Behavior Driven Development (BDD) Testing: What It Is and How It Works

The digital world wouldn’t be complete without the presence of software. Despite the rapid decline in software development in an enterprise setting due to the pandemic, businesses, offices, and individuals alike continue to use and demand one for progressive technological tasks.

To become an ally in one’s digital needs, software must comply with many factors. If not, it becomes an unnecessary expense for the organization of the software development team. It is crucial to adapt processes that capture users’ behaviors. 

This is where the essence of behavior-driven development testing comes in.

What is BDD Testing?

Behavior-driven development testing, or BDD testing, is a practice that stems from test-driven development. It emphasizes the need to develop features on how the software behaves by basing it on the user story.

Writing code for BDD testing must be a solution to user or business-focused problems. This perspective allows vital players, such as software developers, testers, and product owners, to capture information and maintain documentation.

This by-product will then be utilized as team members, testers, product owners, and software developers create the software. 

Once every key player has become proficient in capturing and analyzing organizational and user-based conversations, using tools to help with acceptance testing becomes a breeze.

Keeping an open conversation with critical players makes behavior-driven development testing a success. This openness allows everyone to determine which behaviors will affect the software.

Furthermore, keeping an open-ended conversation aids critical players in identifying what features to add and how to provide long-term solutions.

Because of this open nature, team collaboration and functional workflows are essential. User stories must be communicated to the organization before it is understood from different perspectives. 

This is the very essence of successfully integrating behavior-driven development testing.

How Does BDD Testing Work?

A common misconception about BDD testing is that it’s the same as automation testing. It’s not. 

BDD tests are created using the Gherkin language or the “given, when, then” language. This is how it works:

  • Given (some context)
  • When (something happens)
  • Then (outcome)

You can apply this framework in this scenario.

  • Given (a user signs up to avail of a free resource)
  • When (submission of email address and essential details)
  • Then (a user is redirected to a page where he can download resources)

To elaborate further, this works by answering the “why” behind the test code. 

For example, a client expresses feedback regarding an existing software. This feedback is then communicated to vital players.

From there, the software developers use a variety of programming languages during the development process. This stage aims to provide solutions or answer the feedback of a user. 

Finally, unit testing will be conducted. This final stage may not only involve one unit test. Several unit tests may be performed.

How to Write Behavior Driven Development Scenarios

A successful BDD framework can only be created with a well-documented scenario. To do this, you must use a practical approach. 

This approach is the process of discovery. Capturing information through the discovery process will benefit key teams and users in the long run.

Here’s a quick thought process on how to write scenarios for an integrated development process.

  • Ask your team about areas where documentation is lacking. You can also look into aspects where documentation is unreliable.
  • Always integrate user stories, acceptance tests, and test data into your documentation. This will be used as the foundation for your business-driven development scenarios. Aside from being the basis of the correct automation code, it will also create executable specifications.
  • Assess the running system; this is your single source of truth. If it does not comply with behavioral inquiries, it’s better to change them. Don’t forget to capture this change.
  • You can also take note of the “BRIEF” acronym. B stands for business language (not technical language), R for real data (concrete illustrative data), I for intention revealing (what the code is for), E for essential (necessary details), and F for focused (focus on solving a single problem at a time).
  • Forget the automation testing. Right now, your focus must lie on understanding what the problem is, how you can solve the problem, and whether or not it will get in the way of automation. Creating scenarios must be based on intention.
  • Scenarios are not manual tests to be converted to automated tests. Doing so ends up with incomprehensible automation codes.


Behavior-driven development is not a technical concern. It is a collaborative effort that stems from users’ experiences and business visions. Shared understanding is crucial in creating scenarios that will shape how the software behaves.

For a BDD testing framework to succeed, everyone must play their part. Although it entails technical processes, creating scenarios must be developed with everyone’s input. It goes beyond tools, automation processes, and programming languages.