• Debug PHP like Pro: Intellij Idea + VirtualBox + XDebug

    VirtualBox + XDebug overview

    For a long time I used to use built-in PHP debugging function like var_dump, debug_backtrace, spl_object_hash etc. That tools are very useful but there is one tool combining all of them. I’m talking about XDebug PHP module. With XDebug you can stop code execution in any place you need and get all information about objects, variables and call stack in one window.

    breakpoint overview


  • How to obtain cheap USA IP address just for $5/month with VPS and PPTP

    Living in Russia I need USA IP address for my work. VPN provider I used to use offer USA address for $20/month, that is too much. To save my money bought a small Ubuntu VPS and installed a private VPN server. In fact, you are not limited geografically – look aroud to find VPS provider in the area you need and follow this article VPN section instructions.

    Step 1: Buy a VPS

    First of all find a cheap VPS provider (e.g. Linode, Digital Ocean, etc.). Most of them offer free trial period (usually about a week) so if you need foreign access just for once you can get it for free.


  • Configuring Grunt

    grunt logo

    Configuring Grunt

    Check this post to know how to install Grunt. Grunt has main script file called Gruntfile.js. It is a nodejs module – means that you are free to use all power of nodejs there.

    The module is wrapped up with this construction:

    module.exports = function(grunt) {
        some code here

    We pass grunt object inside the module for further usage.

    Let’s look closer how to use it.


  • Installing Grunt

    grunt logo


    Grunt is a NodeJS plugin that helps you automate many development routines. Further instruction contains Windows examples but it would work for Linux and MacOS as well. The only difference – NodeJS installation process.


  • Verbose TestNG report with Maven Surefire

    Using TestNG console output can be very inconvenient if you have lots of test cases. The better solution is to create an HTML report containing detailed information about testing progress. You can use the Maven Surefire plugin for this. Surefire report is a part of the project maven website, so at first we need to find out what is it. (more…)

  • Creating a simple webpage test with Selenium Webdriver

    In the previous post I have written about how to get started writing tests in Java with Selenium Webdriver. In this post I’ll guide you how to write a simple test using the project structure created in the previous post. As an example, I’ll use this website (fullstackvlad.com).

    Step 1. Clearly define what you want to check on the webpage

    A correct question is a half of  the answer.  To write an accurate test you should first define a criteria of correct work (it’s also a great way to know your system better!). In this example, I’m going to check if fullstackvlad.com main webpage contains the search input (marked by the red rectangle in the picture below).


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