Five Quick Ideas to Improve your Executable Specifications

30-minute Talk

Fast paced delivery with safety means the need for reliable, informative and maintainable tests, which is not easy to achieve, learn 5 powerful ideas to write better automated tests.


4:55 p.m. – 5:25 p.m. Tuesday 5th


Room F2 - Track 2: Talks


Anyone involved in generating, writing, automating, maintaining, or needing to read tests.


  • Why an Executable Specification is more than just a test
  • Avoiding the most common problems
  • How to balance re-use and readability in your automation
  • How to write cleaner, more readable tests
  • How to collaborate more effectively to illustrate examples

Quick yet powerful ideas to turbo charge your automated acceptance tests and change the way you think about tests, specifications and documentation.

Successful Agile Testing has demanded that teams adopt new techniques for efficiently and effectively specifying and testing new features. Getting this right in a cross-functional team requires many changes — some major, some subtle — to the way we design and specify automated acceptance tests. It takes a lot of time, trial and error to master these changes for yourself — luckily others have made a bunch of those mistakes for you.

In this talk we give you 5 critical pieces of advice for succeeding with Executable Specifications — those magical artefacts that combine feature specification, acceptance test and system documentation.

If you already work with Cucumber, Fitnesse, SpecFlow or similar tools to support Behaviour Driven Development and Specification By Example, you will pick up practical tips and advice to avoid the most common mistakes that teams make when using these tools and techniques. You will also learn to recognise the characteristics that take good example scenarios beyond the role of acceptance tests and into living documentation for long-term value.

David and Tom have been involved in testing for er, well for a long time now, since before that thing called the internet was about…..yep there was a time before the internet. Co-authors of the book “50 Quick Ideas to Improve Your Tests”, they will share their experiences to help you improve the way you approach writing automated tests.

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