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The Three Amigos Kata

April 8th 2024

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What is the most important part of Behaviour-Driven Development (BDD)? Is it the tools, the step definitions that make our specifications execute, or the integration with continuous delivery practices? You guessed it, it is none of those…

As people involved in creating the BDD practice point out1, communication to bridge the gap between product discovery, development, and testing is the most important part. Having people discuss concrete examples of how the system should work helps reduce the misunderstandings that tend to happen in handovers.

This is often done in a meeting referred to as the "Meeting of the Three Amigos." Of course, there may be more than three people involved and each of them has a unique perspective, so the "three" in the name should not be taken literally2. What do people do in such a meeting? One practice that is popular is Example Mapping, which helps to turn what might otherwise be lengthy debates into relatively short, focused meetings with a tangible output.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that teams all too often have problems implementing this practice and making it a routine feature of their agile practices. Katas3 are a popular means for embedding practices in software engineering practice. However, while there are many coding-oriented Katas out there, I could only find one BDD Kata and this starts with a backlog of user stories that I do not find particularly satisfying.

Consequently, I am setting out to develop a brand new Kata that starts with what I hope is a plausible outcome of user research. The aim is to provide enough understanding of user needs to allow for a vibrant and realistic discussion. I will come back to link to it once it is ready to be published, hopefully some days before the event.

  1. for example: Nagy, Gáspár; Rose, Seb. Discovery: Explore behaviour using examples (BDD Books Book 1); Rose, Seb; Wynne, Matt; Hellesoy, Aslak. The Cucumber for Java Book: Behaviour-Driven Development for Testers and Developers. Pragmatic Bookshelf. 

  2. I do wonder if the name was meant to invoke the movie by the same title? 

  3. A Kata is a detailed choreographed pattern of movements. Katas originate in martial arts.