Status of the upcoming iOS DevOps Book
In August 2018, we announced the book on iOS DevOps the draft content of the book has been published on the XCTEQ website here. Since then lots of connection on LinkedIn and Twitter showed interest in the book. First of all, we would like to thank all of you who expressed interest in the book. At that time, we promised to release the book in early 2019. Now, it’s March and we start to get emails, messages and comments from the interested audience. This is the status post explaining the status of the iOS DevOps book, what’s finished, what’s remaining and what’s a timeline for the release of a book.
Book on LeanPub for feedback
First of all, the book has been uploaded to the Leanpub for users to have a look at the content and show more interest to give me more motivation to write. You can see the book overview on Leanpub here. The whole idea behind getting the book on Leanpub is to get show users to progress and get information on how many people are actually interested in the book. I haven’t decided the pricing plan for the book. We would definitely love to distribute it for free but as per the trade-off, offering something for free create the perception that the book content isn’t valuable and often ignored by readers. On the other hand, XCTEQ doesn’t have any product to promote along with the book, so we are not entirely sure what should be the pricing model for the book. We need your help to look at the content and let me know how much you want to pay for the book. Also by uploading the book on Leanpub, you will get the notification when the book is complete. So feel free to visit Leanpub and show some interest to motivate me. The book also has a twitter hashtag #iOSDevOps so feel free to tweet in the hashtag so that I will check the interest on Twitter.
Now, we will talk about the status of the book. Now this book is independent of how you develop iOS apps either cross-platform or native, the idea and concept will apply. No matter which tech stack used for developing iOS apps, this book will guide you to setup Continuous Delivery for your iOS apps with confidence. It covers underlying Apple Developer tools & modern CI/CD practices used for automating iOS deployments. This book is all about automating iOS infrastructure and ecosystem, not about iOS development.
When the book has been announced the first time, there were about 30 chapters with six sections. While writing the book, there are few things happened which led me to cut down a few chapters from the book. The entire section on XCUITest has been removed from the book as it feels a bit less irrelevant for the book. Few chapters based heavily on Fastlane tools are cut down as well as App Store Connect API will be the first choice for the automating iOS releases. Instead, we have added a few chapters on App Store API.
In the initial plan, there was a separate chapter for setting up CI on different cloud providers like Travis CI, BuddyBuild etc. However, the offering and features of these kinds of services change all the time, services get sold so it’s not worth spending time on these services. Instead, we will cover one in-house solution and one Cloud solution for CI.
Finalised Content of the Book with Status
Now the final draft of the content is ready which has six sections but 22 chapters.
Part 1 – Basics of Continuous Delivery and Mobile DevOps (Section Finished)
Chapter 1, “Basics of DevOps and CI/CD”
Chapter 2, “iOS Development Challenges”
Chapter 3, “ iOS: Mobile DevOps”
Part 2 – iOS Package Managers (Section Finished)
Chapter 4, “iOS and Xcode Project” (This chapter doesn’t make a lot of sense at the moment)
Chapter 5, “CocoaPods”,
Chapter 6, “Carthage”,
Chapter 7, “Swift Package Manager” (Needs some rewrite after Swift 4.2 changes)
Chapter 8 “Selecting the right Package Manager”
Part 3: iOS Code Signing (Section Finished)
Chapter 9 “iOS Code Signing Basics”
Chapter 10 “Certificates and Provisioning Profiles”
Chapter 11 “Code Signing iOS apps”
Part 4 – iOS Deployment Pipeline Automation (Section Not Touched)
Chapter 12, “Command Line Apple Developer Tools”
Chapter 13, “Basics of Ruby and Fastlane”
Chapter 14, “Automating iOS Builds”
Part 5: iOS Continuous Integration (Section Part Finished)
Chapter 15, ‘iOS Continuous Integration’ (Finished)
Chapter 16, “Implementing CI/CD with Xcode Server” (Finished)
Chapter 17, “Implementing CI/CD with Cloud-Based CI Services” (Not Finished)
Chapter 18, “Continuous Integration for iOS SDK” (Finished)
Chapter 19, “Managing Self-Hosted CI Servers” Chapter 20, (Finished)
Chapter 20, “Managing Release Trains” (Not Finished)
Part 6: App Store Connect & App Store Connect API
Chapter 21, “App Store Connect” (Finished)
Chapter 22 “AppStore Connect API” (Part Finished but real-world example missing)
Now that book has 184 pages finished and some more yet to come.
It looks like so many parts have been finished and the book is almost ready. However, there is a lot of work to be done on bad grammar, spelling and typos. Some chapters need more context for the readers less familiar with iOS development concepts. Therefore, the tough work is still there.
As some of you are waiting for the book to be released, I am also more excited to launch the book. However, there are a few risks that I see if I rush to launch the book now. So what are those risks?
- WWDC 2019 Announcements: As the dates of WWDC 2019 has been finalised, there will new things developed at Apple will be revealed. The book has a very long chapter on Xcode Server and some other tools around it. If some breaking news comes in then whole chapters will become invalid. Apple already bought BuddyBuild so there might be something new we can expect to hear so this book won’t provide that information.
- There are lots of interesting projects coming on my ways at the moment so I am a bit busy with those projects. It’s been a hard time to work on the book. I started with a lot of energy and finished some chapters with lightning speed. However, in the last 3 months, I lost my focus drastically and couldn’t get the momentum back. It’s sure that the motivation is required to continue working on this book. This book will be released for sure but the quality and information will be lost if there won’t be any motivation.
The work on the book will carry on but it will be time permitting. I would love to see the response from Leanpub, Twitter and LinkedIn. If there are more people shows interest then I will carry on writing with more energy. Until WWDC, the work will be focused on the chapters that are not highly volatile for the changes e.g building or testing iOS apps. However, it makes more sense to wait until WWDC either way so that new announcement can be added to the book and publish the book immediately after WWDC.
What’s Needed from You!
- Now that, the book has been uploaded on Leanpub, so if you are interested then please subscribe for the book and let me know how much you want to pay for the book. we just included the maximum price of $49.99 but ignore that and let me know the real worth of the book. You don’t need to give me your email address.
- Tweet the book so that, I know you are interested in the book. Use #iOSDevOps for tweet if possible.
- Send me feedback from the Leanpub so that, we can improve the book content. Check out the book on Leanpub here
- If something interesting happens in meanwhile, we will keep you posted!
Look forward to your response. Thanks for reading and your patience!