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Behavior Driven Development (BDD): learn how to apply, the phases and benefits

  • Automated Tests

Behavior Driven Development (BDD) is an agile development methodology that is embedded in the context of the growing demand for software that meets user expectations. Previously, software development was focused solely on technical functionalities, which often led to solutions that did not meet user needs. This resulted in software products that were difficult to use, unintuitive and often did not meet business requirements.

In this article, you will learn more about BDD, its benefits, and how to apply this methodology in your company!

What is Behavior Driven Development (BDD)?

Behavior Driven Development (BDD) is a software development methodology that focuses on defining the expected behavior of software before it is actually developed. Basically, BDD aims to improve collaboration between developers, business analysts, and stakeholders so that everyone can have a clear understanding of software expectations.

The development process starts with the creation of scenarios that describe how the software should behave in different situations. These scenarios are described in natural language, which is easily understandable by all parties involved in the project. They are then transformed into automated test cases that can be repeatedly executed during the development cycle.

With BDD, the development team can ensure that the software developed meets the expectations of the end user and is delivered with a high level of quality. Additionally, BDD helps identify problems early in the development cycle, which can save time and money in the long run.

What are the benefits of BDD?

Behavior Driven Development (BDD) is a software development technique that offers various benefits. By using scenarios of expected behavior, BDD helps improve collaboration, increase software quality, reduce errors, and ensure a positive user experience. Learn about other advantages below:

Shared knowledge: With teamwork encouraged by this methodology, developers and testers share knowledge, ensuring more comprehensive and complex projects.

Dynamic documentation: BDD makes it easy to create dynamic documents. Teams can create documents more easily and quickly. Additionally, it’s possible to publish reports in HTML format for easy reference.

Team communication: With BDD, developers and testers have a close connection, encouraging communication and collaboration among teams.

Feedback: Using BDD allows developers to get feedback faster. This is because this methodology ensures that all teams share a common understanding of the program.

Cheaper tests: BDD makes it easy to create test cases that cover all aspects of the application, making evaluations more efficient and economical. Additionally, it’s easier to automate functional and non-functional tests.

User experience: By considering the needs of end-users, software and application developers can create more functional systems, resulting in better business outcomes and customer experiences.

Quality code: BDD allows the creation of self-sufficient code that is easily tested, stable, and scalable from the beginning of the product development.

How is BDD applied and what are its phases?

In order to be applied efficiently, the BDD process must follow a specific order, which includes four distinct stages. For teams looking to deliver high-quality work in an agile manner, it is recommended to automate tests at both the functional and unit level. Here are the four stages to follow:

Discovery: In this phase, the Product Owner (PO) explains the sprint story and gives an overview of the business. The team uses the BDD discussion process to gather user examples and understand how the provided function is used, identifying problems and possible new business rules.

Definition: After the discovery phase, the team asks questions to determine what rules, acceptance criteria or new stories can be created. These ideas are clarified through dialogue between the participants.

Formalization: In this phase, all discussed issues are formalized with a definition, creating a document that contains all notes gathered in a neutral language. The Gherkin Formula is usually recommended when creating acceptance criteria.

Delivery: After researching and testing the story, it is presented to the PO for validation. Then, the validated story is used during project production review to ensure that the product meets established standards. After promoting the application to the production environment, functionality is monitored to collect customer feedback on the use of the application.

The relationship between BDD and TDD

Behavior Driven Development (BDD) and Test Driven Development (TDD) are methodologies that have a big impact on software development. Although they are similar, they differ in their approaches.

BDD focuses on software behavior and user interactions, while TDD focuses on unit testing. In BDD, specifications are written in a clear and concise language that is easily understood by both developers and clients. On the other hand, TDD is more focused on automating unit tests, which allows developers to focus on software functionality.

Despite their differences, BDD and TDD work together to ensure that software is developed efficiently and with quality. BDD provides the framework for specifications and test scenarios, while TDD provides the framework for unit tests. Through the integration of BDD and TDD, developers can ensure that the software is developed based on user specifications, as well as ensuring that the code is functioning correctly at each level.

The Importance of Test Automation in the BDD Process

Test automation is crucial in the BDD process, as it ensures the efficiency and accuracy of the tests performed. With automation, it’s possible to quickly and consistently test complex scenarios, reducing the chance of human errors that can compromise the quality of the final product.

Moreover, test automation contributes to the documentation of the software, as automated tests serve as live examples of how the application should function. This can be very useful for future maintenance or the integration of new functionalities, as developers have access to a set of tests that validate the expected behavior of the system.

Finally, test automation also allows for the creation of a quality culture in the software development process, as it encourages the team to consistently write automated tests and continuously monitor the software quality. This can result in a more reliable and satisfactory final product for users.

Looking to optimize software development efficiency in your company? Talk to our experts about implementing BDD and learn how Objective can help you achieve more effective and assertive results in your software projects.

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