Sprint 28 – a New Hope

Sprint 28 – a New Hope

March 15th, 2021

Boy, do I have a story to tell.

I started this sprint with best intentions, i thought “Hey James, why don’t we get a release out and build it using App Center” boy… was that a mistake!

For those not in the know, app center is a platform run by Microsoft and it allows you to release your app to testers / to the store easily from a single place (without having to do it manually on each store)

Usually, I would build the app locally and then upload it to app center to send to the test team – but I wanted to make the process easier.

It didn’t take long to get the build working for Android, but the moment I tried signing it (this is needed to install it on people’s phones properly) it would fail every time!

This very useless error is apparently because App center includes a step “Zipalign” in their build process which is no longer used to sign apps!

The problem is, that App center has a very prescribed build process that you can’t change so I had no way to remove this so I decided fuck it, I need to get this build out to our testers and decided to do it manually again (like i’ve done a million times before)

Apple strikes back

As you can probably tell from the title, this turned into my own personal dev hell! Things wouldn’t sign, when they would they wouldn’t run, when I finally got it to run it wouldn’t show anything! 

At one point it would only build and run in debug mode but would white screen in production mode (which obviously I can’t debug because it’s not in debug mode!!!)

The whole thing was a mess, so I gave up and moved on to Apple.

Sigh… so this is basically telling me that Apple don’t have a certificate available for me to sign my app with. Which is odd – because I’ve signed it using that account about a 1000 times.

However after logging in to Apple the cause becomes apparent!

For those who don’t know, if you want to build a release for an iPhone app you need to have a developer account and pay a license fee once a year (it’s about $99) well, mine ran out in January and I wasn’t aware.

So as you do, I went to login to the account and apparently the password I have saved doesn’t work any more. Like a normal person I decide to go through the reset password process.

Here, I enter the e-mail, it then sends me a confirmation code. It then asks me to confirm my mobile number, and after it sends me another code to my mobile number before I can even start the reset process!

Then I get this e-mail

Yup. You read that right. After confirming I have access to both my mobile phone and email address – I now need to wait 13 days to reset my password!

I’ve got an invoice, proof of purchase from last year. Exact dates, credit card details everything so I decide to contact their helpdesk

Apparently they couldn’t help either! So I’m not actually able to build anything for iOS until I can reset. So back to building Android manually!

Return of the Pipelines

I’d pretty much wasted the sprint at this point, I can’t express how much time I spent on just trying to get a release build done – so I thought I may as well finish what I started.

Firstly, I pulled in a fresh build of the app on a new system and managed to get a build out to the Alpha team!

Next, I signed up for Gitlab and started working through building pipelines there

App was first up, and that didn’t actually take too long. Most of the problems I had was actually just storing the key securely and then signing locally.

I set up a local mac mini to handle my builds and keep the JKS file on it so that it’s never public. Once I removed Zipalign – it was built with no problems at all.

Then I thought, well i’m in this deep already may as well make the backed server deploying too!

So anyway. I hope you enjoyed my Saga over the last two weeks

Game night

Next SoSa game night we will be doing Team fortress 2!

Sunday 4th April 1900-2100 GMT / 1200-1400 PT / 1500-1700 ET

Time to teach those naughty robots who’s boss, join us in our fight against this hive of scum and villainy in this free multiplayer FPS.

Nothing to buy this time, just download and install!



LinkedIn grew from 880 to 884
Our Beta List grew from 404 to 408

This sprint our Average position has gone up again! going from 25.1 to 22.4!

Impressions are up from 3.08k to 3.26k and Click through is down again slightly from 2.5% to 2.4!

Domain authority is back up to 29!