[rspec-users] Is BDD with RSpec cheaper?

Lori M Olson loriolson at mac.com
Mon Jul 7 15:34:02 EDT 2008

On 7-Jul-08, at 12:25 PM, yitzhakbg 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?
> -- 
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This is a TCO issue.  IT WILL slow down initial development on a  
small, well defined app, and there is no way around that.  But over  
the life of a medium-to-large application, BDD will greatly reduce  
maintenance and enhancement costs.

So, if you are a contracting firm, paid to build sites, but not to  
maintain them, that might be a point you want to consider.  But if I  
was your customer, I wouldn't likely be coming back to you.  If you  
are hired to build and maintain an application, I really can't see a  
downside to writing the tests.



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