Building the realestate.com.au Android Instant App

Recently we have been working with Google to create an Instant App for our listings experience, so with the SDK being made publicly available at I/O this week we thought it would be a great time to share our experience.

So what are Instant Apps? Instant Apps allow Android users to run apps instantly in response to tapping a URL without having to install the app. An Instant App contains only the functionality required for the feature that the user is interested in.

The following screen shows an example Instant App experience for users who do not have our realestate.com.au app installed when they tap a URL for an on-market property: Continue reading

Create a full-stack serverless web-app with a single file

Serverless is one of the biggest buzzwords of these years, and the implementation of solutions based on such architecture has been boosted by the release of AWS Lambda. This post describes a little experiment I conducted to learn more about this technology. I wanted to define and deploy a fully functional web-app (both back-end and front-end) based on RESTful services with one single file. Continue reading

React Training came to Melbourne

Welcome to the wonderful world of ReactJS, the solution to all your problems!

Well, maybe not all your problems but I’m sure we all felt pretty good after thirty odd REA’ers were lucky enough to attend an in-house course about ReactJS run by Michael Jackson (as much as I’d love to fill this post with puns regarding the obvious, I’ll try really hard to refrain). Continue reading

Bug bash – the game

(originally written for and published in Testing Trapeze)

Wikipedia defines a bug bash as: “… a procedure where all the developers, testers, program managers, usability researchers, designers, documentation folks, and even sometimes marketing people, put aside their regular day-to-day duties and ‘pound on the product’—that is, each exercises the product in every way they can think of.”

I first learned to do a bug bash after hearing the term about 8 years ago. I taught myself a crash course from a Google search, and then devised my own flavour of bug bash (which continues to evolve every time I run one).

The term “bug bash” seemingly first appears in Ron Patton’s book “Software Testing”1 (first published in 2001). As with many others, it does not surprise me that the term has been around for much longer than I have known it.

In this article I will describe why and how I run a bug bash these days – and hope you too find value in it, as I have since my Google searches years ago. Continue reading

Fewer AWS accounts please (aka the “goldilocks” strategy is back)

REA’s journey with Amazon Web Services (AWS) began in late 2010 when we started experimenting with using the cloud for our dev/test infrastructure. In 2013 we launched our first cloud-only production infrastructure to handle the dynamic resizing and serving of our images. Since that time we have adopted an IT strategy that involved transitioning all systems to the cloud and have therefore run a hybrid cloud and data centre platform ever since. More recently we have also embraced micro-services which means the volume of systems that we run in the cloud has exploded. This blog covers how our usage of AWS accounts and VPCs has changed and what we propose to do next.

Continue reading