Mobile App Development: 8 Best Practices

Creating great mobile enterprise apps isn't necessarily easy, but it can be easier if you follow these eight critical tips.
Start With Security
Know Your Audience
Plan Ahead
Build From The Core Out
Test, Test, Test
Performance Matters
Remember The Network

If you're in enterprise IT in 2016, the odds are pretty good that you've already been tasked with building a mobile app, or that you'll get that type of project sometime in the next few months. We get it. Mobile apps are cool.

When you're asked to build an app for the first time, it's natural to start looking at all the things that are different between building an app and developing an enterprise application. You might look at frameworks, languages, APIs, and SDKs.

While you're doing all that, you might well miss the really important things -- the things that will make a difference between an app that your users find delightful and an app that finds itself in the trash folder.

Here's a little secret: In many ways, developing a mobile app is just like developing that big enterprise application. Oh, sure, the details are different, but when it comes to the foundation issues, you can take the secrets for a successful mobile app, apply them to an enterprise application, and still be in pretty good shape.

[See 10 Programming Languages That Will Keep You Employed.]

I've put together the following list by talking to developers, looking at stories of how successful apps were developed, and drawing on my own experience managing application development. I hope that you'll find most of these pointers obvious. If you do, it means that you've been paying attention as you developed applications in your own career.

If that's the case, then why present this list at all? I'm putting it together because it might allow you to talk about these points with your executive management, your colleagues, and your teammates. Frankly, if it helps start a useful conversation at the front end of a development project, it will have done a pretty good job.

With that said, I recognize that there are other tips that can make a huge difference when it comes to putting together a successful app. I'm curious about the tips that make up your list.

Are there tips on this list that you don't find useful? Are there additional tips you think should go on this list, even if putting them there means kicking one of the incumbents to the curb?

I'd love to know your list and the tips that have made the biggest difference when it comes to the teams you've managed -- and the apps that have been your biggest successes.

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