Chapter 9. Mobile Workflows

Program testing can be a very effective way to show the presence of bugs, but is hopelessly inadequate for showing their absence.

Edsger Dijkstra

Coverage of DevOps wouldn’t be complete without talking about mobile development and smartphones, which is the fastest growing segment of computer ownership. The past decade has seen a meteoric rise in smartphone usage, with billions of smartphones owned globally, as shown in Figure 9-1.

Smartphone ownership is expected to continue to rise since many large countries such as India and China have less than 70% ownership. With over 3.6 billion smartphones in the world today and an expected 4.3 billion smartphones by the year 2023, this is a market and user base that can’t be ignored.

Smartphones also have another property that makes DevOps an essential practice: they fall into a class of internet-connected devices where continuous updates are expected by default, because they are targeted at consumers who are less technical and need to maintain their devices with minimal user involvement. This has been propelled by the app ecosystem built around smartphones, which makes downloading new software as well as receiving software updates easy and relatively low risk for end users.

Chart showing growth of smartphone ownership from 2012 through 2023
Figure 9-1. Number of smartphone users in the world from 2012 through 2023 according to Statista (prediction for 2023 marked ...

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