Getting the mechanics into digital
Leverage Ionic and Angular to assist KLM’s digital transition
“Let’s see… right now we’re building an app for a global airline company. It’s called iMech: a hybrid mobile application, to be shipped to hundreds of tablet devices. It’s just one of many deliveries in the over-arching Digitizing Engineering and Maintenance programme that’s part of the client's greater transition to digital.
So… what does it do?
This app is being installed on every mechanic's device and it lets them to organise maintenance jobs without leaving their workplace. They‘ll be able to access aircraft manuals easily, perform actions on parts, tools and fill out task cards after their shifts - all while their hands are on metal, as they say here.”
And your role is…
“I‘m the a lead application developer in this project. I'm responsible for delivering high-performing, maintainable, easy to use and high quality applications for the programme while coaching my colleagues on brand new technologies and an agile way of working.”
Nice. Who do you work with?
We’re doing this the SAFe way – according to the Scaled Agile Framework, that is. We have different tracks for each product. So currently there are two teams at work here of 5 to 9 people each. We’re talking app developers, api developers, information analysts… business analysts, a product owner, a mechanic, testers, designers… it’s a fairly large outfit you could say.”
"The workhorse here is Ionic - a framework for hybrid mobile development that’s built over Angular and Cordova."
What platforms and tech are you using? Anything hot?
“The Ionic framework also allows us to ship apps on multiple platforms and device types. We use Jasmine and Protractor for unit and e2e testing. Those test frameworks are well integrated with our tech stack and they make our developers' lives easier – especially when implementing test specifications.”
How important is this to the client?
It’s crucial. Operations is watching us like a hawk – or a worried mother, maybe. The change is inevitable for this client – their entire way of working is going digital. So our project, our programme, it’s the embodiment of the transition for mechanics and technicians.
We work with them quite closely. Our place of work is located in a hangar right next to our customers, the mechanics and technicians. There’s a dedicated mechanic on our team who constantly shares feedback and his colleagues' requests. iMech is a one-of-a-kind app, with its tech stack, the degree of its integration with business and in the… in the seamless execution of the Scaled Agile Framework.
So, what's the technical challenge here exactly?
“I get my kicks from the flexible and Agile working environment we’re in. Unrestricted by cumbersome rules and regulations on our way of working and our technology preferences, we’re given the freedom to decide as a team and to work as a team."
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