobile development using web technologies like JavaScript. In fact, we see many teams switching from native to cross-platform development as it allows them to reuse components and get things done quicker. Being able to adapt to the latest mobile development trends enabled our users to stay at the top of their game!

Finally, What are the top products that you depend on to run the company & how do you use them?

  • Slack: It really ties the entire team communication together. Automated notifications and plug-ins keep us up-to-date on what’s happening at any given time.
  • JIRA: A great issue tracker and project management tool for our development team.
  • Intercom: We use intercom for support and communication with our users and prospects.
  • Bitbucket: This one is obvious. Our Git service of choice.
  • Recurly: It helps us take care of our subscriptions & billings.
  • Pipedrive: Great CRM tool that helps us keep track of our sales pipeline.
  • Google G Suite: Mainly for team collaboration, sharing documents, etc.
  • Jobbatical: Our go-to platform when it comes to finding great talents across the globe.

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