Specification by Example Book Summary - Specification by Example Book explained in key points

Specification by Example summary

Gojko Adzic

Brief summary

Specification by Example by Gojko Adzic is a comprehensive guide that demonstrates how to use examples to build a shared understanding and create a single source of truth for software requirements. It offers practical techniques for implementing specification by example in agile teams.

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Table of Contents

    Specification by Example
    Summary of key ideas

    Understanding the Importance of Specification by Example

    In Specification by Example by Gojko Adzic, we are introduced to the concept of specification by example (SBE) as a means to bridge the communication gap between stakeholders in software development. The book begins by highlighting the common challenges faced in software development, such as miscommunication, unclear requirements, and the resulting defects in the final product.

    Adzic emphasizes that the traditional approach of documenting requirements in lengthy, static documents is not effective. Instead, he advocates for a more collaborative and dynamic approach, where stakeholders use concrete examples to illustrate and validate the desired behavior of the software. This approach, known as SBE, ensures that everyone involved in the project shares a common understanding of the requirements.

    Implementing Specification by Example

    Adzic then delves into the practical aspects of implementing SBE. He introduces the concept of living documentation, which is a set of concrete examples that serve as the single source of truth for the software's behavior. These examples are written in a ubiquitous language that is understood by all stakeholders, including developers, testers, and business analysts.

    Furthermore, the author discusses the importance of automating the validation of these examples. By using tools such as Cucumber or FitNesse, teams can ensure that the software's behavior matches the specified examples. This not only serves as a form of executable documentation but also provides immediate feedback on the software's correctness.

    Collaboration and Continuous Improvement

    Adzic emphasizes that SBE is not just a testing technique but a collaborative process that involves all stakeholders. He advocates for the active participation of business representatives in defining and validating the examples, ensuring that the software meets the business needs.

    Moreover, the author stresses the importance of continuous improvement in the SBE process. Teams should regularly review and refine their examples to reflect changes in the software's behavior or the business requirements. This iterative approach ensures that the software remains aligned with the stakeholders' expectations throughout its development.

    Benefits and Challenges of Specification by Example

    Throughout the book, Adzic highlights the numerous benefits of adopting SBE. These include improved communication, reduced defects, faster feedback loops, and a shared understanding of the software's behavior. He also addresses common challenges in implementing SBE, such as resistance to change, the need for cultural transformation, and the complexity of managing large sets of examples.

    Despite these challenges, Adzic argues that the benefits of SBE far outweigh the initial difficulties. He provides several case studies and real-world examples to illustrate how organizations have successfully adopted SBE and reaped its rewards.

    Conclusion: Embracing Specification by Example

    In conclusion, Specification by Example by Gojko Adzic presents a compelling case for embracing SBE as a means to improve software development. By focusing on concrete examples and fostering collaboration, SBE helps teams build the right software, faster and with fewer defects. The book serves as a practical guide for teams looking to adopt SBE, offering valuable insights and best practices for its successful implementation.

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    What is Specification by Example about?

    Specification by Example by Gojko Adzic is a practical guide that introduces a set of collaborative practices for creating and maintaining living documentation. It presents techniques for using examples to define and validate software behavior, and shows how to automate the process to produce living documentation that is always up-to-date. This book is a valuable resource for teams looking to improve communication, collaboration, and quality in software development.

    Specification by Example Review

    Specification by Example (2011) is an essential read for anyone involved in software development, offering valuable insights into creating better software through collaboration and clear requirements. Here's why this book stands out:

    • It presents a practical framework for effective software development, allowing teams to deliver quality products by clarifying requirements through examples.
    • By highlighting common pitfalls and sharing real-life case studies, the book provides actionable guidance on how to implement specification by example successfully.
    • With its emphasis on collaboration and fostering a shared understanding between business and development teams, it offers a refreshing approach to software development that keeps readers engaged.

    Who should read Specification by Example?

    • Software development teams looking to improve their communication and collaboration
    • Business analysts and product owners wanting to create better and more effective software requirements
    • Agile practitioners and those interested in agile methodologies and practices

    About the Author

    Gojko Adzic is a software delivery consultant and author who specializes in helping companies improve their software development processes. With a background in computer science and extensive experience in the industry, Adzic has written several influential books, including "Specification by Example" and "Bridging the Communication Gap." He is known for his practical approach to implementing agile and lean principles, and his work has had a significant impact on the way teams around the world approach software development.

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    Specification by Example FAQs 

    What is the main message of Specification by Example?

    The main message of Specification by Example is that effective software development requires clear and collaborative communication through practical examples.

    How long does it take to read Specification by Example?

    The reading time for Specification by Example varies, but it generally takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Specification by Example a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Specification by Example is a valuable read for software professionals. It provides practical guidance and insights into improving software development processes.

    Who is the author of Specification by Example?

    The author of Specification by Example is Gojko Adzic.

    What to read after Specification by Example?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Specification by Example, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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