When given a requirement ask the question, “How will I know I’ve done that?”

Many people think of Acceptance Test-Driven Development (ATDD) as an advanced practice. Others think that using Given When Then (GWT) from Behavior Driven Development (BDD) requires the use of tools. Neither of these are true however. The easiest way to start using ATDD and/or BDD is simply to ask the question “How will I know I’ve done that?” whenever you are given a requirement – even if the requirement appears to be obvious. The reason for this is that it is often the ‘obvious’ requirements that are most misunderstood.

Notice how this passes our “easy to do, easy to teach and highly valuable (at least at times)” criteria. It also starts you down the road of considering your behavior prior to implementation – and that’s a good thing.


  • If you like this, check out our book (several chapters online) Essential Skills for the Agile Developer at https://portal.netobjectives.com/rticles-public/40433-2/
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