by Jerome Josephraj
Behavior-driven development (BDD) is a popular development methodology that has been embraced across the software development industry, and it’s one of the fastest-growing ‘shift-left testing’ approaches organizations adopt. With NoCodeBDD, you can create and manage feature specifications as living documentation, with instant access for all stakeholders (using the NoCodeBDD-JIRA connector)—and achieve functional automation in just minutes. By doing this, you can ensure that your software projects are high quality and feature-rich. However, if you’re new to BDD, or unsure of how to roll it out for your project, read on for all the information you need!
This blog covers the benefits of using BDD, as well as how to roll it out for your software projects. Moreover, you’ll learn about the tools you can use for BDD, such as Cucumber and NoCodeBDD. Finally, we’ll show you how you can use NoCodeBDD to accelerate your BDD rollout by 10X and improve the quality of your software like never before.
Why use BDD?
BDD allows you to define requirements as real-world scenarios. Additionally, it keeps all technical and non-technical team members on the same page—and, most importantly, allows the team to execute the derived requirements to check that the implementation works as expected. Overall, BDD is an extremely valuable process that can help improve the quality and functionality of your software.
If you want to know more about BDD, check this article from Agile Alliance:
What are the benefits of using BDD?
One of the biggest issues in software development of any kind is ensuring that all stakeholders understand the requirements and are on the same page. If the team starts working on rolling out a solution without properly understanding the requirements, then rolling out software that works as its users expect is impossible.
BDD addresses this by encouraging collaboration between all the stakeholders, mainly the three amigos: testers, developers, and product owners. These scenarios are further automated using scripted tools like Cucumber or using scriptless tools like NoCodeBDD. This automation enables the team to execute the requirements to make sure the software works as expected.
If you are already collaborating with different stakeholders and creating functional automation, you may be wondering how the BDD methodology is different.
How BDD is different from the Agile collaboration process?
If you already collaborate with different stakeholders to discuss the user story/requirements, it’s common to have a time-boxed session to discuss the user story in detail and derive different scenarios. You might even document these discussions. However, these discussions:
- Are unlikely to follow a standard or a format.
- Won’t be documented in such a way that it could be executed.
- Don’t facilitate agreement between team members to explain the functionality as real-world examples, which doesn’t invite various interpretations.
BDD addresses these problems by documenting the requirements as real-world scenarios using a structured language called Gherkin. Thus, when using BDD, the team collaborates and derives real-world examples related to the domain. A sample real-world example is given below. Once the real-world example is derived and defined, the developer performs their job based on each scenario, and the tester automates each scenario.
Using NoCodeBDD, you can automate these scenarios in minutes, saving several hours and accelerating your BDD automation by 10X. Once scenario automation is complete, the developer can run those scenarios to make sure it works as expected.
BDD is a great way to improve the quality of your software project, and it doesn’t require a huge cultural shift for the team to adopt. Delivering quality software in any development process involves:
- Collaborating to understand the requirements.
- Executing tests (manual or automated) to ensure the developed software works according to the requirement.
- A release process that ensures the software works as expected.
When a team adopts BDD, they basically follow exactly these steps:
- Collaborate and derive scenarios.
- Automate the derived scenarios and execute the test to make sure it works as per the requirement.
- Include the automated scenarios as part of the CI/CD pipeline, which is part of the release process.
Critical Steps in BDD Rollout
When rolling out BDD in a project, just two high-level steps are critical to see the effectiveness of BDD:
- Collaborate and derive real-world scenarios
- Automate and execute derived scenarios
You could take each of these steps and follow different approaches to implement them. However, ignoring these two steps, particularly the first step—collaborating and deriving scenarios—is critical to ensuring that the team understands the requirements and is on the same page before the start of any development work.
Let’s look at each of these steps. For each, we’ll discuss an approach I’ve taken in many projects that proved effective—including projects for large organizations, which completely transformed the way software development was done and saw 10X improvement in quality and efficiency.
When the team is ready to start development, they—mainly the three amigos—should collaborate and derive the scenarios. All team members involved in developing the story should be involved in the collaboration process. For example, if the story requires UX-related tasks, then the UX engineer should be involved.
Many agile teams collaborate in some fashion. However, I have seen these collaborations fail to be effective, and in many projects, teams collaborate simply for the sake of collaborating. Using a robust methodology would help the team to collaborate through a good, structured process. I have personally used a technique called OOPSI, introduced by Jenny Martin and Pete Buckney, and it has made a significant difference in applying a structure to the collaboration process. Moreover, it helps derive scenarios efficiently and allows analyzing the entire process thoroughly. The following article shows how OOPSI can be rolled out in a project.
One of the most popular BDD automation tools is Cucumber. However, the issues with using tools like Cucumber or any other scripted BDD tools are that it’s :
- Increases time to market
- Poor return on investment (ROI)
- Testers spend too much time on automating scripts and as a result spend less time on exploratory testing
We have seen these issues time and again in many projects. BDD is fantastic and can completely transform the way you develop software and vastly improve its quality. Yet it was still difficult to convince the stakeholder to use BDD, mainly due to resource constraints and poor ROI. This was the reason we created NoCodeBDD.
Accelerate BDD Automation by 10X
NoCodeBDD addresses all the issues mentioned above and much more. Using NoCodeBDD, you can automate BDD without code and in minutes. It integrates with JIRA so the entire team—managers, scrum masters, and product owners—obtain the full picture of all the scenarios involved in a sprint. NoCodeBDD also integrates easily with Browser Stack and CI/CD tools like Jenkins.
BDD is a powerful and efficient tool that can be used for software development. By following the steps outlined in this blog, you can achieve a successful rollout of BDD for your project. Make sure to read through the sub-headings for more information on how to use BDD effectively for your software development projects.
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