All will be explained by Jeff Seibert at Apps World North America
‘Dogfooding’ 1 is a vital part of the development process and one that all companies need to be adopting, according to Twitter’s director of engineering Jeff Seibert, who will be speaking at Apps World North America, San Francisco held between February 5th-6th . His keynote address – at 2pm on Day One of the Developer World track, will be entitled ‘Developing for Billions’. He will examine how Twitter structures engineering to develop, test and maintain an app with so many users, allowing for automated testing and continuous integration.
Siebert says the agility of mobile app development has to be improved and that this is a key focus for Twitter as it looks at better scheduling and overlapping functions.
These will include such things as planning and testing and ensuring the company is testing for usability as well as catching edge cases.
The ‘dogfood process’ is an important part of that and is repeated throughout the year, he says.
“After we have merged everything it’s ready for a dogfood build where we send it to everyone in the company.”
“Staff can go and see the latest code being worked on and can give feedback through the app.”
“We have pretty continual dogfooding throughout the year, which keeps up the pace and makes sure everyone knows what’s coming,” Seibert says.
Twitter’s 2,000 or so staff are automatically informed when a dogfood build is out.
Product managers are then responsible for collating and managing the feedback in the same way as with external testing but frequency is vital to success.
“The biggest challenge with dogfooding is you need people to use it and to report on it. By increasing the frequency of sending out dogfood builds people are more used to testing,” says Siebert.
To speed up development he says dogfood builds should be thought of in the same way as a full release.
“Let’s imagine dogfood is a release. If you look at it like another release it fits more naturally in the development process,” he says.
By having internal dogfood testing an extra layer of security, and indeed product development also happens.
“The end-user effect is we are launching stuff every week or every two weeks rather than every month so from the user’s point of view we are marching incredibly quickly,” Siebert says.
Seibert also argues that mobile needs the same flexibility as the web.
“The goal needs to go back to how can we make what the web world has done so well and bring that to mobile. If we can shift it more continually the quality of apps will rise and end users will be happier,” he says.
Readers can see Seibert present his keynote at 2pm on day one within the complimentary Developer World conference track.
Other speakers in the track include Nick Evans, CEO and Founder of Tile.
Now in its 5th year, the Apps World event series has grown to be one of the leading global multi-platform events in the mobile industry. The second San Francisco event will be taking place between February 5th-6th  at the Moscone Center West. Over 8,000 attendees took part in the 2013 London show at Earls Court 2. More info: – http://www.apps-world.net. More information for GoMo News readers here.
1. GoMo News explains what dogfooding is here … “we… often ask employees to test [products] for quick feedback and suggestions for improvements in a process we call dogfooding (from ;eating your own dogfood’)”