[rspec-devel] Rspec Brown Bag

Brian Takita brian.takita at gmail.com
Tue Nov 21 01:38:19 EST 2006

On 11/20/06, David Chelimsky <dchelimsky at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 11/20/06, Brian Takita <brian.takita at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Hello,
> >
> > I'm scheduled to give a rspec brown bag this Wednesday (11/22) for my
> > company (Pivotal Computer Systems, http://www.pivotalsf.com). I did see
> Dave
> > Astel's talk as well as several of my coworkers.
> > The developers at my workplace are experienced Agile developers.
> >
> > What would be some good things to focus on for this brown bag?
> > Are there slides to presentations that would be useful?
> > Any resistance/skepticism, and how to best address these concerns?
> >
> > I'm kindof nervous because there is some skepticism toward rspec and
> BDD.
> >
> > Mainly:
> >
> > Test::Unit already does that, so why do we need rspec?
> The whole context/specify thing makes you see "testing" in a different
> way. Sure, you can create multiple test cases to represent different
> contexts, but by naming them in text, they become easier to read and
> therefore easier to grok.

I like that. It goes into the intent of the code. It seems even more
important when pairs are switched frequently.

> It's not production ready. (Stack traces are too cluttered for
> RspecOnRails;
> > although this opinion was based on version 0.6)
> To some degree this seems true to me to me. While, with a few
> exceptions, the rspec core API is quite stable now, the rails plugin
> is quite volatile. For that reason, I think there is some risk to
> adopting the rails plugin right now. It really depends on your team
> and what the team values are. There is a lot to be gained from early
> adoption. You just have to have that mindset.

That makes sense. It seems like the best opportunity to use rspec on rails
would be in starting a new project.

> New people will be confused seeing rspec code (although this is solved by
> > more education, usage, encapsulation, etc.)
> > BDD is TDD using "should" instead of "assert"
> If all that you know of BDD is rspec, that's an easy misunderstanding
> to have. I'd give Dan North's blog a read to help understand the
> greater context. In the end it's about language and collaboration
> between technical people and non-technical people.

Yes, I just started reading his blog. I like his perspective on
communication with the client and his simple specification process in
his Introducing
BDD <http://dannorth.net/introducing-bdd> article.

Also, even as a granular, developer practice (absent the wider team
> piece), rspec offers clarity in the way you organize your specs (by
> context). It offers clarity in the expression of expectations
> (actual.should == expected vs assert_equal(:am_i_expected_or_actual,
> :am_i_actual_or_expected).
> > There are also a number of people who do see benefits to using rspec and
> are
> > excited by it, so I do have "allies". :)
> >
> > I'm particularly interested in showing:
> >
> > How BDD is really good TDD without sounding religious
> > How rspec encourages developers to create better "tests" than
> Focus on your own experience. Do you believe that BDD changes the
> conversation? Do you believe that you write better tests (if you MUST
> call them that)

I like specs and behaviour myself. :)

because rspec encourages you to do so? If so, then try
> to tap that. How are they better? Are you writing better code? Are
> your designs simpler? Are they easier to change later? Etc, etc. If
> the answer to these things is no, then you probably shouldn't be
> evangelizing it. That would be dishonest. Just tell people about it
> and what your experience is either way (the things you like, the
> things you don't). 2 cents.

These are all good that set the appropriate tone for the brown bag. Theres
alot to think about here. Thank you.

Also, my coworker, Benny Sadeh advised me to treat the Brown Bag as a
discussion and exploration of what can be learned from BDD and rspec. The
group will probably be fairly sizable (mid to high teens) but that should be

> Test::UnitThank you,
> > Brian Takita
> >
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> >
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