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The RSpec Book

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  770 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Behaviour-Driven Development (BDD) gives you the best of Test Driven Development, Domain Driven Design, and Acceptance Test Driven Planning techniques, so you can create better software with self-documenting, executable tests that bring users and developers together with a common language.

Get the most out of BDD in Ruby with The RSpec Book, written by the lead developer o
Paperback, 426 pages
Published December 22nd 2010 by Pragmatic Bookshelf (first published May 15th 2009)
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Anton Antonov
Nov 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: technical
An ok introduction to RSpec that focuses more on the framework and less on the "why test in this way or the other".

If you go through the documentation you'll gain the same value as reading the book.

However the book includes a bit more terminology and information about BDD, good stories, features and in general information gathering regarding test scenarios.

It's not an obsolete book if you know what you're looking for.

But nowadays check out before making t
Robert Postill
Mar 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Overall I liked this book. However if you have worked with rspec before you're going to end up skimming a lot of this book as the basics are thoroughly covered. Also if you don't have a strong background in TDD then I think some of the book's message is lost on you. All-in-all then there's a niche here that limits the appeal of this book. On top of that the material will age quickly (the cucumber stuff already has) and I suspect in a year or two's time the book's content will have some significa ...more
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's a good book, although currently quite dated.
All examples use the should-notation, while current best-practices use the expect-notation.
Sep 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Solid introduction to the subjects of writing Test/Behavior driven code. Like any programming book that’s more than a week old, it’s a bit dated (ie: RSpec now use expect instead of should methods). But overall, as someone new to the subject, I got a lot out of it.

The big lesson I came away with as a developer (and somewhat related to life in general): Red, green, refactor. I love the concept of “call the method you wish you had”, watch it fail (red) because that method doesn’t exist, then writ
Oana Sipos
Feb 14, 2014 is currently reading it
BDD = Behaviour Driven Development

"Acceptance Test–Driven Planning is one of three practices of BDD. It
is an extension of Acceptance Test–Driven Development.

The difference between ATDP and ATDD is simple. ATDD specifies that
we write acceptance tests before we write code, but it doesn’t specify
when we should write them.

ATDP specifies that the acceptance tests are agreed on during or pos-
sibly before, but no later than, an iteration planning meeting. This lets us consider the acceptance criteria
Bjoern Rochel
Oct 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
The book is more or less a duplex book. The first part of the book gives a decent introduction to Behavior Driven Development and how Cucumber and RSpec ideally are used in context of BDD as a methodology. The value of this book lies in those chapters.

It's important to understand the context in which tools were born and the ideas behind them. If you leave those bits and pieces out, you'll easily end up with a narrowed view of them, that doesn't seem to add much value. Like DHHs view of Cucumber
Jan 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
A fabulous book about RSpec, a testing framework for the Ruby programming language. Actually, this book is about much more than just RSpec--it's also about a bunch of other tools: Cucumber, Webrat, and Selenium. I rolled my eyes when I first saw this, but as I read it I saw that each of these are pieces to a much greater puzzle: Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) in Ruby.

I rolled my eyes at that too, because it just seemed like a fancy name for Test-Driven Development, and it kind of is. The only
Michael Nash
Sep 10, 2015 rated it liked it
I have mixed opinions on this book. On the one hand, there's a lot of solid theory here on the philosophy and practice of TDD and a lot of solid practical instruction in implementing Rspec in a Rails app. However, the book is so unbearably out of date that trying to follow along with their code is a challenge. The early parts explaining Cucumber and Rspec in Ruby script were pretty straightforward (with a couple of agonizing syntax differences that took hours of research to discover). However, t ...more
Apr 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: technical
I read some parts and skimmed other parts. The discussion around BDD is really interesting and looks to be really useful as part of a continuous delivery pipeline. I skimmed over the Ruby-specific portions -- probably the last half of the book -- only because I'm currently working on a project with Flash front end and a Java back end. I suspect we'll end up using cuke4duke in concert with Cucumber to get our UAT automated. The ability to use the tests as documentation for system functionality lo ...more
Francisco Garcia
May 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
If you want to test your code with Rspec this is THE book you must read. It is a very nice introduction and reference which also covers Cucumber and Rails. However if you are interested in these two cases, you will have to read other books.

You should know something about TDD if you really want to get most of the value out of this book. The mocking part is a nice reference, but will not teach you how/when to use mocks. Even if you are new to TDD/BDD you will experience the benefits.

Just be aware
Quinn Daley
Sep 12, 2015 rated it liked it
The RSpec book is more of an introduction to BDD as a concept, and especially focusses on how it works in Rails (the last two chapters) but can be applied to everything.

I felt like maybe it was too beginners'-guide-ish and too prescriptive in places but in general I learnt a lot about BDD and how Cucumber & RSpec work as tools to achieve it.

