While It’s Compiling: Skills Matter Interviews Matt Wynne

Matt Wynne

While It’s Compiling is a new series of interviews with experts across a range of bleeding-edge technologies and practices, exclusive to Skills Matter. Be sure to subscribe to this blog for future interviews, or follow us on Twitter.

Find out who we’ll be interviewing next, and get a chance to put your questions forward with the hashtag #whileitscompiling.


This week on While It’s Compiling we sat down with CukeUp! programme lead and organiser, Matt Wynne. Matt is a BDD fanatic and is currently working on Cucumber Pro.

1. What’s this year’s theme at CukeUp!?

The theme is “one big happy BDD family”. With the birth of Cucumber Limited this year, we want to host a gathering for all the different BDD tribes – the Specification by Example people, the ATDD people, and the people using tools that aren’t named after a variant of the Cucumis sativus, like the PHP Behat community.

2. What are you exploring at the conference this year?

Personally, I’m interested in challenging the BDD orthodoxy a bit – trying to get some more balance into the debate about when BDD is the right tool for the job. I see some teams who have overused Given / When / Then and that’s what I’ll be talking about. I’m hoping some of our invited speakers will be sharing that kind of experience too.

For me, building software is all about people, working together. There’s also a huge amount of uncertainty involved – if the problem had been solved before, you’d be able to buy something off the shelf. BDD puts those two things together – people working together in the face of uncertainty. It gives us tools to communicate better about what we do and don’t yet understand, and to explore the stuff we don’t understand.

3. What projects are you working on at the moment?

I’m 100% focused on Cucumber Limited. That means working on our flagship product, [Cucumber Pro], as well as starting to market and sell our training, consulting and support services. I’ve been providing training and consulting to Agile and BDD teams for the last few years, but since we launched “the company behind Cucumber” we’ve been inundated with requests to visit people and help them. We haven’t even had a chance to put up our website yet!

Cucumber Pro is a paid-for collaboration platform for BDD teams. Using Cucumber Pro, anyone on the team can read, review and even commit changes back to source control through a tool that feels as accessible as Google Docs. It even supports collaborative editing, the same way as Google Docs does, which works especially well for distributed teams. We’re also working on features that will show results and screenshots, really bringing the living documentation to life.

We want Cucumber to be a sustainable ecosystem, and we expect that the revenue from Cucumber Pro will buy us the time to keep working on the open-source suite of Cucumber tools for the community. It’s an exciting time for Cucumber!

4. If you had one piece of advice for your younger self, what would it be?

Little steps!

5. What would you like to ask the community?

What do you think about us starting Cucumber Limited? Are you excited for us? What would you like us to prioritise?


Are you excited? What would like to see first from Cucumber Limited? Tweet your answers to #whileitscompiling or @skillsmatter 

Matt is the program lead at CukeUp! 2014 and will also be giving a talk, check back at Skills Matter for updates and tickets!  

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