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An Inside Look into Automated Testing at Presinder

Posted by on December 1st, 2015

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Presinder – “the tinder for the next president” – is using testmunk to quickly test features.

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Santi Gracia, creator of Presinder

Presinder is a new app that helps Americans find the presidential candidate that resonates with their beliefs the most. It’s the tinder for presidential campaigns.

The man behind the app is Santi Gracia, who has been a developer since he was 11 years old. Initially building web apps for some of the most popular nightclubs in Barcelona, he recently got into iOS development through Make School. We spoke with Santi about how he came up with Presinder and how he uses testmunk and automated testing for the project.

How did you come up with the idea of Presinder?

I realized that fewer and fewer young people are interested in politics these days. In fact, between 2008 and 2012 the voter participation rates among 18 to 24 year olds dropped to only 38% in the United States. With Presinder, I hope to improve youth participation in politics by creating a new, fun way to learn about politicians, and also to encourage the user to vote for the candidate they agree with most.

What technology and frameworks did you use?

I’m still relatively new to iOS coding, so I started with Swift. Eventually I decided to go with Parse for the backend mainly to focus on the client-side. In terms of libraries for my app, I used ZLSwipeableView for the tinder-like animations, Mixpanel for statistics and the FacebookSDK for the login integration.

You mentioned that you didn’t have much time to release the initial version. What was most challenging for you?

At Make School Summer Academy we spent two weeks learning Swift, UIKit and Parse while going through tutorials and lectures. Since I was new to Swift and Parse, I struggled the most with auto layout and the limitations of queries in Parse. I found online that other people were challenged by this as well, which was helpful. Parse was missing some features like querying for unique values. Missing the “distinct” feature made me look for some workarounds on Stack Overflow. I would consider coding my own backend next time though.

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How much time did you have, and how did testing play into your development efforts?

I was on a tight schedule since I wanted to present the app at the Makeschool demo day, which gave me only 3 weeks to develop the app. As you can imagine, dealing with such a short time frame forced me to cut corners in terms of features. All the features I made had to work. I’m a perfectionist, and always want to be proud of the quality of whatever it is that I ship.

After some alpha users complained about issues on their older iphones, it was pretty clear to me that I couldn’t ignore quality testing. At first I thought I would just stick to manual testing, since I was hesitant and skeptical of spending any time on setting up automation. But after taking a closer look at it, and talking with you [Martin], I saw that I could get automated testing up and running super fast. In a short amount of time I was able to get some testcases in place that ended up helping me every day.

What kind of test cases do you have in place now, and what do they help you with?

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Presinder on testmunk

Presinder is still a relatively small app but it feels good to have some tests in place in particular because I hate doing tedious manual testing of basic features like login and signup, and hate making sure there are no crashes on any device. I also didn’t want to buy any other devices to test on. Being able to run tests remotely on a large device pool made me confident that my app wasn’t going to crash. Presinder is still a one man show, so I needed a quick and easy way to test my app across various devices and OS versions, super fast; testmunk helped me do that.

What gave you headaches while testing?

One of the biggest issues was to get the UI working across all devices and different screen sizes. I was only testing on iPhone 6 simulator while developing the app because I focusing on the functionality. When the app was ready to ship I realized I never tested on different devices so I had to spend time fixing UI issues that some alpha users reported and make sure the constraints were correct. Testmunk helped me to test all this issues across all the possible devices and possible versions.

What’s next?

I’m currently working on adding more presidential candidates, as well as integrating more social features. I have also been considering some ideas about how this concept could be transferred to other elections, possibly in other countries. I’m definitely curious to get feedback from the community. I’m @santy_us on twitter. Ping me!

Are you interested in learning how testmunk can help you develop quality apps quickly? Let us know!

martin_poschenrieder About the author:
Martin Poschenrieder has been working in the mobile industry for most of the past decade. He began his career as an intern for one of the few German handset manufacturers, years before Android and iPhone were launched. After involvement with several app projects, he soon realized that one of the biggest pain-points in development was mobile app testing. In order to ease this pain, he started Testmunk. Testmunk is based in Silicon Valley, and provides automated app testing over the cloud.
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