Whitepaper: Adopting TDD and BDD Across the Enterprise

TDD and BDD provide a comprehensive approach to software development when used together. Learn why using both strategies is critical to your success.

Learn how TDD and BDD give you the competitive advantage in your software development process.

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Download the whitepaper to understand how adopting TDD and BDD can put your software business ahead of the game, plus insight into how Parasoft can get you there faster.

Key takeaways:

  • Benefits, costs and limitations of TDD as a practice
  • Benefits, costs and limitations of BDD as a practice
  • Combining TDD and BDD with Parasoft SOAtest
  • Test-driven development (TDD) and behavior-driven development (BDD) are approaches for ensuring you create the correct software that meets quality expectations. In different ways, each approach helps you capture and define requirements prior to implementing code.
  • TDD is a developer-driven approach focused on the implementation layer. It usually results in unit tests that verify that the code works but doesn’t necessarily map directly to requirements.
  • BDD, in contrast, is specifically focused on verifying that code matches the requirements. BDD is practiced at a higher level and is driven by non-technical staff and developers.
  • Each practice has benefits and limitations, but when used together TDD and BDD provide a holistic software development approach.

Benefits

  • Helps developers create maintainable, testable code
  • Prevents feature-creep and gold plating code by ensuring the minimum code necessary to implement functionality is created
  • A solid regression suite, serving as a mechanism for notifying developers when functionality breaks due to code changes
  • Test creation is baked into the code creation process

Costs and limitations

  • Although TDD reduces the overall cost of software development by identifying issues earlier in the lifecycle, it lengthens the time required to complete day-to-day coding tasks.
  • There are maintenance costs associated with TDD. If the requirements or application design changes, tests may need to be refactored.
  • TDD is a code-level activity inherently designed to test individual pieces of code, not necessarily requirements. As a result, organizations can easily lose sight of the requirements and take for granted that the software delivers what the customers want or need.

Reducing costs and removing barriers of TDD adoption

Depending on your position on the TDD spectrum, technologies such as those from Parasoft can help you overcome some of the costs and barriers of adopting TDD.

  • Parasoft Jtest, for example, is a very effective tool when fixing bugs or adding functionality in an existing code base.
  • Jtest reduces the time required to create the test cases by analyzing the existing Java code and providing a guided test creation experience that results in fully automated, predictable and maintainable JUnit test cases.
  • Jtest helps you optimize testing efforts by automatically detecting test cases affected by modified code. This allows you to immediately identify and re-run only the tests that are affected by your changes in the IDE before committing code. You can also integrate Jtest into your CI workflow to speed up feedback from CI runs.

Benefits

  • Increase collaboration
  • Leverage a broader range of domain expertise
  • Meet requirements with a strong focus on testing
  • Reduced cost and risk
  • Promotes reuse and reduces the complexity of automation

Costs and limitations

  • The biggest cost associated with implementing BDD is writing glue code. In most cases, this task falls on the development team, which shifts the burden of creating the test artifacts for validating the requirements from testers to developers.
  • With BDD, testers, business analysts, and other stakeholders define behaviors in a feature file, but developers or people with code-writing skills are still required to write the glue code that maps the behaviors to the functionality. This characteristic of BDD adds to the cost of development.

Reducing costs and removing barriers of BDD adoption

Cucumber, SpecFlow and other BDD engines help organizations adopt BDD to a degree, but they stop short of addressing resource limitations, ease of adoption and other challenges. This is where Parasoft SOAtest can help.

  • SOAtest is an API and UI functional testing solution that automates end-to-end test scenarios across multiple interfaces and a variety of endpoints.
  • SOAtest reduces the costs of BDD by replacing the burdensome task of writing the glue code with a much simpler task of using a script-less test automation UI to define reusable test cases.
  • By using SOAtest to define the “glue,” testers and business analysts are empowered to define the behaviors, enabling organizations to reallocate development resources to the nuts and bolts of creating software.
  • BDD and TDD share the concept of systematically defining an aspect of the application under development before doing the development work, however, these approaches are intended to solve different problems and work best as complimentary practices.
  • The artifacts produced by TDD are unit tests which ensure that the code is well-written. TDD was never intended to validate that the requirements have been implemented, which is why organizations would do well to also adopt BDD.
  • Rather than focusing on the test, BDD focuses on the intended behavior. Follow TDD to write testable code but adopt BDD to ensure that the code implements the behavior.
  • Each practice has benefits and limitations. Parasoft can help any organization reduce the costs of adopting both TDD and BDD.
  • SOAtest replaces the cumbersome and expensive glue code-development process with a simpler test case-creation interface, making BDD much easier to implement. Jtest’s guided test creation functionality results in better tests, more testable code and greater coverage, plus reduces the time-consuming tasks of creating unit tests.

Implementing TDD and BDD will help you gain a competitive advantage with your software development process. Parasoft can help you realize that advantage faster and more reliably.

About Parasoft

Parasoft’s software testing solutions support the entire software development process, from when the developer writes the first line of code all the way through unit and functional testing, to performance and security testing, leveraging simulated test environments along the way. Parasoft's unique analytics platform aggregates data from across all testing practices, providing insights up and down the testing pyramid to enable organizations to succeed in today's most strategic development initiatives, including Agile/DevOps, Continuous Testing, and the complexities of IoT. Parasoft’s automated software testing innovations fuel software development organizations, helping teams reduce the time, cost, and effort of delivering high-quality software to the market.