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Newsletter: Stop Testing Your UI Using View Models

A few months ago, I attended iOSDevHappyHour and engaged in a discussion with a young man. He was discussing how he tested his SwiftUI interface using view models. I asked him for clarification, and he explained that instead of writing UI tests, he simply wrote tests for the view models. According to him, if the view model tests passed, then the UI was working as expected.

Newsletter: Is MVVM Dead in SwiftUI?

A few weeks ago, I came across an interesting tweet on Twitter (or perhaps I should say X). The tweet originated from Thomas Ricouard, the creator of IceCubes, the famous Mastodon client for iOS. Here’s a screenshot of the tweet.

The Complete Guide to JSON Web Tokens (JWT) Authentication in iOS

Authentication is a cornerstone of application development, safeguarding user interactions in both client and server applications. In a world where JSON reigns as the primary data exchange medium, JSON Web Token (JWT) authentication has emerged as an industry standard, ensuring data security and integrity.

Within this comprehensive guide, we embark on a journey through the intricacies of setting up JWT authentication on the server and seamlessly implementing this security measure on the client side using SwiftUI. This knowledge equips you with the essential skills needed to fortify your application’s authentication mechanisms, ensuring reliability and robustness in today’s ever-evolving digital landscape.

In this article, the power of SwiftUI is harnessed for the client interface, while ExpressJS serves as the backbone for server-side operations. While this choice may pique the curiosity of iOS developers, it’s grounded in my extensive experience with and confidence in ExpressJS, a robust and dependable tool for server development.

Convenience Property Wrappers vs Custom Data Access Layer in SwiftUI

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak at WomenWhoCode Mobile event. It was a remote event and well attended. I spoke about SwiftUI architecture best practices.

When I was covering Core Data I mentioned that you should use @FetchRequest property wrappers as they are optimized to work with SwiftUI. Same is true for @Query property wrapper in SwiftData.

During this time an interesting question was raised. An attendee asked what if you want to change the data access layer in the future. Currently our views are tightly coupled with either Core Data or SwiftData but what happens if we want to use Realm or GRDB.

The Ultimate Guide to Building SwiftData Applications

SwiftData made its debut at WWDC 2023 as a replacement for the Core Data framework. Serving as a wrapper on top of Core Data, SwiftData enables on-device persistence and seamless syncing to the cloud.

One of the key benefits of utilizing SwiftData lies in its effortless integration with the SwiftUI framework. This article is structured into several sections, each delving into different aspects of the SwiftData framework. First, we will explore the foundational concepts of SwiftData, followed by an examination of its architectural design, relationship management, migration capabilities, and more. By navigating through these sections, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of SwiftData’s features and functionalities, empowering them to leverage its full potential in your iOS development endeavors.

The What-If Architecture

Lately, I have been thinking about the “What-If Architecture”. Most people commonly refer to it as YAGNI (You Aren’t Gonna Need It). I was reading some discussion thread, where a developer was creating a Core Data app using SwiftUI and wanted to display information from the database on the screen.

Building Large-Scale Apps with SwiftUI: A Guide to Modular Architecture

Software architecture is always a topic for hot debate, specially when there are so many different choices. For the last 8-12 months, I have been experimenting with MV pattern to build client/server apps and wrote about it in my original article SwiftUI Architecture - A Complete Guide to MV Pattern Approach. In this article, I will discuss how MV pattern can be applied to build large scale client/server applications.

Testing View Model Does NOT Validate the User Interface

Couple of weeks ago, I was having a discussion with another developer, who was mentioning that they test their user interface through View Models in SwiftUI. I was not sure what he meant so I checked the source code and found that they had lot of unit tests for their View Models and they were just assuming that if the View Model tests are passing then the user interface will automatically work.

Testing is About Confidence

If you ask 100 people what testing means to them, they will give you 100 different answers. For me personally, testing is all about confidence. Confidence that my code works and confidence that it will work as expected in the future.

