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Acceptance Test-Driven Development – Definition & Simple Guide

Acceptance Test-Driven Development – Definition & Simple Guide


Acceptance Test-Driven Development (ATDD) is a development technique that emphasizes the end-users by enabling acceptance test cases as the development foundation. Conclusively, it focuses on providing the definite required functionality of the system. In this procedure, the acceptance test is written from the user’s perspective, and test cases are shaped even before coding starts.

Moreover, ATDD outlines acceptance tests for requirements before implementing those requirements. Such tests represent the specific details of the competence before delivery.

History of Acceptance Test-Driven Development:

In his inspiring book “Test-driven Development: By Example,” published in 2000, Kent Beck momentarily mentions ATDD—which he calls Application Test-Driven Development— but later dismisses the idea.

In 2006, Dan North presented the concept of Behavior-driven development, which initially was meant to substitute some of the TDD terminology but then progressed into requirement analysis.

Stages of Acceptance Test-Driven Development:

There are four known stages in ATDD (Acceptance Test Driven Development) cycle, and they are as follows:

  1. Discuss customer requirements for the developed product.
  2. Distill: Tests criteria and automation.
  3. Develop: Develop the feature by ensuing the Test First Development TFD approach until its achievement.
  4. Demo: Run a demo to the business stakeholders & proceed with rehearse.

Objectives of Acceptance Test-Driven Development:

ATDD pursues collaboration that escalates to a common understanding of the system’s requirements in the form of specifications written in English. These specifications are turned into automated acceptance test cases.

Subsequently, it is a form of testing which, by its nature, is precisely developer-centric. It supports engineers in recording their assumptions about their code in executable format. Unit testing solves the problem of “Are we building the thing right?”

In essence, acceptance test-driven development solves the problem of the development team executing features that don’t solve the customer’s needs.

The Necessity for Acceptance Test-Driven Development:

  • To evade uncertainty in requirements.
  • To efficiently develop the product.
  • To dodge final modifications.
  • To supply good quality products.

Key Practices:

  1. Examine and discuss the actual scenarios
  2. Agreeing with acceptance principles for various scenarios
  3. Programming acceptance test cases
  4. Focusing on development as per requirements.

Benefits of Acceptance Test-Driven Development:

  • It offers clarification on the requirements.
  • Swiftly resolves issues & problems.
  • It Improves alliance between cross-team members.
  • Additional focus on customer needs.
  • Functions as a parameter for the entire development process.
  • Stress-free management process.


In conclusion, Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD) is a pivotal methodology in modern software development, promoting collaboration, clarity & quality. Through its rigorous focus on defining clear acceptance criteria before coding begins, ATDD promotes shared understanding among cross-functional teams, ensuring that developers, testers, and stakeholders are on the same page.

Additionally, ATDD enhances product reliability, functionality, and user satisfaction by underlining customer-centric validation. It reduces the probability of defects, streamlining the development process and saving time and resources. Last but not least, ATDD serves as a vital tool for delivering software that aligns thoroughly with customer needs, fosters effective teamwork, and elevates the overall quality of the development process.

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