Key Takeaways

  • Behavior driven development (BDD) is a development process that prioritizes collaboration between both technical and non-technical teams.
  • Using BDD, test cases are written in natural language and take into account your business’ values and user functionality. LoadView can be a helpful tool in the BDD development toolkit, as we offer an accessible platform with reports both technical and non-technical users can quickly understand.

Developers are an integral part of getting a website, app, or API off the ground, but they aren’t the only ones involved. Everyone from product managers to business analysts have an equal stake in developing and maintaining a strong web presence. Different teams have different strengths, knowledge, and skill sets. A marketing associate may not be as well versed in development as a software engineer, so how can you ensure that every member of your team is on the same page? That’s where behavior driven development comes in.

Behavior driven development (BDD) is a development process that prioritizes collaboration between teams to help you get your site off the ground in a way that serves everyone involved. When implementing a BDD process, a team is able to form a consistent, accessible language that can be understood by programmers and non-programmers alike. Test cases are written in natural language, and take into account your business’ values and user functionality.

We at LoadView are invested in helping your business thrive in every department, so let’s learn a bit more about BDD, and see how BDD can help your team work together.

behavior driven development

A Brief History of BDD

In 2006, software developer Dan North noticed that there were gaps in communication between departments within the company he was working at. It seemed as if less technical teams like product and marketing managers were being left in the dark about key developments, and software developers were left unaware of major user concerns while navigating their site.

From these gaps, North was able to develop a new system. Branching out of Test driven development (TDD), BDD focuses on real human behavior, plain English, and a clear logical model. This process takes into account business concerns, as well as technical demands. It took previously convoluted models and translated them into a new domain specific language (DSL) that got as close as possible to plain, conversational English.

This DSL turned into BDD’s defining factor, the give/when/then model.

The Give/When/Then Model

In the give/when/then model, each part defines a stage of a transaction, or interaction online.

  • Give: refers to the given part of the equation. The status quo. Where we started out before the interface is acted upon by a user
  • When: is the act performed by the user that sets off the interaction. A click, a transaction, or a keyword entered in the search bar are all possible “whens”
  • Then: is what comes after, what reaction that the action sets off.

Here’s an example of a give/when/then scenario:

  • Given that Account 1 has $0 and account 2 has $100
  • When Account 2 transfers $50 to account 1
  • Then account 1 has $50 and account 2 has $50

This plain English model makes programming situations easy to share between departments. The DSL can be understood by anyone, whether a developer or not. When running functional and nonfunctional tests, using a give/when/then model ensures that there are no gaps in communication.

This is the essential function of BDD, to use plain English to develop a DSL understood by all. There are many benefits to using BDD to develop your website, app, or API, and developing a DSL is only one of them.

Pros to Developing with BDD

BDD offers strong advantages if you’re working with a diverse team. Its focus on functionality, clear communication, and user experience makes it a great process for online business and digital services with non tech-savvy customers. BDD is:

  • Efficient: Having clearly defined functionality and language that are agreed upon by all stakeholders is a key benefit of BDD. With everyone on the same page, development from the business and coding angles is able to take shape in a timely manner. With all teams working together, there will be less time needed to go back and rework nonfunctional elements.
  • Cheap: Not only is BDD good for your business’ values, it’s also good for its bottom line. Well defined language means it’s easy to create and validate test cases. These test cases can be automated with a clear understanding of what is expected and when. Automating these tests can bring down the cost of application testing.
  • High quality: With the help of non-development based teams, designers and programmers get feedback about user experience straight away. This forces them to think and develop from the user’s perspective. Developing from the user point of view also helps developers to write stable, scalable, and testable code. This helps to prevent user issues before they occur.


Cons to Developing with BDD

Although BDD can be a great process in certain situations, it’s not universal. BDD was invented to solve problems and close gaps in the TDD approach. If the programmers are less experienced, not well versed in the TDD development process, or rely on specific tools and programming language, BDD may not be the right choice.

BDD relies on good communication, that means having a team of dedicated developers that can communicate effectively with costumes, users, and representatives of other teams. This could mean additional overhead.

BDD has proved popular in the developer community. Many people have adopted the BDD approach and have developed an array of tools to get the job done. Here are a few popular BDD tools.

  • Cucumber a popular open-source platform for BDD collaboration. It helps teams build functionalities in plain text. It provides cohesiveness using DSL that is easy to share with the whole team. It implements Gherkin syntax.
  • Lettuce is built on top of Cucumber and works great for Python-based applications.
  • Specflow is another open-source BDD platform that uses Gherkin syntax. It is built for the .NET platform.


Behavior Driven Development with LoadView

BDD is a process, and performance testing is an important part of that process. Automating performance testing is an essential part of BDD, helping to ensure a quick turnaround to get your website off the ground. LoadView runs performance tests that simulate real user behavior with simple scripts so you can automate your tests using BDD best practices. Being able to test how your website performs under various user loads, user locations, and stress levels can help every department involved in Behavior Driven Development.

LoadView is an accessible platform, which requires no previous coding knowledge, making it an excellent choice for a team working across multiple non-technical departments. LoadView is built to test:

  • Web pages
  • Native mobile apps
  • APIs

behavior driven development

Try LoadView Today

BDD is designed to center business values during the development process, always keeping in mind the user end result. LoadView can help you automate performance testing for efficient and easy to understand development. Try LoadView for free or schedule a demo today to see how you can implement performance testing into your company’s BDD process.