This week we did a mini relaunch of the BDD Kickstart website as Kickstart Academy:

new Kickstart Academy website

We’ve seen real success with the BDD courses that we’ve run, and we’re looking to build on that by slowly inviting other related courses to the fold.

The first such course is on Continuous Delivery from Rob Chatley. Rob and Seb will be teaching Continuous Delivery Kickstart for the first time at the end of September. You probably want to book early for this one.

Continuous Delivery

Continuous Delivery is a collection of practices and processes which allow us to confidently deliver our products to production several times a day. If we put enough effort into streamlining the release pipeline, we reap the benefits:

  • Eliminate human error when releasing. Deploy processes can often be long and complex with many manual steps. This breeds human error, which in turn can cause consternation in the business, slows down future release cycles and makes the business less responsive as a result. Doing away with as many manual steps as possible will reverse this cycle.

  • Give products a massive boost to market responsiveness. The more often we’re releasing, the quicker we can make changes to our software in response to market conditions. If the new release of your project causes 20% drop in revenue, we want to correct that as quickly as possible: Continuous Delivery gives us the tools to do just that.

The perfect partner to BDD

One of the reasons I’m excited about running this course is that Continuous Delivery concepts and practices dovetail beautifully with Behaviour Driven Development. BDD focuses on small stories and deliberate discovery; Continuous Delivery gets those stories into production as quickly as possible. BDD encourages great testing practice and build quality; this gives business folks enough trust in their system to implement Continuous Delivery in the first place.

We can practice Continuous Delivery without doing BDD. There are a couple of pitfalls we should be aware of though:

  • BDD helps teams discover exactly what needs to be built, and gives them the skills to build it right first time. It’s dangerous to practice Continuous Delivery without build quality safeguards like the ones BDD gives us.
  • Doing BDD well gives us very finely sliced stories. Without small stories, we won’t get the full benefits of delivering continuously, as our automatic releases will end up being just as spaced out as before.

Likewise, we can “do BDD” without delivering continuously, but the benefits we gain through BDD are more fully realised the more automatic and streamlined our release processes are.

The future

We are in the process of talking to other experts with a view to making more courses available over the next few months. We’re doing this slowly to keep the quality bar extremely high, so be patient with us!