[rspec-users] Is BDD with RSpec cheaper?

Avdi Grimm avdi at avdi.org
Mon Jul 7 15:32:21 EDT 2008

On Mon, Jul 7, 2008 at 2:25 PM, yitzhakbg <yitzhakbg at gmail.com> wrote:
> This might be a loaded question on this forum, but here goes:
> Just had a discussion with a prospective employer, a Ruby On Rails shop. His
> reaction to BDD development on every project was skeptical, saying something
> like: "It depends on the project". "Some jobs are so short that the extra
> time invested in developing tests doesn't justify the cost".
> He was insistent that writing tests costs more. After all, you write twice:
> first the tests, then the code (or the other way 'round).
> My question is: From hard, practical, cold real world experience, is that
> so? Is BDD development more expensive? Let me qualify that. One could
> answer, "no, since the tests save you pain and heartache down the line". The
> question is whether BDD coding with RSpec is more expensive in the
> implementation phase and how much truth there is in the statement that BDD
> isn't for every project, like quick knock ups for example?

I'd say the cutoff-point for me is at around 100 lines of code.  I've
successfully developed little one-off scripts - either utilities or
throw-away experimental spikes - of that length or less using only
manual testing, which may have taken a little longer had I developed
them test-first.  I don't think something of this size really
qualifies as a "project" though.

With anything larger than 100 lines I know from experience that I'd
just  be slowing the project down if I failed to use TDD/BDD.


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