Behavioral Test Frameworks – Introductory Overview

Behavior-driven development (BDD) is quite simply a bridge between different languages so that you can keep your agile platform development in sync and keep your living documentation is up to date with your code. This is accomplished by using a common language in the development of your infrastructure and testing of your automated behaviors so that the output files are in a format that business analysts and IT experts can both understand and build on.

Sometimes referred to as a test-driven development (TDD), though this leans more toward a collaborative environment where all parties have programming skills, BDD allows you to get more
feedback from more people in your enterprise. It’s about getting a conversation started, especially when code may be incomplete or broken, so that the whole process develops smoothly and that the needs of the end-user products are understood by everyone.

The bigger you are, the more you need BDD

BDD grows more relevant the bigger the scope of your project, and this is especially true when you not only have multiple developers working on the code, you also have multiple stakeholders who all want something different out of the same product. Conflicts are inevitable, and the only way to push through them is with iteration, testing, and patience.

Here’s the basic idea:
(With some contextual input) whenever an action happens, do some behavior validation.

The design document

Whatever your product, your design document is the first place everyone will go to when they have a question, and just by putting all of your desired features down on paper—you’ll likely identify some obvious problems that are not just a question of how to enable a behavior, but also a peer-review of whether that behavior is necessary. Eliminating redundant and wasteful behaviors will save developers time and money, and likely improve the functionality of your product by simplifying GUIs and information into the bare essentials.

Testing isn’t just for engineers

A common misconception amongst business owners is that software testing is only for internal review to make sure the product functions as intended from the design documentation, but there’s another reason: to make sure that the system is actually a pain-free experience for the end user. Sometimes, the most obvious problems are overlooked because testing budgets are cut and no one bothers to examine the superficial aspects of the product from an outside perspective. Products are then pushed out the door before they’re ready, resulting in more negative reviews and complaints than anyone could ever want.

Building the right features

Without BDD, developers are essentially stumbling around in the dark trying to guess what it is that their boss wants. So, to ensure that you (the paying customer) actually get what you’re paying for, you need to simplify your desired features into action/reaction behaviors that the developer can create. At that point, it’s up to the developer to choose what course of action is best to make that feature work efficiently, to reuse as much code as possible, and then render that information back into an easy to understand and testable unit.

 

This article was authored by Shrushti Kumbhani, who is a Technical Manager, QA at Zymr.

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