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Cross-platform development for a messaging app

Guild app - Case Study

Guild logo

App for iOS, Android, and the Web created with React Native and Node.js

Grzegorz Hajdukiewicz - Project Manager at Monterail
Grzegorz Hajdukiewicz Project manager of guild

Like what we do? Let’s talk about your project and build something your users will love.

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Ashley Friedlein - Co-founder & CEO at Guild
We launched on time and have continued to show a great velocity in shipping new features. We release an update to the app every week. Usage of app has grown at least 20% every month. Ashley Friedlein Co-founder and CEO at Guild

Scope and Highlights

  • 99%shared code for mobile
  • 80%shared code in general 
  • $1.2Mfunding raised

The Challenge

Since both Guild founders have a long track record as entrepreneurs, we knew they needed a smart solution to the problem they were trying to solve so they get the business value fast along with quality code.

First of all, we had to decide on a tech stack for Guild. They needed a fast, intuitive app, which delivered unique value. Cross-platform solutions seemed a viable option due to the great balance between performance and cost. And user experience is critical if you’re competing with giants in messaging field like WhatsApp. Key challenges in this project included:

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The Process

Given that Guild is a messaging application, performance is crucial for its success. Node works well for this type of product and due to its async I/O it is capable of handling a great deal of concurrent requests. We also decided to use Apollo and GraphQL and handle realtime by events through Ably platform. This setup helps us handle real-time parts and offline support. On the other hand, we wanted to achieve the same seamless experience across different devices. Going with React Native and React XP was a great balance between performance and cost.

The team uses Slack, Jira, and works in weekly sprints. Every six months they organize physical meetups to discuss features, prioritize backlog, and simply hang out. Core activities at this stage include:

grzegorz-hajdukiewicz
Guild seemed like a great project for us. They have an empowering mission of helping professionals feel pride and fulfillment by sharing expertise with, and learning from, like-minded peers. And, since at Monterail we’re all about delivering meaningful software, it was a great fit. Grzegorz Hajdukiewicz Project Manager

The Outcome

With the right tech stack in the right hands, our code for mobile versions of the app is now shared in around 99%. That is an amazing score that never felt achievable. For the Web version, we managed to reuse around 80% of our JS, which  was still above Ashley and Matt’s expectations. All in all, using Node.js and React Native brought us a significant difference in terms of time and cost.

The app was first released to beta testers in July 2018 and four months later we released the app to app stores with all the features we planned at the first release. The Guild team kicked off this year with a bang, raising $1.2M (£880.000) in seed funding for further development and growing sales. Since then, Guild has been recognized by Red Herring's 2019 Top 100 European Startups. The success of this project hinged on the following factors:

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