First Time Right

Good software is not only error-free software, but more importantly software that does what the customer needs. This seems obvious, but in reality, it often turns out to be one of the biggest stumbling blocks. The customer assumes his question is obvious, the software developer thinks he understands what the customer wants, and when they find out that not everyone is on the same line, much time, money and good will have been lost.
Behaviour Driven Development (BDD), Specification by example (SBE), Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD), ... are all recent approaches that try to bridge the gap between the various parties by working together very closely from the start. Sometimes it’s called the '3 musketeers': business, development and testing work out the specifications together, each from their own expertise. These specifications are recorded in a clear language that is understood by all stakeholders, with many examples so that there is no room for misunderstanding. This means a more intensive start of a project, but because the rest of the development process is now based on correct and complete information, this is an investment that pays itself back rapidly.
The use of an unambiguous language with many examples has an additional advantage: it opens possibilities to make specifications defined in this way 'executable'. The captured specifications are translated into a script that can be executed as a test to check whether the final software works as expected. This way, the test phase runs more efficiently as well.
In Belgium, BDD is currently not sufficiently known in the business sector. In companies where attempts have been made to introduce it, it regularly fails. Often the focus is on the technical aspect, on using the specific tools, where too little attention is paid to the core: the quality of the specifications. Other companies have a hard time integrating BDD into their existing process.
This project aims to help companies to take a step towards this more customer-oriented approach. First of all, we want to make BDD better known to companies in Belgium. Secondly, we want to help companies that already have shown interest in BDD to integrate it into their existing development process.
We focus on startups on the one hand and on SMEs on the other. By delivering good quality software, meeting the expectations of their customers, startups will not only avoid losing a lot of money and credibility, but they will also build a relationship of trust with their customers from the start. For SMEs that are more experienced, it will be the challenge to adapt their current processes to this new way of creating specifications and making them executable.

TET First Time Right 18
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Centre of Expertise
  • Vlaamse Overheid - Agentschap Innoveren & Ondernemen (BE)