Reduce the Ongoing Maintenance Cost of Your BDD Test Code

Chris Colosimo

By Chris Colosimo

March 10, 2020

3  min read

Behavior-driven development (BDD) represents an Agile software development operation that encourages collaboration among software developers. BDD also goes together with TDD (test-driven development). This post covers how Parasoft tools can help reduce the cost of BDD tests.

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Behavior-driven development (BDD) is a great way to foster collaboration across the product team, between business analysts, developers, and testers. BDD evolved from TDD (test-driven development); it seeks to create a ubiquitous language to foster communication between technical and non-technical stakeholders and strives to define desired behavior from applications when writing requirements. BDD is not about testing; it’s more about describing common behavior across the application, but testing is critical to ensure the correct behavior is delivered.

Since BDD is focused on communication and collaboration, this is an opportunity for the software tester to work closely with the developers to ask questions, propose testing scenarios, and help the team do the right things to make feature testing easier. Test cases should be meaningful and clear, with scenarios aimed at the abstracted business intention. This contributes to the team’s success, particularly in the long-term. However, there are hidden costs associated with having dedicated resources to create and maintain the underlying test code.

Better BDD

You can improve efficiency and reduce the costs of your BDD implementation by using automated testing tools. This blog will highlight three key efficiency gains you can achieve by adding better Selenium testing to your existing BDD practice. Those efficiency gains are:

  • Increased visibility into the “black box” of BDD test failures
  • Reduced time spent maintaining/repairing/fixing broken glue and test code
  • Accelerated BDD script creation through reuse of Selenium code from recorded actions

Increased Visibility Into the “Black Box” of BDD Test Failures

It is often time-consuming to execute and maintain UI tests, so the more visibility you have for debugging and diagnosing failing tests can improve overall test performance. You can easily add critical debugging information to your Cucumber-driven UI test automation. With a one-line change to your existing execution script, you can automate the monitoring of the execution of your BDD tests as part of the CI/CD pipeline and, if a test fails, apply AI heuristics to determine if the failure is due to a real regression in the application, or if it’s just a broken test. If tests fail, you receive actionable feedback to quickly diagnose the root cause.

In this video, see an example of how to monitor Selenium/Cucumber test execution that provides insight into the root cause of test failures.

Reduced Time Spent Maintaining/Repairing/Fixing Broken Glue & Test Code

The top UI testing challenge reported by a Parasoft customer survey is with building tests that are maintainable over time. Adding in your BDD test automation helps to identify failing element locators and insufficient wait conditions. AI heuristics diagnose test failures and provide recommendations on how to fix the tests. To take that one step further, this solution can even automatically heal tests at runtime to reduce the maintenance and complexity associated with the underlying Selenium test code. In addition to HTML reporting, recommendations can be imported into the IDE, where you can jump to the underlying glue code and update the test with a single click to ensure it doesn’t fail again in the future.

In this video, see how to identify failing test scripts and obtain AI-powered recommendations on how to fix them.

Accelerated BDD Script Creation Through Reuse of Selenium Code From Recorded Actions

The BDD approach allows non-technical testers to get involved in the test automation. Record and playback functions work great to get you started on your test automation efforts, and creating new Selenium test code for your BDD Cucumber feature files is easy with this feature. By leveraging the built-in web UI recorder, users can create pure Selenium test code snippets that are built using the page object model. You can use the code in your underlying glue code connected to your BDD feature files by pulling out the relevant code snippets and pasting them into your step definition files.

In this video, we demonstrate how to create new scenarios for your feature files and add the appropriate Selenium test code for automation:


Once an organization has made the decision to adopt behavior-driven development, the efficiency gains become clear to see. By uniting managers, developers, and testers into a common language, it becomes much easier to write actionable requirements and to ensure the customer is getting exactly what they need. Parasoft Selenic reduces the maintenance costs associated with adopting BDD and provides a jumpstart on creating the underlying test automation and optimizing your BDD testing strategy.

Streamline Selenium testing with Parasoft Selenic.
Chris Colosimo

By Chris Colosimo

A Product Manager at Parasoft, Chris strategizes product development of Parasoft’s functional testing solutions. His expertise in SDLC acceleration through automation has taken him to major enterprise deployments, such as Capital One and CareFirst.

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