The BDD Books - Formulation
The BDD Books - Formulation
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The BDD Books - Formulation

This book is 95% complete

Last updated on 2020-08-28

About the Book

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Written by the creator of SpecFlow and the author of The Cucumber for Java Book, this book gives the reader the inside information on how to effectively formulate concrete examples (generated during the discovery phase) as business-readable, Gherkin scenarios - the industry leading Behaviour Driven Development (BDD) specification syntax. This practical guide explores the practices and principles for writing better scenarios (using Given/When/Then), by following a team as they create living documentation for a product that they are enhancing.

This book is written for everyone involved in the specification and delivery of software (including product owners, business analysts, developers and testers). The book describes how all stakeholders need to be involved in the creation of a product's specification. How you get involved will depend on your skills, your other time commitments, and a host of other factors - but the involvement of all concerned is essential. So, whether you come up with the words, do the typing, or provide constructive feedback, you will find this book indispensable.

This is the second in the BDD Books series that will guide you through the entire development process, including specific technical practices needed to successfully drive development using collaboratively-authored specifications and living documentation.

About the Authors

Seb Rose
Seb Rose

Consultant, coach, designer, analyst and developer for over 30 years.

Seb has been involved in the full development lifecycle with experience that ranges from Architecture to Support, from BASIC to Ruby. He’s a partner in Cucumber Limited, who help teams adopt and refine their agile practices, with a particular focus on collaboration and automated testing.

Regular speaker at conferences and occasional contributor to software journals. Contributing author to “97 Things Every Programmer Should Know” (O’Reilly) and lead author of “The Cucumber for Java Book” (Pragmatic Programmers).

He blogs at and tweets as @sebrose.

Gáspár Nagy
Gáspár Nagy

Gáspár Nagy is the creator and main contributor of SpecFlow, the most widely used ATDD/BDD framework for .NET.

Gáspár is an independent coach, trainer and test automation expert focusing on helping teams implementing BDD and SpecFlow through his company, called Spec Solutions. He has more than 15 years of experience in enterprise software development as he worked as an architect and agile developer coach.

He shares useful BDD and test automation related tips on his blog ( and on Twitter (@gasparnagy). He edits a monthly newsletter ( about interesting articles, videos and news related to BDD, SpecFlow and Cucumber.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • Preface
    • What this book is for
    • Who this book is for
    • How to read this book
    • Why you should listen to us
    • Acknowledgments
    • How this book series is organized
    • What is not in this book
    • Online resources
  • Chapter 1 – What is Formulation?
    • 1.1 – Where does Formulation fit into BDD?
    • 1.2 – Shared understanding
    • 1.3 – Two types of scenarios
    • 1.4 – Many formats
    • 1.5 – Gherkin overview
    • 1.6 – Living documentation
    • 1.7 – What we just learned
  • Chapter 2 – Cleaning up an old scenario
    • 2.1 – The old scenario
    • 2.2 – Keep your scenarios BRIEF
    • 2.3 – Focus and Intent
    • 2.4 – Essential, not incidental
    • 2.5 – Business language
    • 2.6 – Real data and intent
    • 2.7 – Communication, not testing
    • 2.8 – Illustrative scenarios
    • 2.9 – What we just learned
  • Chapter 3 – Our first feature
    • 3.1 – Feature files
    • 3.2 – A sample feature file
    • 3.3 – Gherkin basics
    • 3.4 – Diving into the feature file
    • 3.5 – Scenario structure
    • 3.6 – Data tables
    • 3.7 – Scenario outlines
    • 3.8 – Keep tables readable
    • 3.9 – What we just learned
  • Chapter 4 – A new user story
    • 4.1 – Blocklist
    • 4.2 – Write it upwards
    • 4.3 – Too many cooks
    • 4.4 – Quotation marks
    • 4.5 – There’s no “I” in “Persona”
    • 4.6 – Background
    • 4.7 – Unformulated scenarios
    • 4.8 – Commenting in feature files
    • 4.9 – Setting the context
    • 4.10 – Formulation gets faster
    • 4.11 – Incremental specification
    • 4.12 – Manual scenarios
    • 4.13 – Review is not optional
    • 4.14 – What we just learned
  • Chapter 5 – Organizing the documentation
    • 5.1 – User stories are not features
    • 5.2 – Separation of concerns
    • 5.3 – Documentation evolves
    • 5.4 – Documenting the domain
    • 5.5 – Tags are documentation too
    • 5.6 – Journey scenarios
    • 5.7 – Structuring the living documentation
    • 5.8 – Documenting shared features
    • 5.9 – Targeted documentation
    • 5.10 – What we just learned
  • Chapter 6 – Coping with legacy
    • 6.1 – BDD on legacy projects
    • 6.2 – Incremental documentation
    • 6.3 – Manual test scripts
    • 6.4 – Teams need skilled testers
    • 6.5 – What we just learned
  • What’s next
    • Where are we now?
    • What more is there?
    • How else we can help
  • Appendices
    • Gherkin reference
    • Anti-patterns
    • Formulated feature files
  • Index
  • Notes

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