Tests: A Quick Overview on Unit vs Functional Testing

Here's a super quick peek into unit tests compared to functional tests. And full disclaimer here is that depending on your circle of influence, these might be given slightly different names. Try not to dwell on that but instead the comparison and contrast presented! Unit Tests Coded tests that take a white-box visibility approach to exercising and asserting that written code, generally a specific function/method, works as it was designed. Pros: Generally very programmer-focused Very granular coverage (breaks can identify exact lines where an issue occurs) (Should) run extremely quickly Have very little test setup in ideal cases Provide full control (generally via ‘mocking’ dependencies) to exercise very specific logical paths Cons: Generally more challenging to convey coverage to other stakeholders By nature these are brittle and break with refactoring Require sets of design patterns to help ensure tests are…

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Ascending to the Next Level – RPG Dev Weekly #1

As I've been trying to get more YouTube content put together more steadily, one of the themes I'm interested in is doing some behind-the-scenes of the role playing game (RPG) I'm making with some friends in Unity3D. I've found that being able to work on an RPG outside of my regular day job is a really awesome way for me to keep up on my technical skills. I love coding, and the further along I move in my career as an engineering manager, the less time I actually spend writing code myself. I pride myself in being a technical engineering manager, so for me working on this RPG is a great outlet for creativity and practice. I mentioned this in my LinkedIn post here: Persisting Game Objects Across Maps In this video, I focus on one of the challenges the…

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Video Stream – RPG Systems with Loot Generation

I asked on LinkedIn about whether or not people would be interested in a video stream that focused on programming, and I had some positive feedback. In order to test the waters, I decided I'd start with some system-design stuff given that I'm going through a bunch of practice with distributed systems. This is a bit of a change up from distributed systems in that this is interactions between co-located systems in a game framework I'm creating. Here's the video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04rFmvFEeDw&ab_channel=DevLeader In the video stream, what I'm trying to accomplish is finding a way to share information from particular domains to be used in another domain. Domain in this sense is a functional area of the code base in question. I mean, that's the gist of it :) The complicated parts are: How do I keep domain information from leaking…

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Xamarin Forms – Jumpstart Your App With Autofac

I love dependency injection frameworks ever since I started using them. Specifically, I'm obsessed with using Autofac and I have a hard time developing applications unless I can use a solid DI framework like Autofac! I've recently been working with Xamarin and found that I wanted to use dependency injection, but some of the framework doesn't support this well out of the box. I' was adamant to get something going though, so I wanted to show you my way to make this work. Disclaimer: In its current state, this is certainly a bit of a hack. I'll explain why I've taken this approach though! In your Android projects for Xamarin, any class that inherits from Activity is responsible for being created by the framework. This means where we'd usually have the luxury of passing in dependencies via a constructor and…

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Downtime? Time to Build!

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many of us to stay isolated and at home, but that's OK! I genuinely enjoy developing software and wanted to take this opportunity to focus on learning. Having some downtime has afforded me to try putting together a system that I otherwise might not have explored building. In this article, I'll share different aspects about an application I'm building that purposefully put me outside of my comfort zone. In my opinion, having downtime is an opportunity to learn and grow! It's time to take advantage of that. When the app and system is ready to showcase I'll share more insight into what's actually being built! The Client Framework The application being built was intended to run on multiple mobile platforms, so Xamarin was my choice here. I have briefly used Xamarin several years ago, but…

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Firebase and Low-Effort User Management

I've found myself with some additional time to be creative during the great COVID-19 and lockdown/quarantine days. That's why there's more blog posts recently! Actually, I wanted to take the time to experiment with some unfamiliar technologies and build something. For a project, I wanted to leverage authentication but I'm well aware that user management can become a really complex undertaking. I had heard about Firebase from Google and wanted to give it a shot. For the purposes of this discussion, Firebase would allow me to create something like an OAuth proxy to the system I wanted to build, and by doing so, would end up managing all of the users for me. What I needed to do with Firebase to get that setup was actually quite straight forward. First, you start off in typical fashion registering for Firebase. From…

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CircleCI + BitBucket => Free Continuous Integration!

CircleCI is a service that I heard about from a friend that allows you to get continuous integration pipelines built up for your repositories... And it does it quick and easy. Also, free if you're someone like me and you don't have a large demand for getting builds done! I wanted to write about my experience with getting CircleCI wired up with BitBucket, which I like to use for my project hosting, and hopefully it'll help you get started. First thing, signing up is super easy if you have BitBucket because you can oauth right away with it. CircleCI will show you your projects & repositories that you have in BitBucket and you can decide which one you'd like to get started with. You can navigate to the projects in their new UI from the "Add Projects" menu. When you…

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xUnit Tests Not Running With .NET Standard

Having worked with C# for quite some time now writing desktop applications, I've begun making the transition over to .NET standard. In my professional working experience, it was a much slower transition because of product requirements and time, but in my own personal development there's no reason why I couldn't get started with it. And call me crazy, but I enjoy writing coded tests for the things I make. My favourite testing framework for my C# development is xUnit, and naturally as I started writing some new code with .NET Standard I wanted to make sure I could get my tests to run. Here's an example of some C# code I wrote for my unit tests of a simple LRU cache class I was playing around with: [ExcludeFromCodeCoverage] public sealed class LruCachetests { [Fact] public void Constructor_CapacityTooSmall_ThrowsArgumentException() { Assert.Throws<ArgumentException>(() =>…

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Autofac Modules and Code Organization

What are Autofac Modules? I've been writing a little bit about Autofac and why it's rad, but today I want to talk about Autofac modules. In my previous post on this, I talk about one of drawbacks to the constructor dependency pattern is that at some point in your application, generally in the entry point, you get allllll of this spaghetti code that is the setup for your code base. Essentially, we've balanced having nice clean testable classes with having a really messy spot in the code. But it's only ONE spot and the rest of your code is nice. So it's a decent trade off. But we can do better than that, can't we? Autofac modules! We can use Autofac modules to organize some of the code that we have in our entry point into logical groupings. So an…

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RPG Development Progress Pulse – Entry 1

Progress Pulse - Entry 1 For the first entry in the progress pulse series I'll touch on some things from the past week or so. There's been a lot of smaller things being churned in the code base, some of them interesting, and others less interesting so I want to highlight a few. As a side note, it's really cool to see that the layout and architecture is allowing for features to be added pretty easily, so I'll dive a bit deeper on that. Overall, I'm pretty happy with how things are going. Unity3D - Don't Fight It! I heard from a colleague before that Unity3D does some things you might not like, but don't try to fight it, just go with it. To me, that's a challenge. If I'm going to be spending time coding in something I want…

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