Empty rooms

It’s now about two weeks to OOPSLA, where Liz Keogh and I will be presenting a workshop on behaviour-driven development using JBehave. This will be along similar lines to the workshop I co-presented at RailsConf Europe last month.

At RailsConf we presented to nearly 200 people, which was about a quarter of the conference attendees. At JAOO last year Niclas Nilsson and I presented BDD to well over 100 people. So far at OOPSLA only a handful of people have signed up for the workshop. I’m curious. Is it that the people attending OOPSLA aren’t interested in behaviour-driven development? Is it JBehave? Is it that we haven’t marketed it very well? Is it simply the cost?

RSpec, the ruby equivalent of JBehave, is comparatively much more popular. It has been embraced by the Rails crowd and by rubyists in general in a way that JBehave doesn’t seem to have been in java. Perhaps JUnit and JMock were already so pervasive in the agile java community that there wasn’t room for JBehave, or perhaps it wasn’t seen as different enough to be worth trying - its early incarnations were as just another TDD and mocking tool.

Since I started writing JBehave back in 2003, BDD - and JBehave itself - has broadened in scope, covering user stories right the way through to tested, deployed code, and the OOPSLA workshop will explore this bigger picture. It will be of interest to anyone looking to understand behaviour-driven development, regardless of the technology stack or toolset you use.

On a related theme, java is trailing behind ruby and even C# in terms of customer-friendly executable documentation. JBehave might just be the tool to follow through on the promise of FIT, to define executable acceptance criteria that can be authored by testers or analysts.

So to anyone going to OOPSLA, if you aren’t coming to the BDD session I would be very keen to hear why so I can pitch it better next time. Is it that you aren’t using JBehave so you don’t think the session is relevant? Are you simply not interested in BDD? Is there too much other good stuff on at the same time? Or did you just not notice but now you have you’ll be signing up? I hope to see you in Canada!