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Tesco Health and Wellbeing - Consultancy

Posted By Malcolm Hollingsworth on Jun 13th 2014

We have been lucky enough to have worked on the Tesco Health and Wellbeing app. Tesco Ireland already has a great team of developers who had already completed much of the work when we first become involved with them.

How we were first asked to provide consultancy

The mobile app was an extension of the already successful website of the same name. With what would become the imminently available Tesco Hudl tablet following the launch announcement - the push for a simultaneous iPhone and Android launch become a priority.

Given the expertise we have in the field we were able to help the Android specific issues that were partly Android UI differences and how those affected the app but also handling the less forgiving Android memory issues and general associated stability problems.

In order to speed up the development process to be ready for the combined launch - we took one section of the app and re-wrote it in a way that would not only remove the memory issues but also work cross platform both functionally and efficiently.

Live peer coding with a development team

In another block of consultancy it was decided that the team as a whole could learn more during peer coding sessions. For this work we decided to create a new feature for the app - and have the entire coding process watched by the team as a whole.

This means having any team member ask any question at any time during the process - to work out;

  • why something was being written a particular way
  • does doing something one way have a benefit over another way
  • is something being done for performance or re-use
  • how should memory management be handled during the process
  • the list goes on

This is hard work for the presenter who is not only writing the best code in the best way possible but also trying not to make mistakes in case those are seen as "the way to do things". So you have to be very honest when things go wrong so the team gain the correct knowledge and does not think that is something that should be done.

The coding can stop at any time to explain the "why does this" - this is equally balanced between the team watching and the presenter coding. As knowledge gained over decades can provide short cuts that otherwise may never have been considered. To add to this knowledge from other coding environments and platforms are brought in as knowing how to do something well is usually not directly related to how well does it work within mobile apps - but how well does it work as a process.

Our continuing relationship

Our assistance is always being called upon by the Tesco development team to explain why this does that or which is a better process; a, b or c. I want to stress the Tesco team we work with are a group of very talented developers - who are only ever getting better.

However they also understand that by gaining external support they are saving time when required and increasing knowledge when needed.

The Tesco Health and Wellbeing app has been a complete success and that can be seen in the excellent rating and such positive reviews it continues to enjoy.

Download the app

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