Albert Brand

Building a brand new app for ING’s investment department. I’m Albert Brand, a senior consultant with Xebia for three years now. I’ve worked on many projects during this time, but I’m going to tell you about my most current one: building a brand new app for ING’s investment department.

Xebia first partnered with ING on its original mobile banking app, which had an enormous impact on the financial sector. Then ING asked us to co-create a mobile investment app that would enable its customers to manage their investments “on the road.” This project was another opportunity for us to create a revolutionary app for ING’s ecosystem. Since they planned to roll the investment app out in the Netherlands and other European countries, the user base could potentially grow to hundreds of thousands. But ING’s goal wasn’t simply to build a functional app; they wanted us to build “the best investment app in the world.” I’m happy to say that we’re very close to achieving that.

The best part of the project has been the freedom to choose our technology stack. Because of our track record and success stories with ING, they gave us full freedom to build a native app for iOS and Android using the React Native framework. Also, we chose GitLab as a CI environment for one of the first ING teams.

We’re building the Android app in Docker on the ING private cloud, and the iOS pipeline uses dedicated Mac hardware. To maintain quality and allow continuous delivery, we’ve created an extensive test suite with unit and integration tests, visual regression tests and end-to-end device tests on a cloud device farm.

We’re the first team at ING to apply this progressive testing and CI method. Now other teams are becoming enthusiastic about this approach, and many are adopting it. As a tech lead, I have been mainly responsible for the front-end architecture, the quality and optimization of components, state management and hooking up the app to ING’s new, cross-app security layer. We continuously strive for impact at Xebia, and I am very proud to see ING learning from us and following our example.

Not only do I get to work with the best developers at Xebia, but I also have the chance to challenge myself continuously on cool projects and learn new stuff every day. Xebia gives me full freedom. For instance, I’m encouraged to visit conferences and work on my own, innovative side projects. Presenting at Meetups or organizing conferences is also highly stimulating, as it allows me to share my knowledge with other developers. Sharing knowledge is embedded in Xebia’s DNA -it’s how we turn passion into expertise.