Acceptance Test-Driven Development (ATDD) is a software development approach that emphasizes collaboration between business stakeholders, developers, and testers. It is based on the idea of defining acceptance tests before implementing the corresponding functionality12. ATDD involves team members with different perspectives, such as the customer, development, and testing, working together to write acceptance tests that align with the desired behavior and requirements of the software.
ATDD aims to ensure that the implemented functionality meets the expectations and needs of the stakeholders. By writing acceptance tests in advance, the development team gains a clear understanding of the acceptance criteria and can use the tests as a foundation for implementation12. These tests act as executable specifications, guiding the development process by providing a shared understanding of the desired outcomes.
The main benefits of ATDD include improved communication, increased collaboration, and the ability to validate the software against business requirements. By involving stakeholders in the creation of acceptance tests, ATDD promotes shared understanding and reduces the risk of miscommunication and misinterpretation of requirements13. This approach also assists in identifying potential gaps or ambiguities in the software requirements early in the development process.
ATDD is often practiced in conjunction with test automation4. Automated acceptance tests are created based on the defined acceptance criteria, allowing for continuous integration and providing fast feedback on whether the implemented software meets the specified requirements1.
It’s important to note that ATDD is closely related to other development methodologies such as Test-Driven Development (TDD) and Behavior-Driven Development (BDD). While TDD primarily focuses on unit testing and BDD emphasizes behavior and collaboration, ATDD adds the dimension of aligning the tests with business requirements and involving multiple stakeholders in the acceptance test creation process15.
Overall, Acceptance Test-Driven Development (ATDD) is a valuable approach for ensuring that the software being developed meets the desired business outcomes, reduces misunderstandings, and promotes collaboration among team members.