[rspec-users] Rspec book review...

Chris Sund chris at silhouettesolutions.net
Thu Jul 23 17:58:07 EDT 2009

Hey everyone,

I just thought I would provide some feedback on my experience with the
rspec book - I "just" finished it.

 I'll explain my background a little bit so you can see how I was
influenced and how well I feel I absorbed the information. My
background is in desktop application development using Visual Foxpro.
I decided about 6 months "or more" ago I wanted to abandon Visual
Foxpro and start web application development. In my case I have had
"no" experience with TDD or BDD or any type of Test Unit procedures.
As I started down this road I bought just about every Rails book I
could find, and read most of them. Each book kept re-iterating the
fact I needed to write tests. Due to the fact I was new to the Ruby
language I put it off for a while (learning ruby alone seemed like
enough to bite off at the point) and like I said, BDD or TDD was never
a part of my development process in the past.  I finally took the
plunge and Ben Mabey suggested I read the Rspec book to get started.
Now that I finished the book I have to say it was excellent. Although
I don't feel competent to self generate the proper syntaxing in my
spec files, I do understand how they work, and how to implement them.
In addition to the spec files I think I finally understand how to use
this with Cucumber. I feel fortunate that I started down this path
using rspec and cucumber rather than the built in rails test unit and
fixture stuff. I feel the book helped get me started down the right
path and it was definitely well written. For a noob like me, I think
it was an excellent place to start, and it took me from zero knowledge
to a firm knowledge of the process. My only problem now and probably
for the next year is remembering how to implement the proper syntax
for something or where to find it on the web.

In regard to things I "wish" had been covered more - I only wish one
other item was covered a little more in depth. The use of Test Data
builders like Fixjour, Factory Girl, or Object Daddy in conjunction
with Rspec would have been a nice chapter. I'm sure once I want to do
this in my app I will figure out how these tools work.

In any case, the book was great, I want to thank everyone that wrote
it, and a special thanks to Ben Mabey for pointing me to the book. Now
if everyone can deal with all of the questions I'm going to have in
regard to proper syntaxing I will be twice as thankful!


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