Welcome to Cucumber community newsletter #3
  March 08, 2021

Our newsletter this month is filled with helpful advice and a contest. You could win a book! 

  • State of the Cucumber
  • Meet a Cucumber User: Developer Aurélien Reeves loves gherkin syntax and hopes you love it too
  • Competition: Win a book that helps you write better gherkin syntax
  • Fun and useful links: Don’t be evil. Don’t ignore the happy path. Don’t.

State of the Cucumber

We released another new chapter of Cucumber School - chapter 5 in JavaScript. Want more loops in your life? Catch up - or sign up - at https://school.cucumber.io/

(If you think loops are old and busted and recursion is the new hotness, come on over to the Cucumber community Slack and tell us why.)

Meet a Cucumber user: Aurélien Reeves

Today we’re talking with Aurélien Reeves, who worked for HipTest and now works on Cucumber Studio. He was born in eastern France, plays guitar and bass in a folk-rock band, practices martial arts, and looks good in a hat.

How does Cucumber improve your life?

Cucumber with gherkin syntax - given/when/then - totally changed the way I thought about testing. For me, it’s the perfect way to not only write tests, but think about them.

I was working in QA, and we wrote a lot of tests for the system. When I discovered the gherkin syntax, I changed my way of writing the test suite and since then I’ve always used that syntax to write my tests. At the time it was only manual tests, but it also works well for all kind of tests: unit, integration, acceptance, or whatever. I always start by adding three-line comments (given/when/then) to discuss the precondition, the action, and the expected result. Writing these lines helps me to think about the precondition of my test, the action I want to test, and the result I want to have.

How did you get started in programming?

I was about ten years old when I realised this was what I wanted to do. But computers were really expensive, so I had to wait. To be able to use computers in school, I worked on the school newspaper. I had the opportunity to do my bachelors degree in computer science, but before that I didn’t have the opportunity to develop my skills because I didn’t have the tools to do so. That was about twenty years ago, and working with computers and developing software is still my passion. Like many developers, I also wanted to develop video games. Of course, this isn’t what I do for a living, but at least once a year, I participate in game jams.

What advice do you have for anyone starting to use gherkin syntax? 
Write the comments for the section. Think about the outcome first, then the action, and then the pre-conditions. Always use “given when then”!

Competition! Win a book

Five newsletter readers can win an ebook of Formulation, written by experts Seb Rose and Gáspár Nagy. To enter:

  • Come on over to the Cucumber Community Slack(https://cucumberbdd.slack.com/).
  • Join the cucumber-community-newsletter channel.
  • Post a message that says anything vaguely recognizable as “Please enter me in the ebook competition!”
  • If you post your message in gherkin syntax, you'll be entered into the competition twice.

Entry deadline is 5pm GMT on Monday 22nd March 2021. At 501pm GMT, we’ll fire up the random number generator and select five lucky winners. We'll announce them in the March newsletter (and ping the winners on Slack).

Fun and useful links

Fred Turner says, Don't Be Evil. Stanford professor Fred Turner discusses counterculture, ethical frameworks, and how Burning Man is the modern version of a 19th-century church.

Noel Wurst says, Don't Ignore the Happy Path. SmartBear’s Noel Wurst uses Neo and Robert Frost (and that ubiquitous iceberg metaphor) to offer an alternative to the “happy path” we’ve all been promised.

Scarfolk Council says, Don't. Scarfolk is an English town that never got out of the 1970s, but it eerily resembles us as we live now.