Resources - Passive Income for Developers

Here are some resources we discussed during the Twitter Spaces. I hope you find them useful.

Active Record Pattern for Building SwiftUI Apps with Core Data

Lately, I have been talking a lot about different architectural patterns that can be used to build SwiftUI applications. I discussed MV pattern for building client/server applications and Container pattern for building hobby projects or projects where testing is not considered first class citizen.

Recently, I have been building Core Data applications and I wanted to try out Active Record Pattern and see how it feels. In this post, I will cover my experience with building SwiftUI apps using the Active Record Pattern.

A Better Way to Handle Events for SwiftUI Views

One way to make reusable views in SwiftUI is to expose the events as a closure. This allows the parent to consume the closure and take action. In this post, I will demonstrate how the events from a SwiftUI view can be grouped together into an enum allowing you to reduce code for creating multiple closures per view.

Container Pattern for Building SwiftUI Apps

Container pattern is a common pattern used in React community. Since React and SwiftUI are quite similar, this pattern can also be used for building SwiftUI applications. In this article, I will focus on the concepts behind the container pattern and how you can use it to build your SwiftUI applications.

Pragmatic Testing and Avoiding Common Pitfalls

The main purpose of writing tests is to make sure that the software works as expected. Tests also gives you confidence that a change you make in one module is not going to break stuff in the same or other modules.

Not all applications requires writing tests. If you are building a basic application with a straight forward domain then you can test the complete app using manual testing. Having said that in most professional environments, you are working with a complicated domain with business rules. These business rules form the basis on which company operates and generates revenue.

In this article, I will discuss different techniques of writing tests and how a developer can write good tests to get the most return on their investment.

Becoming an iOS Developer - The Complete Guide 2023

It always excites me to see so many people jumping into iOS development. We have a great community with lot of talented people and it is continuously expanding.

Recently, I have been talking to a lot of new developers and one of the main challenges they shared with me is that they have trouble getting started and they don’t have a clear path on what to learn in order to move forward in their iOS journey.

In this post, I will cover my recommendations on how you can become an iOS developer. Keep in mind that this is not the only path but just one of possible ways you can become an iOS developer. This is the strategy I would have used if I was in their position.

Evolving SwiftUI Architecture for Client/Server Apps

In the last architecture, we discussed in detail about SwiftUI Architecture using the MV Pattern. It is highly recommended that you read the original post. In this post, we will cover how to create SwiftUI client/server applications using patterns and practices learned from ReactJS framework.

Embracing Core Data in SwiftUI

Last year I was working on an app which was using the Core Data framework as a persistent medium to the SQLite store. I was reluctant to use any SwiftUI property wrappers for Core Data in my app, because I wanted to structure the app in several layers and those property wrappers were only available inside the View. The app worked but it was a pain to make sure that everything in Core Data was synced with SwiftUI views.

SwiftUI team has provided us with APIs to make sure that SwiftUI and Core Data works seamlessly together. In this post, we will be building a small budget app using SwiftUI and Core Data. We will start by discussing our original approach of implementing the app, where we did not use any helpers provided by the SwiftUI frame. Later, we will look into a much simpler implementation, which uses SwiftUI Core Data property wrappers.

SwiftUI Architecture - A Complete Guide to MV Pattern Approach

I was listening to an amazing talk by Matias Villaverde and Rens Breur at NSSpain about “Lessons learnt rewriting SoundCloud in SwiftUI”. You can watch the complete talk here.

This talk really resonated with me because I did similar mistakes when building SwiftUI applications. Instead of embracing the simplicity of the framework, I added unnecessary complexity to please the design pattern Gods. This included creating view models for each view, ignoring @FetchRequest and @SectionFetchRequest property wrappers, passing @EnvironmentObject to the view model instead of accessing it directly in the view and much more.

After almost two years of driving in the wrong direction, I decided to slam on the brakes and think about my decisions. In this post, I will discuss the SwiftUI architecture that I am using for my apps.

