Ayyanar Aswathaman wrote:
In the traditional development method like waterfal approach, we create
the requirement and design document. The code will be done after
requirement and design. Unit test will be written to test the existing
If at all!
I understand that rspecs will act as the requirement and design document
in BDD. We can also write test case using rpsec.
I believe, we can create the plain text stories in rspec first. After
coding we can write the test case for the expected behaviour. How
the text stories and test cases are connected? How we will make sure
all the expected behaviours in the text stories are met?
You are asking how "Agile" development works. Unfortunately, if you google for that, you will find a lot of noise, enthusiastic discussion, and advocacy. Agile is so popular that it's hard to get the idea what Agile "is" these days!
At my day job, we have two or three "pair stations". That's a workstation with two monitors, two keyboards, two mice, and two chairs. We do our important work - typically cutting new code - in pairs. Whoever thinks of something to type describes it to the other, and they type it in.
We alternate between writing tests and writing code, in very small cycles. We do this:
That means if you think of a new line of code to write, you first write a test case that fails because it's not there. Only when the test case is failing for the correct reason do you write a little code to pass the test.
To help us rapidly determine if a case is failing for the correct reason, I invented a new kind of assertion:
Our tests also cover details in Views, so we use XPath to validate our XHTML, and to find details in it:
(Get that one with 'gem install assert_xpath'.)
Both work with RSpec.
When we edit, we hit one button in our editor (F5), and it saves all our code. Then we have a script that detects any changes, and runs every test suite that has been changed since the last integration. This means we can test very frequently, after each edit. We predict, out loud, what the test run will do. If it fails unexpectedly, we have the option to Undo, or even 'svn revert', to get back to passing tests.
Undoing is much /much/ MUCH more productive than debugging!
As soon as we have improved our code, in any way, we integrate. That means we check out all changes, pass all our tests, and only 'svn checkin' if all the tests pass. These practices rigorously keep bugs out of our codebase.
We also deploy our code to live servers each time we add a new feature.
We have no "text stories" - only test cases. Our "onsite customer" keeps text lists of features by name, but they are only detailed enough for him.
Our managers have a weekly meeting where they ask our onsite customer for more features. These features are usually always tiny increments over our current code state. If we added a new page last month, for example, our workers might report they need a simplification on it, or more data in a corner, or something. Their manager petitions our manager, who writes the name of the feature on a card, then (within a week) tells us to do it.
A simple feature like a new button should take only a few hours, with our combination of Rails, clean code, and Test Driven Development. The workers will get the new feature that day.
We can absorb feature requests in any order, without scrambling our code, because we always take time after each feature requests to refactor the code. That means improve its design in tiny steps, while passing all tests between each step. To improve the design, we find code that is similar, and try to make it look exactly the same. Pass all tests. When it looks the same, we can delete one copy of the code, and then call into it from another call site. This process makes the code "DRY" - Don't Repeat Yourself.
The tests then thoroughly document what our code does. To answer a question about behavior, we read all the names of the tests, and their contents. We try to make each case as "literate" as possible.
We can also analyze behavior by putting a 'raise "yo"' inside a suspect method. Then we run all the tests. The ones that fail will document that method!
These practices reduce bugs, and make our projects very easy for managers to steer.