Cukenfest london

build the right thing

about cukenfest


In the last week of June we are running a series of events for the Cucumber community. 

We've distilled all the beautiful fuzzy amazing weirdness of CukeUp! into a one-day, single-track event in Shoreditch, with a preceding BDD training and a follow-on weekend open space focused on building the Cucumber community, whilst also giving space for advanced practitioners to share innovative ideas, and for workshops that dive deeper than the single-track day can accommodate.

CukenFest is equal parts conference, training and open-space. 

BDD Kickstart / June 21st-22nd
CukeUp! London / June 23rd
CukenSpace / June 24th-25th


CukenFest is brought to you by Cucumber


BDD Kickstart

June 21st-22nd

BDD Kickstart is a world-class two day training course. Taught by one of the core Cucumber team, you will learn the fundamentals skills you need to practice Behaviour-Driven Development with confidence. 

The first day is a thorough introduction to BDD. There is no automation on this day; the focus is on analysis and collaboration techniques. You will learn about Example Mapping, a simple yet powerful way to break down user stories together in your team.

Day 2 will be a solid introduction to using BDD with Cucumber. You will learn how to drive development through automated tests and how you can write beautiful succinct scenarios the whole team can read and understand. 

This course can be attended by the whole team - devs, testers, BAs and product owners.


June 23rd 2017

CukeUp! is our iconic one-day, single track conference taking place in Village Underground, Shoreditch. Talks will be short, fun and thought provoking. Sessions this year are loosely themed around building the right thing through closer collaboration. You will hear stories of how BDD is practiced in a large Fortune 500 company and discover how you team can be more inclusive to people and new ideas. Talk details below.


June 24th-25th

Our objective is to bring together everyone interested in building a stronger Cucumber OSS community for two days of open-space. Talks and workshops will be decided by attendees and we encourage you to bring your own ideas. Whether you are an established Cucumber committer or want to meet others in the community, this will be a fun and varied event. We're super excited to run this one. 

CukeUp! speakers

Sheetal Patel Senior IT Program Manager of the Vanguard Group

Sheetal Patel

Senior IT Program Manager of the Vanguard Group

Emily Webber Author of "Building Successful Communities of Practice"

Emily Webber

Author of "Building Successful Communities of Practice"

Aslak Hellesøy Creator of Cucumber and co-author of "The Cucumber Book"

Aslak Hellesøy

Creator of Cucumber and co-author of "The Cucumber Book"

Nat Pryce Co-author of "Growing Object­-Oriented Software Guided by Tests"

Nat Pryce

Co-author of "Growing Object­-Oriented Software Guided by Tests"

Sallyann Freudenberg Co-author of "The Inclusive Collaboration Experiments"

Sallyann Freudenberg

Co-author of "The Inclusive Collaboration Experiments"

Vernon Richards Director of VIR Testing Ltd

Vernon Richards

Director of VIR Testing Ltd

Narges Jalali Senior Product Designer – and occasional Product Lead @ustwo.

Narges Jalali

Senior Product Designer – and occasional Product Lead @ustwo.

Jenny Martin Consultant, trainer, facilitator and coach.

Jenny Martin

Consultant, trainer, facilitator and coach.

Paul Gerrard Principal of Gerrard Consulting Limited, Director of TestOpera.

Paul Gerrard

Principal of Gerrard Consulting Limited, Director of TestOpera.

Sharon McGee Business Analyst at Liberty IT

Sharon McGee

Business Analyst at Liberty IT

Matt Wynne Founder of Cucumber Ltd. Co-author of The Cucumber Book

Matt Wynne

Founder of Cucumber Ltd. Co-author of The Cucumber Book

Dana Scheider Member of the Cucumber core team and lead author of Ruby contract testing tool Rambo

Dana Scheider

Member of the Cucumber core team and lead author of Ruby contract testing tool Rambo


cukeup! london - lineup

CukeUp! London is a fast-paced one day conference held in Village Underground, Shoreditch. Short talks, fun games, and lots of time to chatter.


