BDD KickstartSan Francisco CA, 21-23 Apr

1. Describe behaviour in plain text


2. Write a step definition in Ruby

Calculator Steps

3. Run and watch it fail

Failing output

4. Write code to make the step pass


5. Run again and see the step pass

Pending output

6. Repeat 2-5 until green like a cuke

Passing output

7. Repeat 1-6 until the money runs out

Cucumber lets software development teams describe how software should behave in plain text. The text is written in a business-readable domain-specific language and serves as documentation, automated tests and development-aid - all rolled into one format.

Cucumber works with Ruby, Java, .NET, Flex or web applications written in any language. It has been translated to over 40 spoken languages.

Cucumber also supports more succinct tests in tables - similar to what FIT does. Dig around in the examples and documentation to learn more about Cucumber tables.

Background and Credits

Cucumber is Aslak Hellesøy's rewrite of RSpec's "Story runner", which was originally written by Dan North. (Which again was a rewrite of his first implementation - RBehave. RBehave was his Ruby port of JBehave). Early versions of the RSpec "Story Runner"required that stories be written in Ruby. Seeing how much this sucked David Chelimsky added plain text support with contributions from half a dozen other people.

In April 2008, Aslak Hellesøy started the Cucumber project to address the internal design flaws and usability problems of the RSpec Story Runner (Yes - Cucumber also has warts on the inside). Joseph Wilk and Ben Mabey joined as regular contributors when Cucumber was just a little Gherkin. Matt Wynne joined the Cucumber team in September 2009 after. Mike Sassak and Gregory Hnatiuk joined in October 2009 after their great work on a faster parser for Cucumber. In addition to the core team over160250 developers have contributed patches, bugfixes, tears and joy.

Cucumber's plain text DSL (Gherkin) somehow came out from the Agile community, mostly based on distillations made by Dan North, Chris Matts, Liz Keogh, David Chelimskyand dozens of people on the RSpec and Cucumber mailing lists. And Aslak.

Upcoming events

Succeeding with BDD, Agile India

A one day introduction to Behaviour-Driven Development with Cucumber creator Aslak Hellesøy.

You'll learn how to break user stories down to examples that serve as executable specifications.We'll write the examples in Gherkin and use Cucumber and TDD to create a social networking applicationwritten in Ruby!

Book now

BDD Kickstart San Francisco, CA

Get a headstart with Behaviour-Driven Development, the collaborative process that's changing the face of software development.

In three days, we'll teach you everything you need to be off and running with Behaviour-Driven Development.

Book now

CukeUp! London

Want to learn how BDD can help you and your team combat complex software problems? Want to network with your peers tackling similar software problems? Then join us in Marchfor our fourth edition of this much loved conference.

Book now


Cucumber Recipes: Automate Anything with BDD Tools and Techniques

Forty practical recipes covering testing on desktop, web, mobile, and server applications across a variety of platforms.

The Cucumber for Java book

The Cucumber for Java Book has the same great advice about how to deliver rock-solid applications collaboratively, but with all code completely rewritten in Java. New chapters cover features unique to the Java version of Cucumber, and reflect insights from the Cucumber team since the original book was published.


A major contributory factor to the success of the BBC's digital Olympics was the use of Cucumber to collaboratively specify requirements, guide development, drive automated tests and describe the system.

Aidy Lewis, Test Discipline Lead BBC Future Media - News and Knowledge

My attention-span is short so I may be forgetting something but I think Cucumber could be the most important piece of software released in 2008 for Ruby-based developers.

If you're looking for a higher level of abstraction in your tests, it's definitely worth checking out.

I finally looked into cucumber last week and immediately loved it. Within a couple hours I had several features written for an existing application. By the end of the next day, our whole team was writing cucumber features, and enjoying it! Cucumber seems to have brought back an excitement to testing that I haven't felt for a while (since my first few weeks with RSpec).

Seeing what you guys are doing is just over-the-top cool.BDDis great, Domain Driven Design is great. Stuff I wish I knew 20 years ago.

I started using Cucumber yesterday and it was really easy.

Cucumber allows you to write feature documentation in Plain Text. It means you could sit with your Client or Business Analyst to write down the features to be build on your application.

Cucumber is fast becoming the standard for acceptance testing in Rails. Cucumber is aBDDtool for specification of application features and user scenarios in plain text. It's powered by Ruby, supports over 20 spoken languages, and integrates with other testing platforms.

GodDAMN Iwant aBDDtool for Python that runs as well as cucumber 0.0003 or whatever it's called does already. Dammit.

Continuous Integration Blueprints: How to Build an Army of Killer Robots With Hudson and Cucumber.