How Pulselive crafts fan-centric apps for the world’s biggest sports brands

"Bitrise is easy to set up and maintain for developers of any level. It allows us to be more efficient and focus on building the best possible mobile sports experiences for our clients and the fans."

RASMUS LARSSON
RASMUS LARSSON

Mobile Director @ Pulselive

Mobile services that connect sports directly to their fans are radically changing the playing field (pun intended). There is one company out there that is leveraging a head-start into building some of the most engaging sports apps you’ll find.

A true specialist, Pulselive has spent over a decade crafting digital experiences that connect teams, leagues and sports federations to their fans. Rasmus Larsson, mobile director at Pulselive, explains that his team’s main motivation is to “continuously push ourselves to build the best possible sports apps with the best UI, the best UX, built on the best code for both our clients and the fans.”

Judging by 50 million app downloads for an impressive list of clients, ranging from the Premier League and AFL to the Rugby and Cricket World Cups next year, their efforts are paying off.

Building consistently qualitative apps in a rapidly scaling company

Pulselive is undeniably good at what it does. After being spun off from sports technology company Hawk-Eye Innovations a good decade ago, it has grown steadily as more clubs, teams and leagues saw the value in their highly effective “digital partnerships”. In 2011, Pulselive was acquired by Sony, further accelerating that growth trajectory.

With all these successes also came new challenges. In Rasmus’ own words, “When you’re a small team, safeguarding quality is relatively straightforward. As we were growing, keeping that quality up became more complex. Continuous integration and constantly checking for broken code is a must, but our local Jenkins setup was turning into a hindrance.

The simplicity and speed of setting up new workflows

The situation grew increasingly frustrating for Larsson and his team, “We’d have it working relatively fine for a month or two, something would change and it’d just stop working. A senior developer would then have to spend days getting everything back up and running, but as time is always a scarce commodity, we’d often go a month or more without any CI at all.”

A senior Android developer was sent out on a mission: Find a mobile CI solution that is fast, customizable and scalable without requiring a ton of maintenance. The resulting quest led to a dozen or so options investigated on paper with 3 of those making it onto a shortlist. The winner? Bitrise.

It’s easy for developers of any level to setup and maintain in one way or another,” - Rasmus Larsson

Bitrise stood out from the pack based on its ability to quickly and easily start-, change- and manage workflows and triggers. A must for Pulselive, where new projects kick off regularly.

A step for every purpose

Now, Pulselive uses Bitrise to run close to 300 builds per week for over a dozen Android and iOS apps, with apps being removed and added on a regular basis. When asked about the ability to add steps and integrations to further customize the workflow, Rasmus added, “So far, there’s been no need, really: we’ve found everything pre-integrated in the step library. We’ve tweaked some of the steps for our specific use-cases, but that was also relatively straightforward.”

Even though Bitrise features over 180 integrations with the services mobile app developers regularly use, customizing those integrations or even adding your own is very straightforward. An open source Github repository allows developers and developer services to contribute their own steps, leading to a steadily expanding collection and ever-more ways to rapidly configure a highly effective workflow.

Pulselive app

 

More time to craft engaging experiences

“A good CI system will make you more efficient, but won’t magically make you a better app builder,” says Rasmus. “Of course, it saves us time, but the main benefit we see in using Bitrise is that it frees us up to focus on those tasks that actually impact the end-user experience. On average, it’ll save us 1 or 2 full senior-developer days per week, with peaks to 3 days during our busiest periods. That’s time we use to write better code, build better UIs and craft the type of digital experiences that connect sports organisations to their fans in a meaningful way.”

Pulselive is actively hiring talented Android and iOS developers in the UK and Spain. Check out their careers page for the latest openings.

Want to join Pulselive and spend your days building amazingly crafted mobile experiences, while leaving the boring and repetitive tasks to your automated workflow? Sign up to Bitrise for free today.