Why serverless was made for mobile development
Alexander Stigsen is co-founder and CEO of Realm. It has been a decade since the launch of the iPhone, but for developers, it can feel like were still trapped in 2007. If youre doing anything interesting with a mobile app, you run into a pernicious and frustrating reality: Your mobile development experience was in large part determined by the web technologies that preceded mobile and still persist today. So when we talk about building mobile apps, what we really mean is building mobile apps that interface with server technologies. And that means interacting with a stack that was designed for a world of desktop computers connected with ethernet cables. While the world has moved beyond big screens and wired connections, mobile developers are the ones who have had to accept endless compromises in order to ship the experiences they want. To ship useful server-side code, you need a lot of novel, domain-specific skills. When a developer builds an app and connects it to the server, data doesnt just magically start flowing into handy columns and rows. Before you make your first request, you have to deploy and manage those servers. The devops arts that make that possible are getting easier, but they certainly take up a lot of time. Next, your server has to serialize the data from whatever format (probably JSON) it gets from the request, and then it has to store it in a database that usually understands SQL, and then it has to perform the business logic on that data. Its going to do all of that in a server-side language, which of course will be different from the Swift or Android Java you use to write your mobile app. A simple mobile app is suddenly in need of a sophisticated server-side team. And its mostly work spent just trying to get the two sides of your stackmobile and serverto talk to one another. We have mobile apps and mobile teams, and they have to play nicely with a server-side stack and team that uses technology established in a pre-mobile world.
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