Behavior Driven Development

Behavior Driven Development is the collaborative process where we discuss the intent and behaviors of a feature and document the understanding in a declarative, testable way. These testable acceptance criteria should be the Definition of Done for a user story. BDD is not a technology or automated tool. BDD is the process for defining the behavior. We can then write automated tests for those behaviors.

Example:

Feature: I need to smite a rabbit so that I can find the Holy Grail

Scenario: Use the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch
Given I have the the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch
When I pull the pin
And I count to 3
But I do not count to 5
And I lob it towards my foe
And the foe is naughty in my sight
Then my foe should snuff it

Gherkin is the domain specific language that allows acceptance criteria to be expressed in “Arrange, Act, Assert” in a way that is understandable to all stakeholders. Example:

Feature: As an hourly associate I want to be able to log my arrival time so that I can be
paid correctly.

Scenario: Clocking in
Given I am not clocked in
When I enter my associate number
Then my arrival time will be logged
And I will be notified of the time

Scenario: Clocking out
Given I am clocked in
When I enter my associate number
And I have been clocked in for more than 5 minutes
Then I will be clocked out
And I will be notified of the time

Scenario: Clocking out too little time
Given I am clocked in
When I enter my associate number
And I have been clocked in for less than 5 minutes
Then I will receive an error

Using Acceptance Criteria to Negotiate and Split

With the above criteria, it may be acceptable to remove the time validation and accelerate delivery of the time logging ability. After delivery, the validation may not be required. If true, we’ve saved money and time by NOT delivering unneeded features. First we deliver the ability to clock in and see if we really do need the ability to verify.

Feature: As an hourly associate I want to be able to log my arrival time so that I can be
paid correctly.

Scenario: Clocking in
Given I am not clocked in
When I enter my associate number
Then my arrival time will be logged
And I will be notified of the time

Scenario: Clocking out
Given I am clocked in
When I enter my associate number
And I have been clocked in for more than 5 minutes
Then I will be clocked out
And I will be notified of the time

If, in production, we discover that the sanity check is required to prevent time clock issues, we can quickly add that behavior.

Feature: As an hourly associate I want to be prevented from clocking out immediately after
clocking in.

Scenario: Clocking out more than 5 minutes after arrival
Given I am clocked in
And I have been clocked in for more than 5 minutes
When I enter my associate number
Then I will be clocked out
And I will be notified of the time

Scenario: Clocking out less than 5 minutes after arrival
Given I am clocked in
And I have been clocked in for less than 5 minutes
When I enter my associate number
Then I will receive an error

Tips

  • Scenarios should be written from the point of view of the consumer. If the consumer; either a user, UI, or another service.
  • Scenarios should be focused on a specific function and should not attempt to describe multiple behaviors.
  • If a story has more than 6 acceptance criteria, it can probably be split.
  • No acceptance test should contain more than 10 conditions. In fact, much less is recommended.
  • Acceptance tests can be used to describe a full end to end user experience. They are also recommended for describing the behavior of a single component in the flow of the overall behavior.

References


Last modified February 2, 2022: Switch to hugo (#2) (a244f74)