I am honored to be speaking at Toronto's Web Apps and HTML5 Games Code-Along on April 6, a one-day event that is co-hosted by local technology groups DevTO, HTML5 Toronto, and TorontoJS, and sponsored by Microsoft Canada. The topic of my presentation is, “Bug-Free Games from Day One with Behavior-Driven Development (BDD)”. I’ll be discussing how BDD can help developers build better software more efficiently.
BDD is a development methodology that consists of writing tests very early on in the web application development process. The goal is to ensure the behavior of software works as intended, well-before an app goes public.
As games development is a subject I’m quite passionate about, speaking at this event is a chance for me to share what I’ve learned at OANDA with others in the gaming community. I hope to encourage more games developers to apply BDD to their projects.
Sharing software development best practices
For instance, OANDA has automated the testing of entire aspects of foreign exchange trading software development. This allows us to focus our full attention on the client experience instead of fixing bugs, and it leads to initiatives such as the recently launched redesigns of our iOS and Android mobile trading applications. In the future, BDD will help OANDA push the test automation limits even further.
I’m reminded of Boaz Sender from the Boston-based open source technology group BoCoup who once said in a talk, "Web developers and game developers have a lot to learn from each other". I couldn’t agree more. Gaming companies typically employ large teams of testers to make sure their games are flawless, but that involves a lot of manual steps toward the end of the development cycle. With BDD, much of that stress can be eliminated in the early stages.
A video game is geared toward entertainment, but it’s a piece of software at its core. Thus whatever best practices that work in the development of business or financial software, such as the OANDA trading platform, can also apply to the gaming industry.
Realizing the benefits of BDD
Without giving away too much here, in my April 6 talk I will show the audience the benefits of BDD by illustrating how games development is a better fit for this methodology than it first appears, and by demonstrating through a practical example how you can achieve a bug-free game from the moment at which you apply BDD to your project.
Though my job at OANDA does not involve programming video games – I've done that in a previous life and it remains an ongoing personal interest – there is an element of gamification in what we do that allows me to be creative and tap into that interest. That is quite rare for a lot of technology companies. So this speaking engagement also provides me with the opportunity to talk to other developers about the innovative culture that has been a company hallmark since its inception.
I hope you’ll join me at this workshop for my 15-minute talk (beginning at 3:30pm). I would be pleased to meet you and to answer any questions you may have, as well as tell you more about OANDA and why you should join our team.
If you have any questions or comments, please make your mark in the comments box below.
Updated: View Jerome's April 6 presentation here.