MV State Pattern - A Better Way of Building SwiftUI Apps

I started working with SwiftUI framework in 2019. Like most developers, I also jumped on the MVVM bandwagon. I wrote books on it, gave presentations and even created a lot of videos. I managed to get MVVM working with SwiftUI in almost all of my projects. But it was a constant battle. I always felt that I am fighting SwiftUI framework. Even for small and medium sized projects, I felt that I was writing too much code and adding unnecessary layers. In this post, I will introduce MV pattern. This is not something I invented. This is the same pattern Apple use in their code samples for their SwiftUI apps. Check out the references section at the end of this post.

SwiftUI View is also a View Model

In this post, I will cover how a SwiftUI View is not only a view but also a ViewModel. We will compare it with WPF framework and see how SwiftUI already has built-in support for ViewModel right within the view. This means that in most cases, you don’t need to create an extra layer of View Model per screen.

Why do iOS Developers hates cross platform frameworks?

Most iOS developers have a very strong negative reaction towards cross platform frameworks. Some even advice to not learn cross platform as it will negatively impact your career. In this post, I will discuss my personal experience of working with cross platform frameworks and how I started to appreciate them.

I was wrong! MVVM is NOT a good choice for building SwiftUI applications

SwiftUI was introduced at WWDC 2019 and it completely changed how we build our apps for Apple platform. SwiftUI provided a declarative framework, which allowed developers to quickly and easily build user interface as compared to its predecessor UIKit or AppKit. Somewhere along the lines we adopted MVVM (Model View ViewModel) design pattern as the default pattern when building SwitUI applications. In this post, I will cover my experience of using MVVM pattern with SwiftUI framework and how it worked against the SwiftUI framework, making things more complicated.

Displaying App Logo in Navigation Bar for All Views in SwiftUI

When building iOS applications, sometimes you have a requirement to put application logo in the center of the NavigationBar on all the screens. In this post, you will learn how to acheive that using ZStack.

Configuring Global Routing in SwiftUI Using NavigationStack

NavigationStack in iOS 16 allows developers to setup global routing for your application. Now, just like React and Flutter we can configure routes for our entire application in a central place. In this post, I will cover how you can setup global routing for your SwiftUI application.

Slicing Global State in SwiftUI Using Multiple EnvironmentObjects

@EnvironmentObject in SwiftUI provides a way to configure global state for your application. Updating the global state, allows the views to re-render/refresh. Sometimes we are only interested to update a view when a small part of the global state changes. In this post, I will cover how you can create segments of your global state so your view only updates when that slice is changes.

@EnvironmentObject in Views May Not be a Good Idea But Avoiding Them is Probably Much Worse

In SwiftUI, @EnvironmentObject allows you to create global state that can be shared and manipulated from any view in your application. We tend to put @EnvironmentObject in our views and directly access the global state. This creates a tight coupling between the view and the @EnvironmentObject, but avoiding this approach opens up a whole new cans of worms. In this article, I will discuss how @EnvironmentObject can be used in a SwiftUI view and how avoiding it can create dependency nightmare.

Building a Rating View in SwiftUI

In this post, you will learn how to build a Rating view in SwiftUI. Rating view will allow you to select a star rating and get access to the integer value of the rating.

Loading UIKit View into SwiftUI App

In this post, you will learn how to load a UIKit view into SwiftUI application. Consider a scenario that you want to display a loading indicator in a SwiftUI app. UIKit has an UIActivityIndicatorView control that can be used to display loading indicators. Let’s see how we can load the UIActivityIndicatorView in a SwiftUI application.

Introduction to Microservices

Microservices allow you to break down your application into smaller pieces. Each piece, known as a microservice is responsible for handling a particular aspect of your application. In this article, you are going to learn about the concepts of microservices.

