Monthly Archives

November 2016


Test Sending Email Without an SMTP Server

By | .NET, ASP.NET, C#, Microsoft, Tools | 2 Comments

When working on a project, I had the need to locally test the sending and formatting of an email from an application. The only downside is that I don’t have an SMTP server on my workstation, and I wasn’t about to start setting up IIS with all that ceremony. Luckily there are a couple tools that can help with this problem. Neptune The first tool I tried was Neptune. It doesn’t have source code available, but if you need a way to see if an email has been sent, it will show up with a notification in the system tray. You…

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What’s it Like to Take an Online Proctored Microsoft Certification Exam?

By | Microsoft | No Comments

Each year for the past several years, I have set a personal goal to get developer certified or trained in something new. Sometimes that is a Microsoft Exam, sometimes it is some other certification, such as Kendo UI certification. In previous years, I have had to travel to a test center to take certain Microsoft Exams, but the test center closest to me closed in 2014. The next closest location is over 2 hrs away, which was pretty much a deal breaker for me, and I had almost given up this year on meeting my goal for 2016. But, instead I decided to try something new: an Online Proctored Microsoft Certification Exam.

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Scout Promise

A Brief Introduction to Promises

By | JavaScript | No Comments

It took me a while to get used to working with Promises in JavaScript. I fundamentally knew how the jQuery Deferred object worked from years ago, so some of the concepts were familiar to me. But, the beauty of the newer Promise implementations is in how it really cleans up your code by breaking it up into blocks that can then be chained and executed asynchronously. Consider the following:

The process is kicked off at the bottom with a call to doSomething() . Notice that doSomething()  calls fetchSomething() , and all that fetchSomething()  does is return the results of someHttpClient.get() . But, in…

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Web API Route Design for Non-CRUD Routes

By | ASP.NET, Web API | 2 Comments

Introduction I’ve been finding myself thinking a lot about route design for the web APIs I’ve been building lately. For your basic CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) controllers, everyone knows that the POST HTTP verb maps to create/insert; GET maps to read/select; PUT maps to update; and DELETE maps to–brace yourself–delete. But what about routes that represent things beyond these fundamental but basic data manipulations? I’ve done a bit of reading and thinking about the subject, and these are a distillation of the lessons I’ve learned. URLs represent resources I mean, it’s right in the name: Uniform Resource Locator. But what…

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How I Optimize My Focus and Productivity

By | Tools, Work | No Comments

Whether you work in an office or from your home, distractions can be a huge problem. They yank you out of the nearly trance-like state of focused productivity and bring you crashing back into your body in meatspace. Some distractions are external, and I think it’s common sense for most people to defend against these sorts of distractions by trying to mitigate them. Phone calls interrupting you? Silence your phone. Distracted by email and/or chat notifications? Mute them during certain hours and check them only at specific times. Distracting noises or conversations nearby? Wear some comfortable noise-suppressing headphones and play something…

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Building Mobile UI Tests using REPL

By | Android, Testing, UITest, Xamarin | No Comments

This is post 4 of 4 in the series “Xamarin Test Cloud” Building Mobile UI Tests using REPL REPL builds a list of methods to automate a mobile app for use in a UI test. The typical workflow starts with the tree command to list elements in the current view. Next, app methods wait for elements, enter text, tap buttons and so on. Then the copy command saves your REPL activity to the clipboard. Finally, you paste REPL commands into your test method. Once you paste the REPL output, you can clean it up and add assertions.

The screenshot shows the Android emulator on the left, and…

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Sitefinity Feather Designer Tip: Updating Fields Programatically

By | AngularJS, Sitefinity | 2 Comments

I recently needed to create a custom designer for a Sitefinity MVC Widget that would allow a property to be filled in programatically (such as clicking an option in a list).  Populating the field was simple enough using jQuery, and here is a very simple example demonstrating the desired behavior:

Clicking the button does indeed did populate the message property: However, when I saved the changes, the output of the widget message property was still blank: It turns out that this makes sense, because the widget designer is using Angular JS to bind its properties back to the widget, and…

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Xamarin UITest Word Cloud

Mobile Testing in the Xamarin Test Cloud

By | Android, Android, C#, iOS, Testing, UITest, Visual Studio, Xamarin, Xamarin Test Cloud | No Comments

Mobile UI testing requires the same power as web UI testing. Certainly we need the basics: identify on-screen elements, automate, and make assertions. But that’s not going to be enough for teams building mobile apps under rapidly changing conditions; not with hundreds of new, evolving technology combinations. So what are the new rules? Here’s what we need, right-out-of-the-box…

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UISegmentedControl Text Color Change

Xamarin Quick Tip – Changing the UISegmentedControl Text Color

By | C#, iOS, Xamarin | No Comments

In iOS, the UISegmentedControl is a popular control. It allows you to present your data in an organized, tabbed fashion. When a segment is selected, the text on the segment is changed to the Background Color of the control, this text can sometimes become lost and difficult to read. To get around this problem, this post will show you how to change the UISegmentedControl Text Color when a segment is selected. UISegmentedControl Color Properties The UISegmentedControl has some direct color properties, I will outline the most important ones here. First we have the Tint Color, which is used as the…

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