Latest from the tech team at Paperless Post.

Paperless Post’s Infrastructure as Code Journey at

Posted on November 7, 2016 by Bethany Erksine

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending and presenting at Automacon, the Infrastructure as Code Conference in Portland, Oregon. The conference itself was an incredible experience: well-curated, well-run, well-catered, and well-cultured. I found inspiration in the presentations, the many meaningful conversations I had with the other attendees, and especially the after hours friends-and-family tour of the Portland [...]

Intern Recap Summer 2016

Posted on August 29, 2016 by Ivan Tse

Each summer, Paperless Post welcomes interns to join our engineering team! Our interns come from all over and have different interests but all are excited to work at a tech company and get their code into production. They go through an intensive education program consisting of workshops, meeting with all the teams, lunches, and hack days, but spend most of [...]

How I tracked down a flaky test

Posted on July 27, 2016 by Ivan Tse

TLDR: I had trouble figuring out the root cause of a flaky test. I made several theories and used lots of logging to debug the issue. It turns out that this flake only occurs when 4 test files run in a specific order. The issue was that global state was leaking through each test run from improper use of Timecop. What Is A [...]

Jest unit testing for React.js

Posted on March 4, 2016 by Adam Christie

It’s common knowledge at this point that unit tests have a variety of benefits. In this post I’ll be describing my trials and triumphs implementing Jest unit testing for React.js. Three aspects I grappled with while developing Jest-based testing were customizable defaults, manual mocking, and testing interaction with the document window. Customizable defaults Every React component has a set of [...]

Recipe for Appium iOS App Testing

Posted on February 17, 2016 by Stephanie Kart

The Original Recipe It is easy to setup automated tests with Appium.  Just follow the install steps, set your preferences, and you are ready to write and run tests on the Appium server. This basic setup works, but there is much more that can be added and tweaked to make the test suite robust and easy to use.  This is [...]

Skipping tests in Minitest

Posted on February 2, 2016 by Ivan Tse

We’ve all been there: Maybe you have a flaky test that you don’t have the time to fix right now, or you want to start writing tests for some future work that you aren’t ready to implement yet. At Paperless Post, sometimes we want to skip flaky acceptance tests until someone has a chance to look at them. This keeps [...]

Paperless Post Tech Talks: Brian Kernighan

Posted on October 1, 2015 by Paperless Post

Paperless Post is happy to host a Q&A with Brian Kernighan on Tuesday, October 20th from 6-8pm in the Paperless Post offices. Food and drinks will be served! Brian Kernighan contributed to the development of Unix, and he is also coauthor of AWK, AMPL, and The C Programming Language book. Brian Kernighan received his PhD from Princeton in 1969, and was [...]

Asking Questions For Developers

Posted on August 19, 2015 by Brittany Wald

Growing up, I asked a lot of questions. Because children are evil, I was made fun of relentlessly for this. Luckily for me, the mocking of my peers drove me to develop more covert and efficient strategies for asking questions, rather than stopping me entirely. I know that there are mean kids everywhere, and that some of you may still [...]

Setting Up Elasticsearch Synonyms

Posted on June 30, 2015 by Christopher Belsole

Here at Paperless Post, we’re in the process of upgrading our search engine from Thinking Sphinx to Elasticsearch to provide better and faster search results to our users – more on this in a future blog post! As a result, we wanted to take some time to explore the possibility of implementing synonyms in Elasticsearch. Using synonyms is a very powerful [...]

RailsConf 2015 Roundup

Posted on June 3, 2015 by The Paperless Post Engineering Team

This year, seven of us attended RailsConf 2015 which was held in Atlanta. It was a great experience especially since it was a big group of us. We listened to interesting talks, discussed with each other about what we’ve learned, and met a lot of people from the Ruby community. Here are some of our favorite talks: Ivan Tse Speed [...]