Over on the Pinterest Blog, I published a short write-up on how we certify that metrics are accurate at Pinterest. Check it out.

https://medium.com/pinterest-engineering/trusting-metrics-at-pinterest-ed76307e10a0


I detail a bit of how I made this over at Pinterest.

The very short version of it is to get a very cheap LCD monitor. Then cut the polarizing film off the monitor. At this point, the monitor will display entirely white. Replace the lens of glasses with the polarizing film (you can buy polarizing film directly if it doesn’t come off cleanly). Then you have the cool project above.


TL;DR: Here is the more visual story of the proposal app I built.

In late 2019 I knew I wanted to propose to my then-girlfriend (spoilers, now fiancée), Jenny, but I had two problems:

  • I wanted to have a unique proposal
  • I wanted to delay a little bit.

Delaying a bit sounds bad, but hear me out. Proposing is a scary, huge life decision. …


Okay, smart map photo album doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but I promise this was a fun and easy project. Here’s a summary of the end result on Pinterest.

For Christmas my parents got my fiancée and myself a canvas from Holy Cow Canvas. It looks like this:

The idea is pretty fun, it comes with a set of pins and you mark the places you’ve traveled. We decided to only mark places we’ve been together.


One of my first projects at Pinterest was to improve the image loading on Android. In this talk I share the lessons I learned improving the users image loading experience.


My team at Pinterest builds the frameworks for UI testing. I’ve given a few talks on the topic.

This talk discusses our high level philosophy.

This talk I gave with my teammate Freddy Montano where we discuss some of the specific tools we’ve built.

I also organize a SF meetup group, Automated Testing San Francisco.

My teammates have also given some great talks:


I’ve given a few talks on the topic of metric quality. Specifically how we keep the data coming from the client accurate.

Abridged version, based on the same topic.


I wrote this blog. Hope it helps some people

2.5 year later edit:
Kotlin has worked well at Pinterest. Many of the problems I discussed are in a much better state. I believe the strongest remaining case of those I discussed for avoiding Kotlin, is KAPT still isn’t great and will lead to slower build times. I’ve heard of other companies solving this by leaving all of their annotations in Java, but that is by no stretch of the imagination an easy solution.


In April (2017) I gave a talk titled Tools and Libraries for Common Android Problems. At Realm in San Francisco. The talk has now been published online and is available on Realm’s site https://news.realm.io/news/tools-and-libraries-for-common-android-problems/.

By the very nature of the topic it is already outdated, many of the libraries having major version changes and a google IO bringing a whole set of changes by itself. The talk still can serve as a really good guide to the Android Ecosystem to any who are interested.

I’m planning on posting a series of followups from the material on that presentation that I didn’t have time to present. Topics such as logging tools and updates in image loading libraries.

Feel free to ask any questions about the talk here.


One of the Book Club at Pinterest has recently been reading Soft Skills by John Sonmez. Early on in the book he makes the case that you should treat your career like a business. This includes things like having a goal, realizing your options and marketing yourself.

John point out that most engineers are like me and have a intuitive dislike for marketing themselves. For me personally there is something dirty about it. At least that’s how it feels. It feels like I’m focusing on trying to appear better rather than being better. Given 10 hours to spend on self…

Ryan Cooke

Metric Quality and Test Tools Engineering Manager at Pinterest

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