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Submitted Conference Content

Full name

George Dinwiddie

Job Software Development Coach and Consultant
email gdinwiddie [at] idiacomputing [dot] com
Skypeid gdinwiddie
Phone number 410-978-7948
Company iDIA Computing, LLC
City (Country) USA
Time 45'
Type of Conference Conference > 100 attendees
Level Everybody

A Poet's Guide to Acceptance Testing


George Dinwiddie helps organizations develop software more effectively. He brings thirty-five years of development experience from electronic hardware and embedded firmware to business information technology. He helps organizations, managers, and teams solve the problems they face by providing consulting, coaching, mentoring and training at the organizational, process, team, interpersonal, and technical levels. Involved in the Agile community since 2000, he has helped groups ranging from 8 developers to a Fortune 100 company and a billion dollar federal program. He is a frequent presenter at conferences such as the Agile Conference, Agile Development Practices, Agile Testing Days and numerous regional and focused conferences, and has been published in print and on-line magazines.


When first starting out with automated acceptance tests, people are often happy just to get them to run correctly. Soon, however, they start finding they have to rewrite their old scenarios when new features are added. Or they disable some scenarios "for now" so they can continue to make progress. Newcomers need explanations to understand the tests. So do the business analysts. It even takes you awhile to figure out some of the older tests. Then, one day, the VP stops by, asking about them... The crucial aspect of test automation is creating clear and expressive descriptions of the system being built. It’s easy to write tests that a computer can understand. But can you write tests that people, even non-technical people, can understand? Will it be obvious whether or not the test is correct? This is not a matter of dumbing things down. Highlight the concepts. Express just the right details. There is a synergy between the expressiveness of tests and the maintainability. Achieving clarity in natural language is essential for their long-term viability. Come get some hints on expressing your tests clearly and succinctly.


Basic familiarity with Acceptance Tests, Behavior Descriptions, or Specification by Example

Benefits for the attendees

How to develop automated tests that communicate better by - Noticing the effect of word choice - Selecting words for clarity and descriptiveness - Describing the assumed context



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