Specification by Example

published Jun 6, 2011, ISBN 978-1617290084

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Specification by Example is the winner of the 2012 Jolt Award for the best book.

This book presents case studies (of over 50 projects) of how successful Lean and Agile teams design, develop, test and deliver software efficiently.

Specification By Example is a must read for anyone serious about delivering software that matters. It is the result of a research on how teams all over the world specify, develop, test and deliver the right software, without defects, in very short iterative delivery cycles.

With case studies and real examples, this book helps you understand how successful teams implement specification by example, agile acceptance testing and behaviour driven development to bridge the communication gap between stakeholders and implementation teams, build quality into software from the start, design, develop and deliver systems fit for purpose.

It presents the collective knowledge of about fifty projects, ranging from high-traffic web sites to internal back-office systems, implemented by teams as diverse as small start-ups to groups spread across different continents, working in a range of processes including Extreme Programming, Scrum, Kanban and similar processes often bundled together under the names Agile and Lean.

This book is for testers, business analysts, developers and project managers working on Agile and Lean projects or teams moving to an Agile development method, that want to improve quality, reduce rework and collaborate better with business users.


Specification by Example is the closest I’ve seen to a “BDD book” (as a treatment of methodology) Dan North

Standard Reference on Specification by Example and A-TDD Bas Vodde

This book is a long overdue addition to the Agile Canon Seb Rose

The power of this book comes from a sometimes subtle and sometimes overt imperative for developers and users to trust one another, to work in concert in overlapping ways, and to leverage specifications as living documents in this process. That, by itself, makes this book highly recommended. Roland Racko for the Jolt Award Review

Something I particularly appreciated about this book was the use of real-life case studies and the emphasis on working within the appropriate context for a project. Richard J. Foster for StickyMinds

As an agile practitioner I recognize and use many of the practices described in Spec by Example, but after reading it I was impressed with Gojko’s ability to pull it all together in a coherent whole. This is an eminently practical book! Tim Born

I love this book. This is testing done right. Craig Smith

I took away a huge amount from this book. It was especially well timed as we embark on a more “specification by example” approach to cover some of our automation here. It’s good to have some examples of approaches for legacy products to refer to when we try it. Rob Lambert

Highly recommend to anyone involved in software creation (developers, testers, product owners, product managers, …). Richard Paul

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For more in-depth insights, check out my books. I wrote seven so far. Some of them even won awards!

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