Clarity is essential for communication.
We should use words that everyone understands, and this is precisely why Cucumber is critical for software developers.
So why am I talking to a cucumber?
Cucumber refers to a software engineering tool developed by Cucumber LTD. The tool uses a Behavior-Driven Development process—often abbreviated as BDD. Software engineers use Cucumber to improve the quality of their applications while reducing long term financial impact.
Cucumber is designed to evaluate the performance of an application. When an application is ran, Cucumber tests the program for accuracy against it’s own design specifications. The user is then provided with a report in plain language. The report provides the user with detailed insights on the efficiency of their application. Development teams can use this report to make crucial improvements to their project.
However, Cucumber is notable in that is uses a BusinessReadableDSL known as Gherkin. Test results and code suggestions are all presented using the Gherkin DSL.
This enables programmers and business people to collaborate on projects. Instead of presenting a huge wall of incomprehensible code, developers can share their work using plain language.
Gherkin can be shared with international developers—supporting up to 60 different languages.
Talking To Cucumber With Gherkin
Gherkin is a line oriented language, much like YAML and Python. Gherkin relies on indentation to define its structure. Indentation is possible with the use of spaces or tabs.
Users can also add comments by placing a 0 at the start of a line—or anywhere with a few spaces and an octothorpe (#).
Each line is regarded as a step and typically begins with a keyword. Gherkin parses the user input into features, scenarios, and steps. Each step is matched to a Ruby code block—this data is then translated back into its proper code syntax.
User friendly tools like Cucumber can be invaluable to work environments with mixed experience levels. Businesses often require input from multiple departments, but struggle to communicate with technical teams in an effective manner. DSL’s like Gherkin make this crucial collaboration much more feasible.