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by Jerome Josephraj

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BCG estimates that 70% of digital transformation efforts fall short of meeting targets. A 2020 CISQ report found that the total cost of unsuccessful development projects among US firms is an estimated $260 billion, whereas the total cost of operational failures caused by poor quality software is estimated at $1.56 trillion. The Standish Group’s 2020 CHAOS report estimates that around 66% of software projects fail. 

Reference link: https://nocodebdd.live/software-failure 

That is one colossal loss. To put that in context: if software bugs were a country, it would rank 10th in the world in terms of GDP—and that doesn’t even include the cost of bugs worldwide. 

For a software-based startup, delivering a high-quality product is key to success. But delivering a high-quality product on time is hard. Building a software product is challenging. Big corporates with deep pockets and top talent struggle to deliver products with high quality. For startups, delivering software products of the highest quality is even harder, as they generally don’t have deep pockets and the reputation needed to attract top talent.  

In this article, we take a look at:

  • The common issues in software development for a startup
  • The key steps for founders or the person in charge of delivering the software
  • How behavior-driven development (BDD) can be a game changer
  • How NoCodeBDD helps accelerate the rollout of BDD

Why Engineering in Startups is Hard

From a founder’s perspective, or anyone designated to deliver quality software, there are three main steps to deliver high-quality software; The 3 Rs, Resources, Requirements, and Release. There are essential for start-ups to deliver high-quality software. Let’s look at each of these and see how it impacts software development in startups.

Resources

One of the biggest issues in software development, particularly for startups, is getting the right resources. Doing so is even harder for startups, as to get the right resources, you need either an excellent reputation or deep pockets. Typically, for a startup, particularly if you are an early-stage startup, you have neither. As a result, attracting the right talent pool to deliver high-quality software becomes extremely difficult.

Requirements

Writing requirements that offer the biggest business value and keeping all team members on the same page is difficult. Your software delivery is bound to fail when all the team members are not in sync with what you want to build. Requirements are the starting point of any software development, and getting them wrong is a sure way to failure in delivering strong software. There are no two ways about it.

Release

Releasing any software product is a key step. This is the step that showcases your product to the world. However, many startups dread the day when it comes to releasing their product or any feature upgrade. One of the biggest, if not the only step, that could make or break the release is software testing. Many startups follow a random process when it comes to testing, so development is not streamlined. As a result, the entire release cycle takes time, and confidence in the quality will suffer.

In the following sections, let’s look at how BDD and NoCodeBDD address these issues.

How BDD can be a Game Changer

When a team rolls out BDD correctly, it addresses the issues mentioned in the previous section. Let’s look at each of the issues defined in the previous section and see how BDD addresses them.

Addressing Requirement and Release issues

1. Defining requirements that yield the highest business outcome and getting teams to understand the requirements

The first step in BDD is for the team to collaborate, discuss the requirements in detail, and derive real-world examples that relate to the requirement. When the team collaborates and discuss real-world examples, they exchange ideas, derive real-world scenarios that the founder or requirements originator would have thought about, and they understand the requirements better than if they work in silos.

2. Make sure the developed software works as per the requirement

Once the team derives real-world examples, the developer takes each scenario and implements the solution, and the tester takes each scenario and automates it. When the scenarios are automated, the team can actually execute those requirements to make sure the software works as per the requirements. Executing the requirements is one of the key benefits of BDD. That’s why it is also called “Executable Specifications.” As you can see from the following video, when the requirements, written in plain language, are executed, everyone in the team can understand and see how it works.

3. Ensure a release process that verifies software quality and that there is no issue regression

When the team follows the above two processes, they actually build a regression suite that can be triggered before any release to make sure any changes to the implemented code haven’t impacted any other previously built functionalities. When you have a suite of “executable specifications” that checks your entire application through the click of a button and ensures the application works as per the requirement—and that no bugs have been introduced—the team can confidently release the product and achieve regular release cycles.

If this sounds good, why hasn’t all software development moved to BDD? One of the sticking points in BDD is the cost of automating the scenarios.

BDD doesn’t resolve the resourcing issue

When automating BDD using scripts, typically using tools like Cucumber or Specflow, you need resources with specific development skills. The skillset varies based on your tech stack. You might require resources with Selenium, Appium, Relational Database, Java/Ruby/Javascript, or a programming language that your team is using to automate. This is usually in the same programming language as your tech stack. Also check out our blog on “Why achieving in-sprint automation is key to agile” .

To automate BDD, you need resources with excellent skills, experience, and a thorough understanding of the tech stack your project uses, and you need quite a few of these resources to achieve in-sprint automation. This is a pertinent issue when it comes to BDD rollout. Such automation is a major issue for startups, as it can be quite resources intensive.

Even if startups can hire these resources, the tendency is usually to use those resources with coding skills for development tasks. As a result, these startups always fall behind on automation and eventually move to manual testing, which again is more resource-intensive, resulting in overworked manual testers and poor-quality releases.

How NoCodeBDD can help

We have been seeing these issues in many projects for 10 years. Though many industry experts and consultants provide certain solutions to improve automation by writing good BDD and reusing code, it requires tremendous experience to achieve, and it’s also difficult to scale. For this reason, NoCodeBDD was created. Using NoCodeBDD, you can accelerate BDD rollout like never before and achieve in-sprint BDD automation easily with fewer resources—without coding.

Using NoCodeBDD, you follow exactly the steps you would follow in any BDD rollout. Derive real-world scenarios, document that in NoCodeBDD, and through a few clicks automate web, mobile, relational database, and MQ without code. If required, you can write your own custom code to address any edge cases.

The following video shows how you can achieve web BDD automation without any code. You can check out similar videos and some of the BDD best practices on our YouTube channel: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLlMIxkou-0-3APyG_HTpo5wLkCutwh6Sy

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Conclusion

For startups, delivering high-quality software products is key to success. Startups can’t afford to release products that are buggy. Using the BDD process with NoCodeBDD, startups can now roll out BDD with ease and achieve regular release cycles with confidence. You can download a free version of NoCodeBDD from www.nocodebdd.com/download.

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