A system for the end to end testing to automate behaviors or a term for specifying the behavior of an application, or a communication tool for engineers, testers, and product managers are all parts of behavior-driven development (BDD). BDD, developed by Dan North more than ten years ago, sprang from the then-emerging field of agile software development methods to make test-driven development more approachable (TDD).
We will touch on a few topics in this article, such as what BDD is, its advantages, and some other useful insights that will help you understand it better.
Table of Contents
What is BDD?
Overwork is a common problem in the software development, which results in loss of time and resources for both engineers and business personnel. There might be some cases when organizations and business people might underestimate the capabilities of their technical team and engineers and frequently misinterpret what the organization really needs from them. Software as well as communication between the two groups is frequently the barrier to project success.
The final product, which is often technically functional but falls short of exactly meeting the business objectives, is shrouded in misunderstanding and complexity. The goal of behavior-driven development (BDD) is to rectify this.
When developing a product using the behavior-driven development approach, all of these factors are taken into account, including how well the core features of an application will function for end users, how overall application behavior will be to users, and what the audience feedback is while interacting with the application. A widely sought-after software development process, behavior-driven development is used to create a wide range of applications for different industries, from B2B to SaaS. The three pillars of automation, formulation, and discovery constitute the foundation of behavior-driven development.
Why Should You Use The BDD Framework?
Everyone used TDD prior to the BDD framework. When stakeholders are acquainted with the framework being utilised and have appropriate technical understanding, TDD works well in software development. However, this may not always be the situation.
Since test cases are often written in a simple and plain language, such as English, BDD offers a way in order to bridge the gap between the technical and non-technical teams. The key benefit of BDD is the lack of technical jargon and its simpler and easier to comprehend methodology.
Benefits Of BDD Framework
Look below to understand the benefits of the BDD framework:
- User Story coverage: The purpose of a hybrid framework using BDD is to mix several elements. The BDD framework may benefit from input from any resource used throughout the software development process. The stakeholders of technical resources may develop scenarios in Gherkin utilizing user stories because of the feature file’s simple idea of simple text. The compatibility of the simple text enables testing to cover as much ground as possible.
The situations in the feature file are:
- User stories from the organization that are defined.
- The criteria used by developers to assess whether specifications adhere to business needs.
- The testing team’s test cases.
- An automation tester’s shell enables them to write their code in step definition files independently.
- Test scenarios were explained to stakeholders.
- The automation tester may maintain script maintenance by keeping his code unmodified thanks to the categorization of the step definitions.
- Scenario clarity: Gherkin language employs straightforward layperson prose that is focused on the BDD-tested/developed product’s conclusion. A non-technical person may readily comprehend the automated test thanks to the feature file’s clever separation of the technical explanation into a separate step definitions file for automation testers. Any modifications may be put into place after a brief discussion.
Each user is guaranteed by the readability power of the Gherkin scenarios, which aids in the creation of the ideal product.
- Parameterization in Feature File: To make the feature file reusable, a user may parameterize the gherkin stages. As an example, imagine a person logging in repeatedly while using a bank application. Such phases may be customized with various sets of data, which saves time for a tester. The user must describe the feature file steps while developing the scenarios in a manner that makes it simple for them to utilize the common functionality.
- Automating Test Scenarios : With the appropriate method, an automation tester may quickly start the scripting thanks to the installation of cucumber in a BDD framework. They are better able to comprehend the functionality because to the cucumber scenarios’ simple language.
Since it is compatible with many other programming languages, including Java, Python, and others, Cucumber is a language-independent plugin.
Agile and BDD
An already-in-place agile process is not replaced by BDD. To do BDD, an agile process must be in place. You can say that BDD improves agile. You might think of it as a collection of plugins that will help your team better fulfill the promises of agile: timely, dependable releases of functional software that addresses the changing demands of the enterprise.
BDD aims to complete the least amount of work required to satisfy those goals while working swiftly through iterations and responding promptly to user input. In order to accelerate the development process, BDD promotes working in short, frequent iterations and breaking down user issues into manageable chunks.
What To Keep In Mind While Adopting BDD?
Changes to standards, procedures and behaviors may be challenging. All of these are impacted by BDD, which is not a significant modification that can be put into place quickly. Adjustments like these, which affect the norms and flow of a team, should be viewed as experiments, should begin modestly, and should be assessed often. When defining success, your team’s present situation should be taken into consideration. Increasing team cooperation could be an excellent first step if your team is dispersed, lacks testing, and releases software rarely. There is no one-size-fits-all adoption strategy or success definition.
Specify The Results You Want
Adopting BDD might be an effort to address a variety of issues. Maybe you want to speed up the cycle time, cut down on faults, or make it simpler for new engineers to join your project. Select a quantifiable object. Comparatively speaking to anything like assessing code quality, defect rates or feature turnaround times are simple to monitor.
Always Start Together
A choice that has an impact on the team should be made together. The team is more likely to adopt a procedure that everyone agrees would improve their productivity. Assist the group in claiming the answer.
Start small and then begin more modestly. The background and present state of your team are important. Your first test will be challenging to create if you are thinking about using BDD on a big application. Success might be defined as gathering team members together to discuss success criteria in the supplied, when, then structure, even in the absence of an automated test.
