180: Ten Years of Cucumber BDD with Aslak Hellesøy

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Whether you’re just getting started with BDD using Cucumber–or have been using it for years–you’re in for a treat. Today we’ll be test talking with the creator of Cucumber, Aslak Hellesøy, about his thoughts and reflections on ten years of Cucumber. Listen up and discover how and why Aslak created Cucumber, as well as ways to improve your BDD efforts. Prepare to break the chains of BDD misconceptions and move into the light of Cucumber awesomeness.

About Aslak Hellesøy

Aslak Hellesøy is the creator of Cucumber (10M downloads) and the author of the Cucumber Book (20k copies sold). He has 18 years of development experience and has been active in the open source and agile communities for 15 years.

Quotes & Insights from this Test Talk

  • With Cucumber I didn't really set out to replace JBehave. It was more that I wasn't working in Java when the thing was invented and when I moved to Java I tried JBehave and it wasn't quite exactly what I wanted so I scratched my own itch again and just posted the Ruby code over to Java.
  • The first thing is about building the right thing making sure that various stakeholders who are involved in an I.T. or in a software project are on the same page and those stakeholders can often be domain experts or business people or business analysts. Product owners you know people who don't necessarily know a lot about software and then you've got the IT people which are typically programmers and testers and typically these people have difficulties understanding one another and BDD is a kind of a set of practices that you can you can follow to help people get on the same page about what to deliver.
  • BDD as a process which is really just a variant of TDD test-driven development. It helps me and it helps I think a lot of other people get into that zone get into the flow. So building the right thing and getting into the zone as a developer that's really the two value propositions of BDD the way I see and it.
  • This is where having tests helps me you know the tests will tell me whether the code that I'm writing is doing what I wanted to do. So in order to get into the flow, you know those tests need to give me really really fast feedback. If I have to wait a long time then I can't stay in that flow. So for me, it's about getting feedback within a matter of seconds from my tests and thereby you know I get the confidence that I'm not going completely off track.
  • Cucumber combined with a tool like selenium but it just so happens that if that's what you do you are writing the slowest possible test that you can possibly write. They're also the most brittle test that you can possibly write and they're also the hardest to diagnose test that you could possibly write. So they are slow because they go that you know they go through all of this all the stacks all of the layers of your stack with lots of networking. They are brittle because your user interface keeps changing all the time. That's typically the part of the application that changes more often than the actual logic underneath. And they're really hard to diagnose when they fail because you know the problem could really be anywhere in your system if you don't get a good stack trace. When something doesn't work properly.
  • Some of the things I talked about was make really really fast Cucumber Scenarios. So if you can Google subsecond you will find a small to do list application that uses cucumber and uses those design patterns for making end-to-end tests run in milliseconds. So that's a great way to learn about that.


Connect with Aslak Hellesøy

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