New ebook Available: The Behavior-Driven Development Maturity Model

Behavior-driven development is on the rise. Nearly all companies that develop software (92 percent, to be exact) are using some kind of test-first methodology, according to VersionOne’s 2017 State of Agile Report . The bulk of those companies are using test driven development (TDD) or acceptance test driven development (ATDD), with only 16 percent performing the more advanced behavior-driven development (BDD). That’s because it’s much more difficult to successfully perform BDD — but VersionOne’s report shows development teams are making significant progress.

As Gabo Esquivel notes , TDD is more of a paradigm than a process. While TDD calls for writing test cases before code is written, it does not specify things like where development should begin, what should be tested, or how those tests should be structured and named — all of which BDD prescribes — and all of which is much more difficult to achieve. But rapid adoption of TDD and ATDD show that the foundations are in place for a significant uptick in BDD adoption. Though the percentage is still relatively small, the number of teams performing BDD has nearly doubled (from 9 to 16 percent) in just one year. Open source tools like Cucumber/Gherkin and SpecFlow/Gherkin (for .NET) are raising their profile in parallel, as more teams adopt specification languages as a way to improve collaboration between business testers, expert testers and developers, all in the name of creating better software — that meets the needs of its users and the business developing it — faster.

Our latest ebook is designed to help you assess where your team is on the journey to BDD maturity. This guide will give you a framework for understanding your team’s progress as they gain experience and better define new processes. The model includes five maturity levels, which are based on the adoption patterns we’ve seen as organizations mature and progress through the BDD learning curve.

In the ebook, we share details about the following four levels of BDD maturity:

  1. BDD Collaboration Begins
  2. BDD Frameworks and Tools Are Chosen & Implemented
  3. Systems Connect for Development & Automation
  4. CI & Systemic Collaboration Become Standard
  5. Measuring BDD Success With Reporting

By assessing your team’s current maturity and outlining a plan to progress to the next level, this guide will help you determine the incremental steps for your team to take to continue making progress towards BDD maturity. Adopting a shift-left approach involves significant process changes, both within and outside the QA team. This change usually comes with substantial bumps in the road, but in our experience it is well worth the effort. According to our research, teams with mature BDD practices also tend to be further along in their DevOps journey. By shifting testing left with BDD, these teams are delivering faster without sacrificing quality.

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