Agile Acceptance Test Driven Development: Agile Certification

Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD) is an extended version of Test Driver Development (TDD), which promotes the collaboration of different users to verify the functionality of a system. It’s a project management system inspired by agile methodology. It fosters a connection between developers, testers, stakeholders, and clients to understand the system’s function and requirements from the user’s perspective. In this post, we will learn more about ATDD, where the methodology is implemented, its uses, and more. Keep reading.

What is Agile Acceptance Test-Driven Development?

Contrary to what you might assume from the name, ATDD isn’t precisely a testing procedure. It’s instead a programming technique. It differs from TDD in that the concept focuses more on bringing a bunch of people (associated with the software development project) together to prepare acceptance tests.

It’s written in simple English and is crafted after a collaborative discussion. During this phase, the developers, testers, and stakeholders discuss the problems they are solving, how to solve them, and testing. It helps the teams determine whether the system will function according to industrial standards. If each member in the discussion agrees, the team might decide to automate the acceptance testing.

Stages of ATDD

The process might look informal and flexible, but it’s divided into four stages that must be carried out in the correct order. The outcome depends on how well these stages are executed.


The ATDD starts with a discussion involving the entire agile team and the stakeholders. At this stage, the team discusses the function of the system from the user’s perspective in detail. Based on the conclusion, the team develops an acceptance test either automatically or manually. A proper discussion reduces the risk of misunderstandings, which might later lead to bugs in the software. Note that identifying the potential bugs at the discussion stage will be much cheaper and easier than recognizing them once the software has been developed. The team might also identify that what looked like a simple user problem is instead a complex issue.


The next step is to implement the acceptance test into the project. The team evaluates the effectiveness of the acceptance tests to know whether they can be implemented in the particular project or does it need changes. Put this way, in the second stage; the teams are supposed to convert the discussed specifications into a format that works with the testing tool. This may include a table format, code, or wiki pages. As a result, you get acceptance tests. But make sure they are not prepared for execution yet.


The third step is execution. At this point, the developers will run the test to check what’s working and what’s not. To be more precise, the teams develop coding based on the specifications decided during the discussion phase. During the development phase, the stakeholders will suggest the changes that should be introduced to the acceptance test. Further manual testing can be conducted to figure out more issues that are likely to come up later.


The last phase of the agile acceptance test-driven development is the demo, where the agile team prepares a demo presentation and shows it to the stakeholders. It shows the tests they have accomplished, the findings, and the vulnerabilities.

The concept is similar to the TDD in that it has the same workflow and requirements. The teams are supposed to create acceptance tests before they write coding. The only difference is that TDD is based on unit tests, while ATDD focuses on a group discussion where the usability, development process, user problems, and solutions are identified first. Following these specifications, the developers and testers work together to create codes that will help pass the test. Not only does it help your team understand the project's specifications in clear and understandable language, but it also ensures that the team builds what customers want.


Often, the ATDD is compared with TDD since both concepts are derived from the agile methodology and share many similarities. In Test-driven Development, the developers create a failing unit code, which is later changed into code that can pass the test. The purpose of TDD is to create a simple, easy-to-understand, and clean code. It’s more about unit testing, which involves the risk of implementing the wrong features into the system.

That might lead to costly errors in the software later. That’s why the experts came up with this TDD extension, ATDD. Unlike TDD, this one isn’t a developer-centric model. It’s rather the collaboration of the developers, stakeholders, clients, testers, and other people involved in the project. ATDD includes tech-savvy and non-tech-savvy people who have zero knowledge of coding.

To streamline the process, most organizations adopt the blend of TDD and ATDD. They create an acceptance test after the discussion with stakeholders and developers. Once the production code has been developed to make the test pass, you can implement the TDD method to test the efficiency and accuracy of the code.

How to Get Started?

The implementation of ATDD starts with training. Make sure each member of the team has access to the right training materials, which are required to learn the fundamentals of this acceptance test and production coding. Training isn’t just about explaining the method, but it’s equally important that each member participating in ATDD understands their role. ATDD involves user story format when writing specifications.

Make sure all members of the team understand the format and follow the same method when writing software requirements. Finally, select a suitable framework and deploy the acceptance test. This method must be evaluated regularly to ensure it’s free from any loopholes and delivers the best results.

Bottom Line

This was all about the agile acceptance test-driven development and the processes it follows. You can pursue agile certification courses, such as PMI-ACP, to gain better knowledge of these methods. It will teach you the basic to advanced concepts of agile, how this methodology is implemented in different projects, and how you can improve the project’s success rate within your organization.