Noel Rappin Writes Here


A Quick Guide to Rails System Tests in RSpec

Just this week, RSpec 3.7 was released with support for the Rails system tests added in Rails 5.1. (If you’d like to read more about system tests and see examples of them in action, my book Rails 5 Test Prescriptions is now avaiable for purchase) What are System tests? System tests were added to Rails core in Rails 5.1 as the core team’s preferred way to test client-side interactions using Capybara and a browser driver.

Union Types in Elm

This is part of a new series of blog posts expanding on or relating to each episode of the Tech Done Right podcast. There are a couple of links through this post going back to specific parts of the podcast. Leave a comment, or follow us on Twitter. This week on the podcast, Corey Haines and I talk about Elm. You should listen to it. Podcasts are perhaps not the world’s best medium for talking about code, so I wanted to dive a little deeper into a couple of things that Corey and I discussed.

July 21

Five Things Give Or Take Two JS I’ve been working in JavaScript on and off basically since JavaScript was invented, I even kind of wrote a book on it, and I still find the current ecosystem kind of bewildering. Ben McCormick wrote a nice essay about Ten Things A Serious JavaScript Developer Should Learn, which is based on a Reddit thread that is maybe a little too much noise-to-signal (shocking, I know).

Tech Done Right Newsletter: July 14

This is the weekly newsletter for the Tech Done Right podcast. If you like this newsletter or have other comments, email me at And tell your friends to subscribe at Five Things Give Or Take Two RIP DBC The big news in my little corner of the world is the closing of Dev Bootcamp. Many of the original Chicago DBC staff were former coworkers of mine. Here’s Dave Hoover’s photo set from the first couple of years.

Books I Liked In 2016 Part Two

Here’s part two of my 2016 “Books I Liked List”. This is the list of books I really, really liked, for the list of books I just liked one “really” worth, head here. All the book titles like to the Kindle edition of the book, so enjoy. All The Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders I really did like this book quite a bit, though not as much as other people: you’ll find several online lists that have it as the best or one of the two or three best books of the year.

High Cost Tests and High Value Tests

You probably don’t need an actual ledger to measure the costs and benefits of your tests (This is a sidebar to an email course called Noel Rappin’s Testing Journal that you can sign up for here. It relates to the content of the email course, but didn’t quite fit in. If you like this post, you’ll probably also find the course valuable. You can also hear me discuss similar topics with Justin Searls and Sam Phippen on an episode of the Tech Done Right podcast.

Books I Liked in 2016, Part 1.

Books 2016: Part One This is part one of my “books that made me happy in 2016”. As usual, we’re doing this in two parts. This one is the books I liked, the next post is the books I really liked. I had a hard time separating the list this year, there were a lot of likable books, so there are kind of a lot here. In alphabetical order by title.

In Defense of Sliming

It’s the one and only Slimey Worm from Sesame Street! When you write a new feature using a Test-Driven Development process you start out with a simple test, often creating an instance and calling a method on it: If you are strictly following TDD, you’ll try to write the simplest code that could pass the test, so your first code that passes the test might look like this. The code has no real logic, but it does pass the test, by just returning the expected value as a constant.

Not that Anybody Asked Me Again: Anker SoundBuds

So here’s my thing about headphones. I lose them or damage them quite a bit, your classic run them through the washing machine or such, and I don’t have very well trained ears. So I tend to buy cheap ones with the understanding that I’ll replace them pretty often. For the last few years, my go-to has been whatever The Wirecutter says is the best cheap in-ear bud. That said, I do like the convenience of bluetooth wireless, especially when I’m commuting and the cable would have to run around bags, jackets and the like.

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