From my own experience, it became common knowledge long ago that shipping a native app under a brigade is too big a pain to be worth it. Under this reality, demand would never get the chance arise.
It would be a leap of faith to assume that if we made it easier for brigades to ship native, they would do it more. If we’re contemplating shifting the core equation behind whether it’s a good idea or not for a brigade to ship native code though, nothing we see today is evidence of what we’ll see when such a mass of creativity as the brigade network gets a new lens
Let’s instead start from the question: if a brigade member was inspired to serve the mission via shipping a native experience, how should they do it?
- open their own development accounts
- this process is a huge barrier, and excludes a lot of people who may have plenty of creativity but not a credit card (e.g. every high school student)
- logistically this approach is a disaster, it makes success more difficult to attain and more difficult to handle
- have the brigade open accounts
- you need a legal entity, brigades can get cfa to do it or talk a local entity into it. Most likely no local org exists that would be a logical partner
- brigade leadership often won’t include someone who knows how to do this
- brigades doesn’t have credit cards to put on file for Apple’s annual fee, only personal
- many barriers make it difficult for such accounts to be maintained through leadership transitions
Neither of these are workable for any brigades but maybe a couple around the bay. The situation makes it make no sense to consider native in civic tech, even though there is considerable creative energy and it’s a major way humans interface with technology. A native developer looking at how to contribute to their community via civic hacking would be right to conclude they couldn’t really be effective, they may never show up in the first place and gain the buy-in required to make demands
I see our core purpose as a network of brigades is creating spaces and pathways for technical creative expression that has an impact in our communities. So what would the best user experience we can imagine look like for the potential brigade member whose inspirations are in native mediums? How do we not utterly waste their time? Let’s start from there and then make what concessions we must around what’s most practical for now.
If there were to be a “CfA Brigade Network” developer account, how could that work?