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Joe and Keith have spent 12 months building one of the most sophisticated Ruby on Rails applications either of them has ever built. They are both passionate TDD and especially BDD practitioners and this project offered them a chance to really embrace an outside in approach to the development. Their commitment to BDD, TDD and the Agile process was repeatedly tested by client and colleagues mostly driven by financial pressures, but they remained unapologetically resolved in applying BDD and agile to help them manage the intense complexity.
Taking a BDD approach provided Joe and Keith with an excellent framework to describe the application which could be understood and agreed by all parties, regardless of their technical knowledge. The conversation was accessible by the client, by product owners, by developers and testers and this enabled the developers to build against a real specification that could be constructed as an ongoing process.
From a technical perspective using BDD and an outside-in development cycle enabled them to develop quickly but also gave them this incredible flexibility to refactor huge parts of the project with complete confidence that they were still delivering a solution that meets the requirements of the users.
That flexibility wasn't to come without a price though and in time they also learnt where mistakes can be made using BDD. Test suite run time is absolutely critical in keeping a software project healthy, but unless some simple rules are followed the BDD tests can quickly grow out of control.
Despite all the many challenges throughout the year they have successfully delivered an incredibly complex software solution and their use of unquestionably BDD has contributed to this result.
Joe and Keith have learnt much during this year, and feel they have some really valuable technical insights to share with you!
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