Cucumber Recipes – Book Review

Book review of: Cucumber Recipes by Ian Dees, Matt Wynne, and Aslak Heelesoy, 2014.

I didn’t find Cucumber Recipes very useful, but I’m in two minds whether that is the book’s fault or mine. I had a fairly specific requirement. I wanted to see if I could pick up tips to improve my use of Cucumber-JVM, a java implementation of Cucumber. There was one section in one chapter that was helpful. The reason for that is not simply because it is not a book about Cucumber-JVM, but because it covers a huge variety of Cucumber implementations and uses. The Cucumber-JVM chapter was just one example of what you can do with Cucumber amongst a myriad of others, such as “Drive a Swing Interface with FEST”, “Test .Net Code with specflow”, “Test a web App Using Watir”, “Monitor a Web service Using Nagios and Cucumber” and “Test Python Code Using Lettuce”, to pick a few random selection. I didn’t want to do any of those things nor the 20+ other uses written about in the rest of the book, so fair enough, it wasn’t going to be much use to me.

However, I did wonder if there are many folks who want to be experts in cucumber? That is, as opposed to being expert in applying Cucumber to their specific problem. If the latter, then this book might be a let-down. The short sections don’t really go into much detail. The book reads as a collection of quick tutorials, so there is little development of the ideas in any specific area. The first chapter comes closest to providing a series of expert tips for generic uses of Cucumber, (albeit it is may be less useful for these who don’t use Ruby), but that’s still only one chapter out of five.

For those who want to be an expert in all things Cucumber and certainly pick up ideas from the experts, in a clear, well-laid out format, then this book should be a good choice. (For the rest of us, it has little to offer).