We were thrilled to kick off November with a Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) focused meetup featuring experts Matt Wynne of Cucumber and Vincent Prêtre of HipTest. We partnered with the Ministry of Testing to bring this great networking and educational event together. In this blog post, we’ll highlight some of the key BDD insights from the meetup. You can also watch the full video below.
What Is BDD and Why It Should Matter to You?
Behavior-Driven Development is a form of software development in which an application is specified and designed based off how its behavior is perceived to someone on the outside. The aim of BDD is to eliminate wasteful practices from your software development lifecycle by narrowing the communication gap. One way this is done is through a shared language. This improves communications because both technical and nontechnical teams and stakeholders can understand and use the language. With BDD you have clear a understanding of your customer and project requirements, and as a result you are more effective and can reach your goals faster.
10 Ways to Fail at BDD
“It’s not easy to do, and it’s very fragile actually.”
Matt’s presentation walked us through 10 examples of ways organizations try to benefit from BDD, but ultimately can set themselves up for failure. He compares the process of adopting BDD to that of caring for a basil plant: delicate yet rewarding.
In order for you and your organization to get the most out of implementing BDD, you need to be prepared. It all starts with successfully building and maintaining your environment from the start, so you benefit as much as possible in the end.
“If you want them to take root in your organization, you have to create the environment for them to thrive and nourish them.”
Here are the ten things to avoid when implementing BDD:
In order to succeed in the software world, you need to prioritize alignment between your team members, your processes, and your tools. All 3 must be supported for the implementation of BDD to flourish. There are many tools available that make it easier for technical and non-technical roles to communicate in one place with transparency. Effective collaboration will ensure that developers, testers, and product managers are all on the same page.
Testing at the Speed of DevOps With BDD and Product Analytics
Vincent revealed that the biggest opportunity in DevOps is the speed of the feedback loop. There is lots of room for improvement in how quickly and effectually teams can give and receive feedback. In BDD by collaborating in a single tool under a common language, teams can better manage expectations and feedback. Below you will find the typical software idea feedback loop, from ideation through development.
HipTest uses their own public Trello board for quick and transparent feedback from their customers to speed up this loop. On Trello Boards, you can view upcoming and in progress issues, see what’s been completed, and even vote on ideas you would find effective.
Here is a preview of their board:
As you can tell from this snippet of their board, HipTest has many in progress and upcoming features in mind. When you have so many features lined up, it’s crucial that you’re working on the most important ones first. But how can you determine which is most important?
When testing a feature, here are 4 key questions to ask yourself:
- What do we want to deliver? (what is the value that the users and/or the company get?)
- Does the code align with what we planned for?
- Is the feature useful for customers?
- Is the user experience positive?
The HipTest Trello Board is open to community members for transparency but and user feedback. Users monitor the board for features mos useful and relevant to them, and to upvote what they want to see next. At HipTest, this has helped them narrow down the projects to prioritize that will continue to support their positive user experience. As a result, the development process has become faster and more effective, and customers are more satisfied to have their voices heard and their needs met.
You can watch the full meetup with both BDD talks here:
Matt is known globally as one of the leading BDD practitioners. You might know him as co-founder of , which provides open source and commercial collaboration tools and training in BDD style used for testing other software. He is also a coach, trainer, and international speaker. Together with Aslak Hellesøy, he wrote The Cucumber Book, Behaviour-Driven Development for Developers and Testers.
Vincent is a Co-Founder and senior developer of HipTest at SmartBear. He also speaks internationally about BDD, testing, and his 10+ years of software experience. A specialist in web development, Vincent is the creator and main contributor of the open source framework HipTest-Publisher.