Next week (November 19th/20th) myself and 3 Assurity colleagues will be going to the CukeUp conference in Sydney. The CukeUp conference is focused around the software development approach of Behaviour-Driven Development (BDD), in particular using the tool Cucumber.
Cucumber is used to capture definitions of application behaviour from a business perspective. These definitions are able to be automated to check the software behaves as expected. This enables business and development teams to have a shared understanding of application behaviour, without the implementation having to be specified.
While BDD is aimed at collaborating on the business scenarios before and during development, all 4 of us attending are currently (or have been recently) implementing Cucumber as an automated regression test framework for our clients. While we’re not gaining some of the benefits of Cucumber as a BDD tool from the start of feature development yet, we have been benefiting from the business-friendly language and easy to read reporting, making the purpose of the tests and the impact of failures clear.
We have taken different approaches to how we’ve defined our Cucumber scenarios / tests – at Stuff we’ve focused on developing a limited set of User Journeys with each scenario following an workflow through the application (mostly via the UI) and covering a number of functions. For us these scenarios provide the business-confidence element in our build pipeline, complementing the bulk of our automation (unit and integration) which provides build and code confidence and is targeted below the UI.
The others have worked with their scenarios more at a function or feature level. No one way is more right, both suit the specific contexts we’re working in. I’ll be going into our experiences at Stuff with implementing a Cucumber acceptance test framework in more detail soon.
Back to the conference … there’s a good mix of short talks and workshops (I like to “do” so the workshops are a definite focus for me!), technical and non-technical sessions … and it’ll be interesting to talk with a wider community of people using Cucumber, developing and testing using BDD, to learn more about how they are used outside of the narrow context of functional regression checking. I’ll be sharing anything I learn from the conference here!
Beach Boys – Vege-Tables
Jesus & Mary Chain – Vegetable Man (Pink Floyd cover)