The Hypocrisy of Hypotheses in HDD

Hypothesis driven development (HDD) drives business value. Framing product features as hypotheses and conducting mini experiments allows us to assess whether they will deliver pre-stated measurable business goals. Future product direction can then be informed by the results of our experiments. Borrowed from Thoughtworks, here is an example...

We Believe that increasing the size of hotel images on the booking page Will Result In improved customer engagement and conversion. We Will Know We Have Succeeded when we see a 5% increase in customers who review hotel images and then proceed to book in 48 hours.

So we change the size of the image, deploy, test and observe that we have a 5% increase in customers who proceeded to book within 48 hours. We passed the acceptance criteria. Our hypothesis was correct and we can conclude that changing the size of the image increased sales. Right?


Scientific experiments are designed to falsify hypotheses. By contrast, HDD tries to prove that hypotheses are true by observing some predefined acceptance criteria. This talk will explore the reasons why this approach may be misleading by revealing underlying assumptions and potential pitfalls. Attendees will discover how to inject some rigour (where needed) through an understanding of confounding factors, sampling, triangulation, comparison, and other experimentation protocols. Awareness of the scientific limitations of this approach to software development will help ensure that the results of hypothesis driven experiments mean what we think they mean.

Sharon McGee recently returned to her role of business analyst after a period of time during which she did lots of other interesting things! These include looking after her children, and completing an empirically based PhD on the causes and consequences of software requirements change. She enjoys trying to figure out what makes people tick, and designing software that makes people happy. She has presented at international conferences before – mainly academic – and appreciates meeting like-
minded people.

Culture Schmulture: How recruiting for cultural fit can put you at a disadvantage

It's common these days to hear talk of "cultural fit" and every time I hear it, it makes me shudder. A company made up of people who are too similar is unlikely to bring great creativity or innovative problem-solving now matter how comfortable and "safe" it might feel.

I believe that one of our next big challenges as an industry will be to recognise and understanding why and how to embrace and support all kinds of different people in our teams and organisations. This short talk aims to explain why this is important and propel you towards working out how to do so.

Dr. Sallyann Freudenberg is an agile coach, consultant and trainer with a keen focus on psychology and collaboration.

She holds a PhD in the Psychology of Collaborative Software Development, performs ethnographic research, publishes and speaks about the ways that experienced agile teams interact, with a particular interest in distributed cognition and the psychology of pair programming. 


Behaviour-Driven Development is for Testers and Developers everyone

Image uploaded from iOS (3).png

BDD can often seem like an exclusive club for testers and developers, but for it to be successful on a project, it needs to be embraced by the whole team. This is a talk about the importance of collaboration and how everyone, in every discipline, can and should get involved in the BDD process.


Narges Jalali is a Senior Product Designer – and occasional Product Lead @ustwo – with a passion for collaboration, improving ways of working and multi-disciplinary team environments. @NargesJalali on Twitter.


Having our Cake and Eating It: end-to-end function tests that can run in milliseconds

On our current project, we fell into several well-known pitfalls with our approach to functional testing -- siloed responsibility, unreliable automation, duplicated code. We had to rethink our approach.

We took advantage of our application's "Ports-and-Adaptors" architecture to write tests in a different way. Instead of working "outside-in", starting by driving the GUI, we now write functional tests that exercise the domain model in isolation. To exercise more of the system, we translate the inputs and assertions in the tests from the level of the domain model into interactions at wider and wider scales. We can now run the same tests directly against the domain model, against service interfaces, and through the UI in end-to-end system tests.

We are having our cake and eating it too!

In this talk I'll describe the motivation and design of our functional test infrastructure, and discuss its benefits and challenges.


Nat Pryce has been doing TDD for a long time. He is one of the authors of Growing Object­-Oriented Software Guided by Tests. He is currently working with Springer Nature, helping them build a platform for the submission and review of scientific research.


