BDD, also known as Behavior Driven Development, represents a revolution in the approach to software development, enabling much better communication and collaboration between technical and business teams. At least in theory. But what is it like in practice? Let’s find out!
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Software development methodology and main principles of BDD
Transforming business requirements into precise descriptions of system behavior – this is the focus of the software development methodology based on Behavior Driven Development. The key element of BDD is the creation of a common business language, understandable to developers, QA teams, and business representatives (known as “3 amigos”). This methodology emphasizes the importance of collaboration and engagement of all parties – clients, business, developers, and testers – in the process of creating the system behavior description. Such an approach ensures that the final product precisely meets business expectations and quality criteria. And this is what should matter to everyone involved in a given project.
Behavior Driven Development process in practice
- Behavior specification stage: The initial phase involves a precise specification of system behaviors, reflecting key business requirements in a functional context.
- Formulating scenarios in Gherkin: This phase involves translating the behavior specifications into scenarios in the Gherkin language, which is characterized by its high readability for both technical and non-technical teams.
- Implementation of source code and tests: In this phase, the development of the source code and the creation of automated tests occur, which are directly linked to the previously defined behavior scenarios, ensuring consistency between requirements and implementation.
- Automation and validation of tests: The process of test automation aims to verify the compliance of the system implementation with its specification, enabling continuous quality control.
- Analysis of test results: The final stage is a detailed analysis of the test results, providing key information about the degree to which business requirements are met and identifying potential areas for optimization.
3 amigos vs BDD
In the context of software development, comparing 3 Amigos and BDD highlights a significant difference in the approach to designing and implementing systems. The 3 Amigos methodology focuses on collaboration among three key roles in a project: the developer, the QA tester, and the business representative. Their task is to create a common language and understanding for describing system behaviors, ensuring uniform perspectives and avoiding misunderstandings.
On the other hand, BDD extends this approach by focusing on developing software through continuous communication, collaboration, and iterations, with an emphasis on meeting both the technical and business requirements of the client. In BDD, the 3 Amigos become an integral part of the process, but the overall methodology encompasses a broader range of activities, including writing scenarios in Gherkin, automating tests, and continuously verifying system behaviors. Ultimately, while the 3 Amigos is a critical element in BDD, BDD offers a comprehensive framework that is more holistic and based on collaboration at all stages of software development.
Application of the Behavior Driven Development Method in the execution of projects at fireup.pro
At fireup.pro, BDD is applied extensively, encompassing automated functional, integration, and end-to-end (e2e) scenarios. Developer and QA teams collaborate on these scenarios, ensuring efficient cooperation and high test quality. The introduction of the method aimed to improve reporting, enhance test documentation, and standardize testing.
The application of Behavior Driven Development in executing projects at fireup.pro, exemplified by the projects LSEG, BLUE, and 9amHealth, demonstrates the diversity and flexibility of this methodology.
In the LSEG project, BDD facilitated the standardization of processes and improved the quality of reporting. For BLUE, the Behavior Driven Development method focused on effective collaboration between development and business teams (PRs, support, joint maintenance), contributing to a better understanding of requirements. A good solution was also to allocate a single space for storing tests. Meanwhile, in the 9amHealth project, BDD supported rapid implementation, test documentation creation, and test standardization. The repeated use of steps was also beneficial.Despite successes, fireup.pro also encountered challenges in implementing this method, such as limitations of Gherkin and the additional effort required in writing and maintaining tests. These experiences highlight the importance of engagement from all parties in the BDD process to maximize the benefits of this methodology and full cycle software development services.
Does the BDD method make sense without business involvement?
The application of the Behavior Driven Development methodology in IT projects brings immense benefits when all stakeholders – both technical and business – are fully engaged. However, the omission of any party, especially the business side, can lead to significant issues. Without business involvement, the BDD method loses its main advantage: the ability to create software that precisely meets the requirements and expectations of the client. The lack of business insight into the process of creating behavior scenarios and tests can lead to a misunderstanding of market needs, resulting in a product that is inadequate for the real demands of users.
Furthermore, without active participation from the business side, the risk of creating features that do not deliver real value to end-users significantly increases. The software may become technologically advanced, but at the same time, disconnected from actual business needs. This, in turn, can lead to financial and reputational losses for the company.In the context of the examples of BDD application at fireup.pro, it is clear how crucial business involvement is at every stage of the project. From specifying requirements, through formulating scenarios, to analyzing test results – the presence and input of the business side are essential to fully realize the potential of BDD.