Inside a Green Jacket… the GO-JEK Driver App Journey.
Inside a green jacket
By Akshay Shinde
For the past few months, I’ve been a part of the new #GOJEK Driver App team, and I am really enjoying this journey. We’re the team re-building GO-JEK’s driver experience from ground up.
We have recently completed launching four driver applications and these android apps have reached every drivers hand. I want to share this #Journey where every team member of this team was pushing to make this application an elite experience for drivers.
Every day is something new. Every day it was a new turn. We have learned so many lessons while developing this application. It was not just an Android Application but rather it is the aid of GO-JEK drivers out there on the streets of Indonesia. These people in the green jackets are the inspiration behind this application.
Every journey has milestones, and we had them too. Milestones of achieving stability, scalability, security, speed, testability. We started from scratch to rewrite the driver application. GO-CAR driver app was our first playground. This app was going to decide the fate of the rest of the driver applications. A team of four young people who were ready to take on tech giants. It was not an easy task when you have a responsibility.
This app was indispensable to the lives of hundreds of thousands of drivers. Like Nadiem says:
“Anyone can steal your idea, but no one can steal your execution.”
We have some excellent people in our organisation who also helping us to execute this product. The challenge was to make a stable app, flexible, reliable app using every possible tool available on the Android platform. Some hybrid architectural patterns were developed and used to make it decoupled and fully testable. Sometimes its pain to write tests on Android, but the team has made it a habit to practice TDD and write unit tests as we build the application. It really helped trace issues at early stages and I’m convinced it’s absolutely crucial to have unit tests when you want to scale your software. GO-CAR app was the first successful release which hit the Android PlayStore on 20th August 2016.
GO-JEK Bike Driver App
We released the first GO-JEK Driver application for motorcycles on 19th December 2016. Six months earlier, when we first launched GO-CAR driver app, we were on Cloud 9. With the initial GO-JEK bike driver app releases it was not the same case. This was not something we could accomplish by being a Product Engineer. This time we had to be in those Green Jackets of our drivers and had to think from their perspective. Journeys are never meant to be seamless and smooth. There are some learning in the journeys too. These learnings can be your lifetime experiences. Recently on 22nd February 2017, we pushed a bad release. From that day our quest for excellence has started. We were losing momentum, but..
Momentum is a very ephemeral thing, right? It goes up and down, and if you don’t catch it at its peak then you’ll lose it, and there’s nothing worse than losing momentum.
— Nadiem Makarim
We have to learn from our mistakes. After that we improved our release process. Our release cycles now have key checkpoints without which these driver app releases cannot be rolled out. Some of the points contains successful automation test results, Beta releases, staged rollouts as well as manual sign offs.
The team is now working on many new features which drivers will see in the near future. We are concentrating on making apps more stable and crash free. Meanwhile, the team has also released GO-BLUEBIRD and GO-KILAT driver applications.
Security is always a key part of the GO-JEK platform. Day by day our security teams are working to make our apps and backends more secure. We are completing millions of bookings per day and are breaking records every week. To be a part of this was beyond my dreams.
On our most recent visit to Jakarta, we met so many drivers, talked to them, tried to understand their problems and needs. With every new driver app release, we are making a strong bond with these folks in the green jackets, who are our customers. After all we are now a part of this green jacket army.
Thank you for reading! I tried to make it short. Hope I will get opportunities to write more.