AIM Consulting Supports Retail Department Store’s iOS Mobile App Rewrite in Swift

AIM Consulting

Case Study: Digital Experience and Mobile

Situation and Business Challenge

An American luxury retail chain with more than 300 brick-and-mortar locations and hundreds of thousands of users of its highly successful mobile apps wanted to completely rewrite its iOS app in the modern Swift development language.

The chain is one of a growing number of enterprises moving completely to Swift, which AIM Consulting recently noted has matured sufficiently to be the sole development language for enterprise iOS apps.

The company’s legacy iOS app, built and maintained over the previous four years by more than 40 developers, was built on Objective-C. The company wanted to build a solid Swift architecture from the ground up to make it easier to add features and functionality and did not want the legacy code to influence the rewrite.

The company was facing a tight deadline, as it wanted to release the new app in time to meet high customer demand during the holiday sales season. However, it was having difficulty locating technology talent with sufficient knowledge of both Objective-C and Swift as well as experience with pair programming, the agile software development process employed by the company where two programmers work side-by-side on the same features. In addition, the company needed iOS mobile app developers with strong engineering backgrounds who could adhere to common design patterns. The company had trialed and released several contractors who didn’t measure up and needed immediate help.

The company had a successful ongoing relationship with AIM Consulting for everything from modern microservices architecture and DevOps to data and analytics engineering. Knowing AIM Consulting’s reputation for skilled technology consultants, the retail chain turned to AIM for a contracted resource to augment their current team and help them rewrite their iOS App.

Solution

AIM Consulting provided a senior iOS engineer specializing in both Objective-C and Swift to help the retailer complete their iOS app rewrite project. During the trial period, the engineer rapidly ramped up and blended with the company’s team and pair-programming processes. The AIM engineer’s qualifications included:

  • Familiarity with Swift dating to the language’s launch in 2014.
  • Deep knowledge of design patterns, including both MVC and MVVM
  • Comfort working within a wide array of development processes, including Scrum, Kanban, and pair programming
  • Flexibility to work in both test-driven development (TDD) and behavior-driven development (BDD) environments

The AIM engineer joined the team with the project a month behind schedule, and handled the pressure when the deadline was then also moved up by two months. The engineer’s perspective and experience provided value to the team as it decided which features to cut to make the new deadline.

Results

AIM Consulting’s support helped the company to release a Swift-based iOS app in time to meet the expected rise in sales for the holiday season. As the AIM engineer touched all areas of the iOS mobile app, the client wanted AIM to remain on the team following the app’s release to help implement new stories and work on further R&D to enhance the app based on its performance during the holiday season.

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