Whether you’re new to BDD, ATDD, the cucumber automation framework, WATiR and Webdriver world or even if you’re a veteran, welcome!

In the coming weeks, the Software Quality Assurance & Testing team will be featuring a series of articles covering numerous topics and offering up insights and expertise learned over the years, including:

  • Technical posts dealing with WATiR, watir-webdriver and the cucumber automation framework
  • Process discussions about BDD and ATDD
  • Numerous tips and discussions about Gherkin scripting
  • Bridging the gap between the automated world of watir-webDriver and BDD/ATDD


Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) and Acceptance Test-Driven Development (ATDD) are our passions. Unfortunately for testers, however, there aren’t a lot of resources on the Web to help you understand what these are or even how to implement them.

This series will go beyond definitions to help you understand the nuances of BDD/ATDD:

  • Can your tests be more effective if you implement BDD?
  • Which Agile Testing tools can make your BDD implementation more effective and efficient?
  • Do you need to automate 100 percent of your test scripts and get rid of all your manual testers?

Of course not, and we’ll explain why that approach is a really, really bad idea.

Ever built a BDD cucumber automation framework? Would you like to learn how? Once you gain a solid understanding of BDD and ATDD, we’ll walk you through creating your first Cucumber-automated framework from the ground up.

Where can you put your User Stories and Acceptance Criteria? We’ll show you, along with creating Feature files, creating Scenarios (test cases), writing test scripts in the Gherkin scripting format, creating step definitions so the Gherkin Script steps can be quickly created and automated and more.

WATiR and Watir-webdriver

Building a framework is fun and learning to write good Gherkin scripts is always enjoyable, but it’s not until we begin testing with WATiR and watir-webdriver that the cucumber automation framework “comes alive.” This part to the series we’ll walk you through driving a browser with watir-webdriver, interacting with elements on the page (entering text, clicking buttons, selecting checkboxes, etc.) and unleashing the power of BDD in a fun and interactive way.

Writing an Agile Testing script in the Gherkin format may seem easy, and at a basic level it is. But writing a good test script is not easy, and we’ll provide a series of Gherkin scripting tips which we’ve learned over the years:

  • Should your script be in a BDD format written in the language of the business?
  • Should your script be at the click-by-click level with every detail called out?
  • Can you easily answer the question of what you are testing?

We answer these questions and many more challenges facing manual testers making the conversion to BDD.

Finally, we’ll cover the topic of Exploratory testing in the automated world. Yes, the two can live together! In fact, we’ll show how having a balanced Agile Testing approach utilizing exploratory testing and watir-webdriver can significantly improve your Agile testing efforts.

We hope you enjoy the series as much as we’re enjoying writing them.

Read our first post: A BDD Tool for your Agile Testing Tool Belt

About the Authors

Joseph Ours is the National Service Offering Lead for Software Testing & Quality Assurance Services and a senior manager with Centric Consulting. He has nearly two decades of career experience in Information Technology and Certified Project Management consulting. Joseph offers expertise as a leader in business processes with a successful record of providing project and portfolio management of large technology initiatives. When not busy with family events, he is chairs the Columbus Advisory Council for Per Scholas, which aims to break the cycle of poverty by providing technology education, access, training and job placement services for people in underserved communities.


Matthew Eakin is the National Automation Architect (Ruby/Cucumber) with Centric’s Software Quality Assurance & Testing Practice. With over 20 years of technical, leadership and planning experience, his experience in all aspects of the SDLC, combined with development skills, has helped Matthew to be an effective Agile testing practitioner and coach. He talks extensively on Gherkin Scripting and is in high-demand as a BDD (Behavior Driven Development) and ATDD (Acceptance Test Driven Development) coach, and his workshops (Agile Testing, Gherkin Scripting, and A Manual Testers Guide to the Ruby/Cucumber Framework) have been so successful that Matthew has led the series nationally and teaches customized variations of the program at client sites.