Automated Acceptance Tests as Software Requirements: An Experiment to Compare the Applicability of Fit Tables and Gherkin Language [chapter]

Ernani César dos Santos, Patrícia Vilain
2018 Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing  
It is estimated that 85% of the defects in the developed software are originated from ambiguous, incomplete and wishful thinking software requirements. Natural language is often used to write software requirements specifications as well as user requirements. However, natural language specifications can be confusing and hard to understand. Some agile methodologists consider that acceptance tests are more precise and accurate sources of information about the customer's needs than descriptions in
more » ... atural language. Several studies have addressed the use of acceptance tests as software requirements specification. Therefore, none of the previous studies has performed experiments to compare the applicability of different acceptance testing techniques in order to support an organization in the selection of one technique over another. This paper addresses this problem reporting an experiment conducted with undergraduate students in Computer Science. This experiment compares the applicability of two acceptance testing techniques (Fit tables and Gherkin language) as software requirements specification. This research tries to answer three questions: (a) Which technique is the easiest to learn in order to specify acceptance test scenarios? (b) Which technique requires less effort to specify acceptance tests? (c) Which technique is the best one to communicate software requirements? The results show that there is no sufficient evidence to affirm that one technique is easier to specify test scenarios or better to communicate software requirements. Whereas, the comparison of effort in terms of time to specify acceptance testing shows that the mean time to specify test scenarios using Gherkin language is lower than Fit tables.
doi:10.1007/978-3-319-91602-6_7 fatcat:erh3d453wrcbvcrxbwq6qdxfbu