What's your opinion on BDD with Cucumber


Lately I saw a presentation on BDD with Cucumber, and I watched the Railscast by Ryan Bates on Cucumber, and I’m in doubt wether to use this technology or not.

Cucumber seems to overlap for some part with Rspec’s feature tests, so I would like to here your opinion on Cucumber. Are you using Cucumber? Yes, no? And for what reason?

thanks for your advice,


Hi Anthony,

A couple years ago I used Cucumber on one project and wrote all the acceptance tests with it. That was a fair bit of work and I’d say even fun to start with when writing them initially.

However, something eventually started to feel off about writing those Cucumber specs, even after using a page model to DRY them up.

In the end, for me, the time spent writing the glue code between the plain English specs and driving the UI just wasn’t worth the trade-off in that particular project. No non-developers needed to read the specs so the benefit of Cucumber in that regard was of no use. RSpec or Rails’ TestCases would’ve been a better choice.

Even if a non-dev had to read them, non-Cucumber acceptance tests can be written to be readable to non-devs with a little training and a helping hand to start with.

Perhaps try Cucumber out for yourself on a branch or write a small scaffolded app so you can make your own call on it.

Kind regards,


Hi Eliot,

Thanks for your feedback. I know how to do TDD right now with Rspec and feature tests (thanks to the TDD workshop on Upcase), so I’m not sure of the benefit of adding another layer (Cucumber) to that stack.

Also with Rspec and feature test one is doing BDD already, as Rspec calls itself a BDD Tool (http://rspec.info/)



@acandael_acanda There was a prior thread on this, where we explained why we moved away from Cucumber to just using Rspec (after having used Cucumber for several years)


I hope that helps, thanks!

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Thanks Chad!