The power of the community of practice

Communities (like the BDD community) are so important to develop expertise, experience and knowledge of a practice. Emily helps organisations build communities of practice centred around roles that benefit the members of that community and the organisation that they sit in. In this talk, she'll talk about what makes a community successful and what you can do to start your own in your organisation.


Emily Webber is a agile coach, consultant and trainer. Passionate about people, communities and learning. Author of “Building Successful Communities of Practice


BDD and the New Model for Testing

This talk proposes a model of the thought processes that every tester uses. In a sentence, what we do is this: "we explore sources of knowledge to build test models that inform our testing". The model identifies two modes of thinking – exploration and testing – and we use judgement to decide when to flip from one to the other.

The model maps directly to the BDD way. On the left hand side, we use the models (stories, of course) to capture requirements and on the right hand side, we challenge our sources of knowledge, and reuse the stories to inform (or generate) the tests of features.

Separating out these ten activities clarifies what testers and developers do. It identifies the capabilities and skills that all tester need to acquire, to practice and excel in. The New Model was partly inspired by the BBD approach and can help practitioners understand the BDD collaboration and test process.


Paul Gerrard is a consultant, teacher, author, webmaster, developer, tester, conference speaker, rowing coach and a publisher. He is Principal of Gerrard Consulting Limited, Director of TestOpera Limited and is the host of the Assurance Leadership Forum in the UK.


Shift Left – A mindset shift

Shift Left is all about integrating tests earlier in the software development life cycle. It's writing your automated tests prior to, or alongside, coding. Although it requires using new techniques likes BDD and TDD, it's more about changing the mindset around quality. It's about evolving the culture within the agile team - only then can we be successful in achieving continuous testing.

At Vanguard we began using the Agile methodology about 10 years ago. Even though we were an “agile team” it took months before delivering features to production. We were tired of running regression tests for weeks and uncovering large amount of defects. Developers were just throwing code over the wall for someone who cares about quality. How did we change this? And how did we go from taking months to release to days? It all starts with changing the mindset around quality. Baking in quality versus testing quality afterwards starts from having the entire team own quality.

We were challenged by the business to have over 1000 software engineers adopt Shift Left in order to achieve our dream of continuous testing. Come and learn how we were able to drive this mindset change across the enterprise.


Sheetal Patel is a Senior IT Program Manager at the Vanguard Group leading a transformational change to modernize how we develop and test software across IT to enable Continuous Delivery. Sheetal leads a team responsible for bringing contemporary software testing practices to a development staff of over 1000 IT professionals. Sheetal’s team is driving new change to bring people, process and technology change to over 200 teams in Vanguard’ IT organization.


Beautify Your Steps with Helper Modules

As much as we all love Cucumber, the fact remains that step definitions tend to get ugly. Lengthy conditionals, hard-coded data, and unneeded variables and parameters all contribute to step definition code that is lengthy, confusing, brittle, and hard to read and maintain. In this talk, Dana Scheider will explain how to use helper modules to keep your step definitions concise, readable, and robust.


Dana Scheider is a member of the Cucumber core team and lead author of Rambo, a contract testing tool for Ruby. She is particularly interested in testing, REST API design, and improving processes within engineering organizations. Dana lives in Portland, Oregon, USA with her two dogs and loves opera, math, travel, and foreign languages.



Be fondly remembered by the attendees of CukenFest by purchasing an item on our conference "wedding" list. Pick an item you think people will remember; cover a round of drinks, foot the lunch bill, or pay for the coffee cart. People don't forget kind gestures of generosity easily. Fill out the Typeform below or contact us.



CukeUp! London (June 23rd) will take place inside Village Underground on Holywell Lane, Shoreditch. A mighty impressive space. 

BDD Kickstart and CukenSpace will be held in nearby venues.

We have a preferred rate at Citizen M right across the street. Just use this link to obtain the discount.

There are lots of hotels in the area ranging in price, including Holiday Inn, Ace Hotel and The Hoxton