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Meet the Man Behind the Most Popular Productivity Toolset for iOS Developers

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Meet the Man Behind the Most Popular Productivity Toolset for iOS Developers

Felix Krause's fastlane tools are essential for any app developer. So much so that he now works with Twitter.

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Ever since I first stumbled across fastlane I've been impressed, and humbled, by the simplicity that it affords to developers who often get frustrated with the standard iOS development toolset. Felix Krause, the creator of the toolset, is an interesting guy, so I caught up with him to find out a little more. It's a great story on how a part-time project can quickly become a full-time job, with Felix now working with Twitter as part of the Fabric team.

DZone: Can you introduce yourself? 

I’m Felix Krause, I now live in San Francisco working at Twitter. I studied Software Engineering in the UK, but originally grew up in Austria. …

What was the inspiration for fastlane? 

I was freelancing for various companies before I started fastlane. I didn’t like spending so much time dealing with provisioning profiles and certificates, so I decided to automate all this. After implementing this for this one company I noticed that I’m not the only one facing this issue, so I decided to re-implement it in a very module way, which led to the first few tools, like deliver, snapshot and frameit and then finally to fastlane. …

What is usage of fastlane like - do you have many contributors, are there many companies using it? 

Since fastlane is running on the user’s machine I don’t have any exact numbers. fastlane is roughly used around 20,000 times a day. There are around 200 people who contributed to fastlane. ...

Can you give a little bit of backstory to you moving to Twitter? 

Twitter was interested in a better partnership with fastlane to offer better integration with the Fabric toolset. We agreed on me moving to San Francisco (which I wanted to do for a really long time) to fully focus on fastlane. …

So do you now get a bigger team to work with you on fastlane? 

Yes, the plan is to have more people work on fastlane! I’m working on new fastlane features and tools, but I can’t share yet which ones. There are exciting times ahead.

What is the main programming language used for fastlane? Is each part difficult to write? 

fastlane is written in Ruby, mainly because most other iOS tools are also written in Ruby, in particular CocoaPods and Nomad tools.  There is a lot of shared code between the tools, which are all abstracted out into its own repo named fastlane_core. Also, most tools communicate with Apple’s back-end in some way, I created a Ruby gem called spaceship. It’s a plain HTTP client to communicate with all APIs Apple provides. This allows a very fast reaction when Apple changes the way something works. …

What's in the pipeline for fastlane?

fastlane consists out of 10 individual tools and offers around 120 built-in integrations. There will be more tools and integrations coming over the next weeks and months. I can’t share any specific plans quite yet. …

Have you any other projects on the go?

Currently I’m fully focused on fastlane.  …

When balancing a full time job and fastlane, did you find it difficult? Any tips to share? 

When I launched fastlane it quickly turned into a full-time job. There are many incoming requests and new things to work on.

fastlane ,developers

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