By gradually implementing BDD, you may get to the stage where the team is testing each feature. You should start by altering how teams see features if you want to gradually embrace it. The first thing to do is to make sure that each feature has clear acceptance criteria before the team begins working on it. It won’t be too difficult to convince your team to begin developing given, when, and then scenarios as soon as a product is launched if this consistency is evident in the features they are working on.
You may start making plans on how to accomplish your target after the project’s short-term goal has been established and the schedule has been decided.
It is all too frequent in software development to attempt to accomplish objectives by giving apps additional functionality. A prevalent issue in software development and the cause of many of the most notorious project failures is the delivery of features only for the sake of providing them. You need to decide how the features will assist the user behaviors or the organization rather than attempting to give as many features as you can.
Even if every piece of software has hundreds of features, it is crucial to realize that not all of them need the same amount of care, attention, or even development techniques. It is also simple for the development team to focus too little on one backlog due to this.
Impact mapping is a widely used Agile technique for organizing the project plan and outlining all prospective features. It is a method that works by analyzing user behavior and aids in outlining all possible routes to your chosen objective. The only way software can help us get closer to the objective is through supporting certain human behaviors, according to our presumption, as software cannot accomplish business goals on its own.
Continuous Improvement And Integration
If automated tests fail your build process, they will be more useful. You should include the test suite into your continuous integration procedures. It is more crucial to use BDD if you are not using continuous integration. Everyone on the team should be able to tell when the tests are failing. Your team should have access to an information radiator, like a large monitor, that displays the progress of your test suite right now.
You want students to be thinking in this manner, even if they are only writing things down rather than developing tests. Similar to that, it won’t take much effort from here to have your first real test added to the system. Even writing a test for an already-existing feature, such as a login function, could be part of the process. Make little modifications and change your path.
Selecting Behavior-Driven Development Testing
Test-driven development (TDD) is effective when the organization owner has the sufficient technical knowledge and is acquainted with the unit test framework being used, but this is not always the case.
BDD provides a benefit in these situations since the test cases may be written in a language that all the stakeholders are familiar with, like, say, English. Using BDD has the benefit of providing access to a greater understanding, which enhances the effectiveness of cooperation between technical and non-technical teams.
The following are benefits of employing behavior-driven development testing:
- You are now defining the “behavior” of an application rather to merely creating “test cases.”
- The behavioral method outlines acceptance criteria, which aids in team understanding for the developer, QA, BA, and business.
- Simple to understand and use in the project.
- To operate more effectively, there should be better communication between the technical and non-technical personnel.
Use of behavior-driven development testing has the following drawbacks:
- Incompatible with the waterfall methodology is BDD.
- For QA, adequate technical and programming abilities are also necessary.
- If the user stories are not written flawlessly, BDD will not work.
Using BDD testing to automate quality tests, you can use test automation cloud like LambdaTest. This platform allows you to do Cross Browser Testing across 3000+ real browsers and versions. You may examine a summary of all the tests and activities, as well as any accessible integrations, on the LambdaTest dashboard. The amount of automated tests that have been performed may be seen by utilizing real-time browser tools, concurrent sessions, execution dates, and many other things.
What’s The Difference Between BDD And TDD?
Let’s put this straight, TDD gave way to BDD, which brought product managers, developers, and test engineers together to work on specific illustrations of appropriate behavior. The user stories that move the project ahead describe this “acceptable” behavior.
Behavior-driven development (BDD) focuses on the software system’s acceptable behavior from the perspective of the end user, as opposed to test-driven development (TDD), which is concerned with producing the right outputs in accordance with the inputs to smaller software components.
An example of a behavior-driven development framework
To construct BDD scenarios, a variety of frameworks or appropriate templates are available. They all speak in their everyday language, which has to be a common language that everyone on the team understands, including the product managers, developers, and testers. Given, When, Then is one of the most popular frameworks for expressing BDD acceptance criteria. Let’s keep an example of a banking client, the following would be expressed as the acceptance criteria:
- Given that the user is logged in
- When even after ten minutes, the user did not perform any activity
- Then the user is logged out from the system.
- … And was sent to the login page.
These frameworks are helpful because they explicitly state the prerequisites under which the test is relevant, the cues for anticipated conduct, and the triggers for acceptable performance. Additionally, they are helpful in assisting product managers in identifying gaps.
Talking through the problem in the aforementioned example, a product manager would undoubtedly recognize that a warning period is necessary. Before running the aforementioned test, another behavior definition might be introduced as follows:
- Given that the client is logged in
- When four minutes have passed with no further action from the consumer
- Then the user is informed that they must log out of the system within one minute.
- … And the countdown on the warning will go from 59 seconds to 0 seconds.
A really creative concept used in agile development is behavior-driven development. It is usually advised to use BDD as your first development or testing tool since it allows you the flexibility to operate independently with a variety of technologies.
One of the greatest tools for using Behavior Driven Development in software projects is cucumber. This makes working with many technologies, such as Java, Python, Jython, etc., possible.
The usage of Cucumber is widespread among businesses and independent contractors. It also has a number of online groups where users may discuss difficulties and quickly discover answers. Cucumber language, a Gherkin that uses simple English terms, bridges the communication gap between technical teams and stakeholders and enables them to collaborate on an equal footing.
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