After attending CukeUp for the first time last year and seeing the early early early bird price for 2014 it was a no brainer to attend again this year and the added bonus after the purchase that it was extended to two days. The conference is at Skillsmatter and like most of their events it’s recorded and they put it on line darn quickly.

First of all what is CukeUp? It’s a conference for users of the Cucumber BDD tool. There are lot of other tools out there but what I like about Cucumber is the true separation of features and code. This means that you can happily write your feature files (Testing Scenarios if you like) along with your Stakeholders, testers and other team members without the techy code stuff getting in the way. I’ll follow this posting up with another one on how we’re currently using Cucumber at work.

All the session from Day one are up already on Skills Matter web site

As for the day it was split up in to two tracks of 30 minute sessions and 15 minute refreshment breaks in between which for any conference really does help the mind take in the information overload.

First off Aslak Hellesøy (The creator of Cucumber) started the day with everyone and Taking Cucumber to the next level. Another great session from Aslak on where we are today with Cucumber and what’s coming up. The main thing announced was Matt Wynne and Aslak have started Cucumber Ltd as a company behind it. They have a nice collaborative product called Cucumber Pro to help people write their feature files online collaboratively.

I then followed this up with Liz Keogh’s session 10 years of doing BDD all wrong. A very enlightening session of where BDD has come from over the last 10 years and Liz’s comical involvement in places. Some good thoughts from the session, and I will have to watch the video of it again to really take it all in.

I then went to Steve Freeman’s session –  “Given When Then” considered harmful an interesting view in getting the code to read better and make it simpler to follow. Some areas of it I didn’t like as it got to simplifed and the code became a bit hidden.

Lunch as always with Skillsmatters events is great a pot of pasta bolognaise with golden wonder crisps and their WRONG coloured packets!

After lunch Konstantin Kudryashov session on Moving away from Legacy code with BDD was a great way of looking at the three options you have with legacy code and that the first two don’t work. He then showed how you can use BDD to slowly rebuild parts of your application as you go.

Seb Rose then followed with Let me tell you story, a session on how Agile User Stories shouldn’t really map back to the Feature files. As an agile user story may cut across multiple features. The end thought really was that one agile user story may generate multiple feature files to fulfil the requirements of the user story.

Nat Pryce tried to contradict Seb with The (Untapped) Power of User Stories and this didn’t really happy which Nat admitted to really. It was more about how a feature file should contain enough information for people to care. Just like a normal story where you have the start, middle and end.

The last session of the day I attended was Shashikant Jagtap with Headless BDD & Responsive Test Automation I already know a bit about this and was hoping to learn something sadly there was no mic in the room and he was very softly spoken. Also the demo didn’t work and he didn’t know why (He was trying to test BBC and GOOGLE websites without an internet connection 🙂 )

Overall it was a great day and now it’s time to start Day two of workshops I’ve changed my mind a few times on what I’m going to do but rather then go fully techy I’m going to go soft skills with BDD with Cynefin in the afternoon and in the Morning Cucmber-JVM.


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