Pickles Pro Blog .NET BDD from the trenches

Anatomy of a Gherkin

In this post I will show you around the Gherkin syntax that you will use to write .feature files. I will discuss the first few lines of a .feature file, and then dive into scenarios, the different kinds of steps, ways of including data, how to add comments and tags, what the Background part is for, what a Scenario Outline is and when to use it.

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Impressions from Agile Tour Vienna 2016

On Saturday 12 November, I presented a talk at the Agile Tour Vienna 2016 conference, and attended several sessions. Here’s my rundown of it.


When I arrived, I bumped into several colleagues from previous jobs, with brought up a lot of happy memories. Gojko Adzic walked up to me and we chatted for a few minutes.

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Advance your Craft

If you want to learn something properly and want to improve your own abilities, then you will need to study and practice. A craftsman doesn’t learn his craft in a single day, but goes through an apprenticeship and makes practice pieces. A musician learns how to play her instrument from a more experienced musician, and practices daily.

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Announcing the SpecFlow Course in Vienna in December

Earlier this year, I became an accredited SpecFlow Course Trainer, and I’m excited to announce that this december I will deliver the official “Developing with SpecFlow” course for the first time! To celebrate this happy occasion (and the upcoming xmas festivities) I’m offering a whopping 800 EUR rebate! That’s right, I’m slashing the price from 1750 EUR to 950 EUR. The catch is that there’s only a limited number of places available, so hurry and send your booking email to booking@picklespro.com.

SpecFlow course ad

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Announcing my Talk at Agile Tour Vienna 2016

I’m proud to say that I received confirmation that I will be one of the speakers at this year’s edition of the Agile Tour Vienna conference. The website only lists the keynote speakers so far, but I expect them to show the other speakers any day.

My talk will be titled “A voyage through BDD in the financial sector” and will be a case study of the Behaviour Driven Development work I did at my previous employer. We invested a lot of time in BDD and reaped many benefits. We also ran into problems and shortcomings.

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SpecFlow a Test Automation Tool It Is Not

In order to grow really proficient at SpecFlow and Behaviour Driven Development, you must unlearn what you have learned. When you first heard of BDD, you were likely seduced by visions of test automation. Voices are calling for you to specify all possible input permutations in a Feature file. Resist them you must. A test automation tool SpecFlow is not.

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Double Loop TDD

While presenting last week’s inaugural meetup of the Vienna BDD Meetup, a discussion came up on how Behaviour Driven Development (BDD) and Test-Driven Development relate to each other. One of the participants mentioned a buzzword: “Double Loop TDD”. I will talk about a bit about Double Loop TDD and how BDD uses it to great effect.


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Organizing Your Automation Layer

When you start to use SpecFlow on your project, it’s easy to extend the automation layer. It is easy to add binding methods to your binding classes, and SpecFlow offers some support for quickly creating skeletons of needed binding methods. This can quickly lead to a big pile of binding methods, which leads to duplication which leads to suffering. In this article, I give you some tips on how to organize your automation layer so that you avoid that pitfall.

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The inaugural meetup of Vienna BDD Meetup

I am very proud to announce the inaugural meetup of Vienna BDD Meetup, a Vienna-based group dedicated to Behaviour Driven Development. We will meet regularly to swap knowledge and ideas about BDD, and to build a community.

The first meetup will take place on Wednesday 14 September 2016 from 18:00 until 20:00. The location, food and drinks will be provided by TechTalk, one of our sponsors. The other sponsor is of course Pickles Pro, my very own company.

The program for the inaugural meetup is:

  • Get to know each other
  • Discuss the goal(s) of the group
  • Andreas Willich will do a short presentation about SpecFlow - Cucumber for .NET
  • I will do an even shorter presentation about Living Documentation and Pickles, the open source Living Documentation generator
  • Mingle, chat and enjoy food and drink

I’m very excited about meeting you all, talking to you about Living Documentation, and listening to your BDD stories. Sign up now for our meetup!

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A Pickles Task for FAKE

Pickles uses FAKE, a DSL for build tasks, to automate large parts of the build process. FAKE is really a quite accessible library for automating build scripts, and the fact that the build scripts are written in F# is rather charming (rather than a distraction).

FAKE naturally contains a lot of tasks, for example for copying files, compiling projects, creating NuGet packages. The other day I learned that FAKE also includes a task for Pickles! That’s right, you can generate your Living Documentation as a part of your FAKE build script!

The wonderful thing is that this happened without involvement from myself. This is the result of someone in the OSS community thinking “wouldn’t it be cool if Pickles and FAKE would work well together” and then going ahead and implementing it. This kind of recognition and contribution is one of the most sincere gifts that the community can make to an OSS project.

It totally made my day. It shows the strenght of a vibrant OSS community. Thank you!

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