How Bitrise supports Babbel in bringing innovation to language learning

“Bitrise allows us to focus even more on developing new features and optimizing our products.”

Tomáš Linhart
Tomáš Linhart

Principal iOS Engineer

About Babbel

Today’s #1 top-grossing language-learning app in the world, Babbel was founded in 2007 with the mission of helping people build on the knowledge of their native language in order to learn a new one. The app focuses on giving an early confidence boost to its users by putting emphasis on speaking, a part of language acquisition that many other apps on the market tend to look over. Thanks to its integrated cognitive techniques and its speech recognition software, Babbel not only helps memorize new vocabulary, but also guides learners towards correct pronunciation in fourteen languages: Dutch, Danish, English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Spanish, and Turkish.

Originally created as a website application, Babbel has since expanded into both Android and iOS versions. With over 700 team members spread across their Berlin and New York offices, Babbel has become one of the highest rated apps in the education market and is constantly looking into new ways of revolutionizing the language learning industry.

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Growth comes with challenges

As a rapidly expanding company with millions of subscribers worldwide, Babbel has encountered a fair number of mobile development challenges in the past. Wanting to invest more in research and technology and to go with the ‘making the complicated simple’ approach, they realized they had to streamline and simplify their development processes, both for the sake of their developers and their actual users.

In addition to this, the company’s plans of moving into the language travel market also meant that they had to introduce more safety measures for integrations, such as third-party players, booking engines, and payment gateways. With an additional need for serverless infrastructure, a plethora of new features and products, and an easy way to manage builds, run tests, and automate tasks, Babbel soon realized they had to opt into using a CI/CD solution that would suit their mobile development needs.

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How Bitrise fits into Babbel’s workflow

“Bitrise is a real time-saver. Not having to maintain a custom CI/CD solution is a huge advantage for us.”

Tomáš Linhart, Principal iOS engineer at Babbel

Knowing that for their needs, a mobile-oriented solution would be the best fit, Babbel started scouring the market for potential solutions with a specific set of requirements in their minds. After some trial and error with testing other platforms, they ended up trying Bitrise thanks to the suggestion of a former colleague. The quick setup, multiple supported development frameworks, and the wide range of integrations convinced them that they made the right decision, and they have continued to use the service ever since.

Extensive testing capabilities, the ability to run custom scripts, Carthage support, easy workflow management, and easily manageable environment variables were all decisive factors for Babbel. By implementing Bitrise into their work processes, they can not only run tests in parallel but also have access to a greater choice of steps and integrations, such as fastlane, Gradle Runner, and Codecov — many of which are used on a daily basis by their developers.

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The results

“It’s hard to measure just how much Bitrise helps us in our daily work.”

Tomáš Linhart, Principal iOS engineer at Babbel

Since Babbel started using Bitrise, their app development processes have noticeably improved. The seamless automation and testing provided by the platform means that releasing new app versions or features to existing apps is much easier and quicker than before, as manual error checks are no longer necessary. Thanks to Bitrise, Babbel no longer has to worry about the nuisances and bothersome tasks of everyday mobile app development.

The benefits are clear: the company is more agile and faster in producing new iterations of its products. Thanks to this boost in productivity, they can focus on what’s really important: expanding their range of products, developing new add-ons, and optimizing their apps, so that language learners have the best possible experience — something that truly makes Babbel stand out of the crowd.

Thinking about picking up a new language, or want to become more proficient in one you already speak? Check out Babbel’s website and get started today!

Want to experience how quick and simple it is to get started with continuous integration and delivery on Bitrise? Sign up to Bitrise for free today!