TDD and BDD at the PDC 2009

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In addition to the usual hot-of-the-press content, the PDC organization also introduced a new way for attendees to contribute to the event. They call it a birds-of-a-feather session where attendees can propose a subject and host a discussion in one of the break-out rooms. Obviously, I filed a proposal on one of my favorite subjects TDD and BDD, and unlike my expectations, I was actually selected as one of the proposals.

Well, yesterday, the first day of the PDC, it finally happened. At 16:30 I went to room 309 and found it exceeding its full capacity of 120 people in no time. Apparently, automated testing and Agile practices are just as hot in the US as it is in Netherlands. I started the sessionwith an inventory of questions people would like to get an answer to. BDD was important, but after a short discussion I got the impression that most attendees did not yet really grasp the essentials of TDD. But since it was a discussion session, Ididn't want to take control and explain it to the audience myself. Instead I tried to let individual attendees explain it to the rest. Unfortunately, since many interpretations exists, that didn't really work. I tried to steer the discussion to get a clear understanding of it, and I made sure I added my two cents as well, but I'm quite sure some attendees still left the session with some unclarity.

Nevertheless, a small group of developers kept lingering at the room's exit and we've been continuing the discussion for almost an hour. So from my point of view, it was a big success. Even if they did not all grasp the concepts and ideas behind TDD, they sure have been triggered to read more about it.


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