Advanced UI Testing: Strategies, Hidden Gems and Limitations

July 5, 2015
xcode icon derivative

Image by Yung-Luen Lan

Previously I’ve introduced using UI Testing and discussed the differences between UI Testing in Xcode and the prior UI Automation Instrument. However, there is a lot more to learn about UI style testing. In this article I’ll speak about how to think about the end-end life-cycle of tests, some limitations of the Xcode solution and some undiscussed functionality.

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Xcode UI Testing vs. The UI Automation Instrument

June 28, 2015
xcode icon derivative

Image by Yung-Luen Lan

Previously I introduced how to use Xcode UI Testing (UIT) in Xcode 7, but what about the existing UI testing that has been in existence for years via the UI Automation (UIA) Instrument? In this article I’m going to step through the differences and similarities between these two competing solutions to iOS UI testing.

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How to Use iOS UI Testing in Xcode

June 21, 2015
xcode icon derivative

Image by Yung-Luen Lan

In Xcode 7, automated UI Testing was finally integrated into the IDE to allow developers to seemlessly run integration testing on top of unit testing. Thankfully, this was also introduced in a standard development language (Swift) as opposed to the prior JavaScript implementation. Today I’m going to walk through how this new Xcode feature works and how to utilize it.

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Best of the Bay: Overnight Backpacking within Two Hours

June 8, 2015

PortolaRedwoods

When I envision camping I picture undisturbed wilderness and sounds of trees blowing in the breeze among singing birds. Backpacking provides this ability to see nature off the beaten path, experience nature’s pristineness and escape the summer crowds and noise of car camping sites. However, not every backpacking trip needs to be a multi-day ordeal. No matter where you are in the SF Bay Area there is an accessible and beautiful location near you. Read on for my regional favorites and a complete catalogue of all backpacking sites within two hours of the SF Bay Area.

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Trail Report: Mt. Shasta via West Face

May 17, 2015

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On Saturday, May 9th, 2015 at 11am all six members of my group summited Mt. Shasta at 14,179ft via the West Face. The altitude sickness most of us experienced over the last few hundred feet made it an incredible mental hurtle. All of us had a base of hiking, backpacking and rock climbing experience, but this was our first mountaineering trip. Below you can find our planning materials and trip report to assist you on your climb.

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First Thoughts on Apple’s App Analytics

May 4, 2015

I’ve been digging into eventing data for some time now on the Coursera App using Amplitude to gauge usage, follow user flows and investigate potential production issues. With that experience as a baseline, I’m pretty happy with Apple’s App Analytics. Combining the two systems (internal eventing + Apple’s analytics) I’ve finally been able to create a complete funnel from referrals and app views to app launch and feature usage. However, there are a few peculiar things about the system which tries so hard to be beautiful, but sometimes ends up convoluted.

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Oh Shit! An Elk Gored my Tent!

May 3, 2015

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Sometimes we go to nature, sometimes nature comes to us. This week I bring you a guest post by Mariel Reed about her recent adventure in Northern California.

“The Lost Coast”– a wild, and sometimes dangerous, 50+ mile stretch of California coastline– lives up to its name. The landscape feels like a land before time. In just 24 hours, two friends and I (Mariel) faced a stubborn mountain lion, intense winds and rain, and rowdy Roosevelt Elk. The beauty and wilderness of the Lost Coast took our breath away (and, um, our tent). But we escaped with our lives, and our thirst for adventure intact. Here’s the full story– and why you should go.

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Oh Shit! I’m Canoeing in Four Foot Waves!

April 26, 2015
Photo under CC by Morten F

Photo under CC by Morten F

I had my first ‘Oh Shit!’ moment in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Northern Minnesota. Despite a prior night’s storm our morning started out relatively calm paddling in my two person canoe. However, as the day went on and the lakes became larger the wind would overpower our human-powering steering. Repeatedly it diverted us away from our prospective camp sites, separated our group and forcing us towards rocks. Several times we had to communicate across islands to regroup, strategize our next campsite attempt and push our physically abilities and technical skills.

I call these emotionally driven situations ‘Oh Shit!’ moments where your group is forced to make quick decisions deviating from the original plan. They happen due to unexpected hazards (weather), human error (becoming lost) or just bad luck (injury). They are experience altering and often scary at the time, but make great stories and valuable experience later. I’ve had a number of these moments so I wanted to share my strategies for making the best decision when you realize, ‘Oh Shit!’

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The Best of Banff Adventure Film

April 5, 2015
David Lama from the film Cerro Torre – A Snowball’s Chance in Hell © Manuel Ferrigato

David Lama from the film Cerro Torre – A Snowball’s Chance in Hell © Manuel Ferrigato under approved Banff Usage

Every year the Banff Mountain Film Festival gets me fired up to push my next expedition even further and leaves me in awe of the modern adventures pursued today. I’ve attended every Banff Film Festival event in the SF Bay Area for the past three years and I love it! I promise you, watching each year’s favorite below will leave you with a new perspective:

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What a GIFF tells you about Geocaching

March 29, 2015

I took an hour the other day to watch the short film finalists for the Geocaching International Film Festival (GIFF). What I liked most about the GIFF is that the films touched on the major themes in geocaching: community, adventure, exploration, memorial and just good fun.

Additionally I loved how real and relatable the GIFF felt. No expensive camera equipment, no fly overs, just a collection of diverse storytellers who feel like normal people you could meet on the street. With all that in mind, get ready to smile and laugh as I share my favorites from the 16 finalists of the GIFF.

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