John Ferguson Smart

John's latest articles

Embedding Custom Data in Serenity Reports

Posted by John Ferguson Smart

Executable specification written in Gherkin are a great way both to document an application’s behaviour, and to demonstrate that it works. QA folk can use the generated living documentation to verify both that the feature does what the business expects of it, and that the feature actually works. Because of this, BDD living documentation plays…

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Can you use BDD for legacy applications? Sure you can!

Posted by John Ferguson Smart

A few folk have been asking me about how BDD works with legacy applications. So here are my thoughts. BDD is a collaboration process that involves multiple team members working together with BAs, business or product owners to discover and refine requirements using structured conversations about examples of user and system behaviour. It is an…

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BDD has crossed the chasm

Posted by John Ferguson Smart

In the latest InfoQ Engineering Culture and Methods Report, for the first time, the essential agile practices of Behaviour Driven Development (BDD), Craftsmanship and Coaching/Mentoring appear in the Early Majority category. It is not to soon. High performing organisations and teams have long realised that Scrum alone is not enough. One survey actually found that…

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Running parallel tests in Cucumber with Serenity BDD

Posted by John Ferguson Smart

Running parallel tests in Cucumber with Serenity BDD has always been tricky. Until now. People often ask me how to run their Cucumber/Serenity BDD test suites faster. Fast feedback is key to a smooth build pipeline and to an effective test suite. A quick-running test suite means we can know when something goes wrong, and…

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Running individual scenarios in JBehave or Cucumber with Serenity BDD

Posted by John Ferguson Smart

When we are working with BDD test automation tools such as Cucumber and JBehave, it often comes in handy to run an individual scenario in isolation. In this article, we look at how to do this using Serenity BDD. JBehave In JBehave, you need to use tags to identify the scenario you want to run….

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Sharing state between steps in Serenity BDD

Posted by John Ferguson Smart

Whether you are using Cucumber, JBehave or just JUnit, Serenity BDD encourages a layered, structured approach to automation. The reason for this is simply that it makes the tests easier to understand and maintain, and faster to write in the medium term. But people often wonder what is the best approach to share information between…

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Beyond Page Objects: liberate yourself from the chains of UI-think!

Posted by John Ferguson Smart

So you have Page Objects in your test automation suite? That’s great! But it’s not enough! Page Objects are a great start, but you need to go further if you want truly sustainable, high quality test automation. The Page Objects origin story Page Objects are a popular automated web testing pattern first implemented for Selenium by Simon…

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Don’t let automation sabotage your BDD adoption

Posted by John Ferguson Smart

Test Automation can be a powerful aid for teams adopting Behaviour Driven Development. But do it too early, or in the wrong way, and your efforts can have the opposite effect. We all want to deliver great products. We all want to delight our customers. But sometimes, reality gets in the way, and delivering features…

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The Three “A”s, building blocks for a great test suite

Posted by John Ferguson Smart

Writing high quality automated tests is not easy, especially for manual testers who are relatively new to automation. There is a learning curve. But the cost of not writing high quality test code, both in terms of maintenance and time wasted on unreliable or hard-to-update tests, is unsustainable for any but the smallest project. This…

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A short guide on how to configure ChromeDriver in Serenity BDD

Posted by John Ferguson Smart

Serenity BDD is an open source library that makes it easier to write high quality, maintainable automated acceptance tests. Serenity BDD has strong WebDriver integration, and manages the WebDriver instances for you. You almost never need to create or close your own WebDriver instance. Chrome gives WebDriver developers a great deal of control, with many…

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User-centric and task-driven: a better way to automate

Posted by John Ferguson Smart

Too often, our acceptance tests end up as sequences of “click”s and “select”s running against a web application. This makes our tests hard to understand and hard to maintain. User-centric, task-driven test automation shows us a better way. When we learn something new, it is easy to get stuck in a low-level, details-focused way of…

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Multi-browser and multi-environment testing in Serenity BDD

Posted by John Ferguson Smart

Sometimes we might want to run the same test in different environments, or on different browsers, and still see each test run appear in the reports. The latest version of Serenity BDD allows you to implement multi-browser and multi-environment testing using the notion of contexts. A context is a way of running the same test several…

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Running Serenity BDD tests with Tags

Posted by John Ferguson Smart

Tags are a powerful feature of Serenity, making it much easier to read, understand and navigate through the test reports. But tags also allow you to be more selective about what tests you run. This article shows you how. There are many times when it comes in handy to run just a subset of our…

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