But the biggest criticism I have of this book is that it hasn't been kept up to date. RSpec 3 recommends a very different syntax and introduces many concepts
Jun 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Preferring the expressiveness of BDD and RSpec to xUnit, I use it on projects whenever I got a chance. I grabbed this book to add Cucumber to my toolset so that I could exercise the full stack of a Rails application. What I got in the end was an enhanced understanding of how Cucumber, RSpec, and Rails play well together but more importantly was a focus on craftsmanship and how to write code patiently and precisely: coding just enough to solve the problem and refactoring fearlessly.
Jean Tessier
Sep 27, 2011 marked it as to-read
Shelves: software
Got a signed copy from my good friend Dave Astels. I got exposed to RSpec back on 2008-11-07 and I have been waiting for this book ever since. I wish there was an RSpec for Java or Groovy. I heard that JBehave is supposed to be similar, but the syntax is not the same. RSpec reads just like English, with spaces and all! ...more
Kyle Wild
Nov 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The title of this book is unfortunate. This isn't really a book about RSpec (or Cucumber or Ruby) any more than 1984 is about Oceania (or Winston Smith). Rather, "The RSpec Book" is a treatise on a software development philosophy, and its vehicle happens to be RSpec.

I'm a lifelong student of software development, and this book fundamentally changed the way I think about - and practice - my craft.
Sep 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a good reference, but it is even better at putting ruby, test driven development, behavior driven development, cucumber and Rspec together in one holistic package. I have found the process of TDD to be the most compelling part of learning TDD, and this book enables that with an easy introduction to the toolset. Honestly, at this point in my experience in software development, tool choice is such a small part of getting things done, that this book is perfect.
Oct 21, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned, software, qa
Disappointed by how it begins selling both RSpec and Cucumber and continues to interlace the two....RSpec is enough for me to learn right now...

The last update of this book was 2012-09-13 (P2.1). Unfortunately, I had difficulty getting the versions described in the book working, then when I used the most recent version of rspec I learned that the earliest examples in the book use deprecated syntax of "should".

I'll see if I can find a recent book solely focused on rspec.
Oct 29, 2010 marked it as to-read
I've had a long fascination with traceability between requirements and code, and RSpec (and it's .NET cousin SpecFlow) provide one way of doing that.

I've tried RSpec and SpecFlow on small things, and a large upcoming project is a good candidate for using it in a big way.... so going to read up a bit before trying that.
Daniel Temme
May 25, 2011 rated it liked it
I liked the book and everyone is probably better off for reading it but I found it a little chaotic in focus. One minute we're deep in Ruby implementation details, the next we're having philosophical discussions about the history of agile software development.

I do like all the little books inside the book, so maybe I shouldn't be complaining.
Joe Wright
Oct 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I've been using Cucumber and RSpec for a while now without having read this book. Needless to say I understand the culture around RSpec a lot better now, and how some of the magic works (like have_key?).

The book is an easy read, with a good chapter in the middle about why software projects fail.

If you are using RSpec on a project then I'd recommend this highly.
Mar 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of the better books to get started with Ruby/Rails development. Really covers testing, and more specifically BDD, very well and at a good broad overview. If you are just getting started with Rails I would say this book should definitely be an initial pick up right along side of the Ruby on Rails Tutorial.
Alex Kitchens
Dec 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cs-testing
This book introduced me to Tests and Behavior Driven Development. It gives great work-along problems to solve throughout the book so you can apply the skills directly. It would be 5-stars, but it's started to become dated in some of the code libraries like RSpec Expectations and Webrat. Overall, I'll recommend it to anyone wanting to learn BDD/TDD.
Oct 23, 2016 rated it liked it
A good overview of the RSpec library, albeit a bit dated. RSpec's DSL has since changed since the book's publishing so at first it might be a bit confusing. But just look up the current RSpec docs online to see what's changed. I did wish that the book would have explained a bit more to why they chose to go with certain implementation methods.
Beau Dacious
Oct 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
I first attempted to learn about BDD using Internet resource, but found them all to assume I was familiar with things that I wasn't or to only address a small subset of information that I was looking for. This book did a good job of filling in the gaps and getting me started down the right path.
Nov 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: programming
I'm waiting for the day this book will finally come out of Beta. As of the 15th of November, the release date is pushed back again. But the Beta versions cover a lot of ground. One thing I miss seeing here is a chapter on how to write a good feature scenario. Great book, nonetheless.
Feb 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed reading the sections on Cucumber & RSpec. Suitable for developers of any language as the foreword mentions. Some sections haven't kept pace with the fast moving work of Ruby, e.g. examples in Webrat instead of Capybara. ...more
Francisco Rojas
Jan 04, 2014 rated it liked it
I really liked the discussion about BDD which help me to understand some concepts. I also liked the part where discussed about cucumber and the different scenarios style. What I didn't like so much was the latest chapters where it mixed up domain specific logic of the application with rails.
Jun 24, 2009 is currently reading it
Sep 30, 2009 rated it liked it
This book is still in beta, so it has some missing chapters. It's a good tutorial and introduction to Cucmber and Behavior Driven Development (testing) of Ruby on Rails web applications.
Mark Ryall
Oct 03, 2009 rated it liked it
worth reading if you have little experience of practicing tdd. i really liked dan north's chapters explaining the rationale for bdd,
Harri Kauhanen
Mar 18, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: rails, testing, ruby, webdev
Important topic... Especially the generic BDD stuff! Some parts really good. Not partically well organized and could have been much shorter.
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