Bryan Helmkamp, who maintains the handy little library webrat, did a talk recently at GoRuCo 2008 which explains his experiences using RSpec plain-text stories to build ruby-on-rails applications in a manner he calls ‘Story Driven Development’:
Before code is written, the team produces executable scenarios for a user story.
The talk is very much grounded on the assumption that you’re working within the rails framework, but it clearly illustrates that driving your application through automated acceptance tests that can easily be understood by your customer / product owner / business analyst / stakeholder (delete as applicable in your world) and easily maintained by you is very possible with this technology. Even if you’re working in another framework, it should give you plenty of ideas about how you’re approaching your delivery of user stories.
Personally I think we may end up calling this ‘Scenario Driven Development’ – a phrase I first heard Jason Gorman use – as it seems to me that it’s the scenarios that you build within a story that really help you to shape the software.
Find the slides here.
And watch the talk itself here.