Real Challenges in Mobile App Development (ESEM 2013)

Mona Erfani Joorabchi, Ali Mesbah, and Philippe Kruchten. Real challenges in mobile app development. In Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement (ESEM), 10 pages. IEEE Computer Society, 2013.

Abstract—Context: Mobile app development is a relatively new phenomenon that is increasing rapidly due to the ubiquity and popularity of smartphones among end-users. Objective: The goal of our study is to gain an understanding of the main challenges developers face in practice when they build apps for different mobile devices. Method: We conducted a qualitative study, following a Grounded Theory approach, in which we interviewed 12 senior mobile developers from 9 different companies, followed by a semi-structured survey, with 188 respondents from the mobile development community. Results: The outcome is an overview of the current challenges faced by mobile developers in practice, such as developing apps across multiple platforms, lack of robust monitoring, analysis, and testing tools, and emulators that are slow or miss many features of mobile devices. Conclusion: Based on our findings of the current practices and challenges, we highlight areas that require more attention from the research and development community.