Understanding Task Modifier in Swift

As a developer who has worked in React, Flutter and SwiftUI, it is always nice to see that how many SwiftUI features are inspired from existing platforms. All three major platforms (React, Flutter and SwiftUI) have adopted a declarative approach for building user interfaces. This means you can easily transfer your knowledge between React, Flutter and SwiftUI.

In iOS 15 a new task modifier has been introduced, which can be used to perform an operation when the view appears and cancelled when the view disappears. In this post, I will talk about the new task modifier and how it can be used to handle dependencies.

Lazy Properties in Swift

Swift language allows you to create several different types of properties, including computed, property observers and even lazy properties. In this article, we will learn how lazy properties can provide performance benefits for time consuming calculations.

Data Modeling Using Enums

Application domain objects are the building blocks of any system. The domain represents the entities and the connections betweens entities of the app. The domain is also used to map the real world into our system.

There are many ways of implementing domain objects. In this article we will learn how to model objects using Swift enum type.

Beginning Async/Await in iOS 15 and Swift 5.5

Asynchronous programming is a common requirement of any iOS application. The ability to perform task on a separate thread and not disturbing or blocking the user interface is always considered a good practice. In iOS 15 and Swift 5.5 Apple introduced async/await feature, which allows developers to easily implement asynchronous tasks with increased clarity and less lines of code.

In this article, we are going to take a look at how you can use async/await, continuation and actors in your iOS application.

Customizing Buttons in SwiftUI iOS 15

Buttons are an important part of any iOS application and in iOS 15, SwiftUI introduces several different ways to implement and customize buttons views. In this article we are going to learn about all the new ways you can customize your buttons.

Stocks App Using Async/Await, Pull To Refresh and Continuation in SwiftUI for iOS 15

Apple introduced tons of new features in Swift and SwiftUI. This includes Async/Await, Pull to Refresh, Continuation, Text Formatters etc. In this article, we are going to combine all the features together and build a stocks application.

Understanding AsyncImage in SwiftUI

At WWDC 2021, Apple unveiled tons of new SwiftUI features that will allow developers to create iOS apps even more fluently. One of the most anticipated features is the ability to display images using the Image view. In previous versions of SwiftUI, this was not possible and had to be implemented using custom code. In iOS 15 and Xcode 13, Apple introduced AsyncImage, which allows you to download an image using just the URL. In this article, we will look at how to use AsyncImage in our SwiftUI applications.

Decoupling SwiftUI Views for Reusability

When designing SwiftUI applications it is extremely important to make sure that the views are decoupled and reusable. Tightly coupled views are harder to maintain, reuse and can result in future complications. In this post, I will demonstrate how to implement decoupled views that can be reused in SwiftUI applications.

Asynchronous Requests Using SwiftUI and Redux Middlewares

In the last post, we discussed how to implement Redux design pattern in SwiftUI application. One of the most common operations in an iOS app is to perform asynchronous requests and display the result on the user interface.

In Redux architecture, middleware are used to fetch data from an API and later dispatch an action updating the store. In this post, you will learn how to implement the middleware flow in Redux.

Surviving a Coding Bootcamp

After training 100s of developers at multiple bootcamps, I believe it is my responsibility to share my learnings on what makes an excellent student and what steps you can take to survive and thrive in an intensive software development bootcamp.

Global State Management for SwiftUI Apps Using Redux (Introduction)

State management is an essential part of any SwiftUI application. SwiftUI provides several built-in ways for managing state, which includes @State, @EnvironmentObject, @Binding and @StateObject.

@EnvironmentObject does manage global state, but it does not provide any structure. In this post, you will learn how to use Redux to organize the flow of your global state.

ViewModel Patterns

MVVM Design Pattern allows us to write clean, modular apps where each screen can be controlled by one parent ViewModel. In this post, I will go over several common ViewModel patterns when implementing apps using MVVM pattern.

Core Data with SwiftUI Part 1

In this post, you will learn how to integrate Core Data with your SwiftUI application using MVVM Design Pattern. You will also learn how to decouple your views with models by creating an abstraction for Core Data.