Building a Cross-Platform Mobile Team

Adapting mobile for a world with React Native

Gabriel Peal
Jun 19, 2018 · 5 min read
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This is the third in a series of blog posts in which we outline our experience with React Native and what is next for mobile at Airbnb.

In addition to the countless technical pros and cons of React Native, we learned a ton about what React Native means for an engineering organization. Adopting it is much more complex than adding a new library or pattern to an existing platform. Doing so brought to light a number of organizational challenges. Unlike technical challenges which can often be solved or effectively worked around, organizational challenges can be harder to detect, correct for, and recover from. Thankfully, our mobile culture is healthy but there are a number of things to be aware of when considering React Native.

React Native is Polarizing

Root Cause Attribution

  1. React Native itself moves quickly.
  2. We were doing simultaneous infrastructure and feature development.
  3. Engineers were learning React Native together and it was relatively new for everybody.
  4. Our documentation and guidance for debugging in development and production was inconsistent at times and could be confusing.

As a result, it was often difficult to find the root cause of a problem. Sometimes, it wasn’t clear which team an issue should be attributed or whether the issue was inherent to React Native.

React Native is Still Native

Debugging Across Platforms

Hiring

Hybrid Apps Are Hard

Three Development Environments

Balancing Native vs React Native

Cross-Platform Testing

Split Teams

Perceived Iteration Speed

Public Resources and Documentation

This is part three in a series of blog posts highlighting our experiences with React Native and what’s next for mobile at Airbnb.

Airbnb Engineering & Data Science

Creative engineers and data scientists building a world…

Gabriel Peal

Written by

Android at Tonal. Lottie and MvRx. Formerly Airbnb and Android Auto at Google.

Airbnb Engineering & Data Science

Creative engineers and data scientists building a world where you can belong anywhere. http://airbnb.io

Gabriel Peal

Written by

Android at Tonal. Lottie and MvRx. Formerly Airbnb and Android Auto at Google.

Airbnb Engineering & Data Science

Creative engineers and data scientists building a world where you can belong anywhere. http://airbnb.io

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