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  • Writer's pictureSunil Kumar

Gherkin Language: Inside and Out

Gherkin Language

Hello There! At Regressionly, we heavily use Gherkin Language for creating our test cases, which acts as the foundation of our test case suite. Today, I want to dive into what Gherkin is all about in detail. Gherkin language is actually a simple, yet super useful tool, especially in Behavior Driven Development (BDD). Let's explore its simplicity and utility in our BDD processes!

What is Gherkin Language?

Picture this: you're working on a software project, and you've got a bunch of people from different backgrounds (like Business Managers, Developers, QA, Consultants) trying to understand each other. Sounds like a recipe for confusion, doesn't it? That's where Gherkin comes in. It's a set of grammar rules and keywords that helps describe the behavior of software in plain English (or other languages). This way, everyone, whether they're tech-savvy or not, can get what the software is supposed to do.

The Basics

A Gherkin document starts with a feature - that's just a fancy way of saying what the software feature is all about. Then, you've got scenarios under that. Each scenario is like a real-life example of how the software should behave. These scenarios are made up of steps, and these steps use keywords like Given, When, Then, And, But.

  • Given is for setting the scene.

  • When is about the actions or events.

  • Then tells you what outcome to expect.

  • And/But are for adding extra bits to the Given, When, or Then steps.

Gherkin Example

Imagine we're working on a login system. In Gherkin, it could look something like this:

Feature: User login

  Scenario: Successful login with valid credentials
    Given a user has navigated to the login page
    When the user enters valid username and password
    Then the user should be directed to the dashboard

See how straightforward that is? Anyone can get what's going on here.

Writing Scenarios in Gherkin

When you're putting together scenarios in Gherkin, remember to keep it simple and avoid all that technical mumbo jumbo. Focus on what the software is supposed to do, not how it's supposed to do it. It should be a story that anyone can follow.

Some Tips

  1. Keep it Simple: Stick to plain language.

  2. Be Specific: Talk about particular situations.

  3. Skip the Details: Leave out the nitty-gritty tech stuff.

  4. Examples are Key: They really help clarify things.

  5. Teamwork: Get everyone involved in writing these scenarios.

Gherkin in Automation Testing

Gherkin isn't just for show. It's a big part of how we work. Tools like Cucumber or SpecFlow take these Gherkin scenarios and use them for automated testing. This way, as developers write code, they can check it against these tests to make sure everything's working as expected. It's a real game-changer.

The Big Picture

Adopting Gherkin can really change the way you work. It leads to better understanding, clearer communication, and a smoother workflow. It ensures that the software we build is just what the users need.

Watch Out for These

Too Much Detail: Focus on the "what," not the "how."

Vague Terms: Be clear and specific.

Long-Winded Scenarios: Keep them short and sweet.

Wrapping Up

Gherkin language is a gem in the BDD process. It narrows down the gap between the techy and the non-techy folks, making sure everyone's on the same page. By embracing Gherkin, we can improve our communication, streamline our workflow, and ensure our software hits the mark.

Regressionly uses Gherkin heavily for writing test cases for all of our client's projects simply because it acts a great way for communcation, reporting and understanding for everyone in onsite and offshore teams.

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