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Table of contents
BDD Testing
Test Driven Development (TDD) 
BDD Testing with Ginkgo
Installing Ginkgo
BDD Testing with Gomega
Writing Tests using Ginkgo and Gomega
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Go Programming Language?
What is Behavior-Driven Development?
What are the phases of BDD?
What is the use of Ginkgo?
What is Gomega?
In which directory is Ginkgo installed?
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Gin - BDD Testing with Ginkgo and Gomega

Author Ayushi Goyal
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Ashwin Goyal
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Go was designed in 2007 at Google. Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike, and Ken Thompson designed it to increase programming productivity. Go is widely used by Google and other open-source projects. The former domain of Go, therefore, is also referred to as Golang. The syntax of Go is almost similar to the C programming language. But unlike C, Go also has garbage collection, memory safety, etc. It also provides high readability and usabilities like Javascript and Python. 


This article will discuss behavior-driven development testing. We will discuss two methods of BDD testing - one is by using Ginkgo, and the other by using Gomega. But before that, let's discuss what BDD testing is. 

BDD Testing

BDD stands for behavior-driven development. To accomplish stated business goals, the developer must define certain behaviors based on the vision communicated by the client or product manager. Afterward, the tester checks if the new feature meets the "why" behind it.

For example, if a client said they had found in their research that they had a lot of older users handling their application, and they needed an accessible solution, you, as the developer following a BDD model, would consider how this behavior changes which features you would add to the application - perhaps larger fonts and easily clickable items.

BDD testing

BDD specifications are usually written in non-tech language to enable non-technical stakeholders to participate in their development. As a result, the development and final product are aligned with stakeholders' expectations.

Go has a fairly capable built-in testing package. However, it does have a few limitations. This article will explain (with some simple examples) how we use Ginkgo and Gomega at Bold to write more expressive and structured unit tests in Go. As BDD is a higher version of test-driven testing (TDD), so let’s see what TDD is.

Test Driven Development (TDD) 

TDD is developed to specify and validate what the code will do. It is an approach to software development in which test cases are developed. For each functionality, test cases are created and tested first, and if the test fails, new code is then written to pass the test. This keeps the code simple and bug-free.

TDD testing

In Test-Driven Development, each small function of an application is tested. TDD framework provides developers to write new code only if an automated test has failed due to functional change. This avoids duplication of code in TDD development. The full name of TDD is Test-driven development.

Get an introduction to TDD. Go is the best language to learn TDD because it is a very simple language to learn, and testing is built-in. Be confident that you'll be able to start writing robust, well-tested systems in Go.

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BDD Testing with Ginkgo

Ginkgo provides a number of functions.

Ginkgo allows users to group tests in the Describe and Context container blocks. Ginkgo provides specific blocks that can hold any assertions. It also comes with structural utilities, for example, BeforeEach, BeforeSuite, AfterSuite, and JustBeforeEach, that allows the user to separate test configuration from new test creation and improve code reusability.

Ginkgo provides support for writing asynchronous tests. This makes testing code that uses routines and channels as easy as testing synchronous code.

Installing Ginkgo

For Ginkgo to work, your machine must have version 1.4+ installed. Using the following command, you can install Ginkgo:

go get

Ginkgo's command-line utility, which offers a lot of additional features that you might find useful once you start using Ginkgo extensively will also be installed.

BDD Testing with Gomega

With Gomega's matches, we can write tests that read like natural language.

Along with Ginkgo, let's also install Gomega, which is the recommended matcher library we'll use in conjunction with Ginkgo. To install it, run the following command: 

go get

It is flexible enough to use any matcher library with Ginkgo.

Writing Tests using Ginkgo and Gomega

Some of the functions provided by Ginkgo have already been discussed. Additionally, it provides the Expect function for making assertions. By combining it with Gomega's matches, we can write tests that read like natural language.

For example, the first Context block, when completed with assertions, will look like this:

Context("initially", func() {
cart := Cart{}

It("has 0 items", func() {

It("has 0 units", func() {

Specify("the total amount is 0.00", func() {

This block defines a newly created cart and asserts that its initial state is as expected. In this case, the assertions are wrapped in It or Specify containers. In the above code, BeZero() is a matcher created by Gomega, which checks whether a given value is zero or not.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Go Programming Language?

Go was designed in 2007 at Google. It is a statically typed language. Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike, and Ken Thompson designed Go to increase programming productivity. 

What is Behavior-Driven Development?

BDD is a software development technique that contains the description of the expected behavior of a system. 

What are the phases of BDD?

BDD moves through three phases - discovery, formulation, and automation. 

What is the use of Ginkgo?

Ginkgo is a matcher library. It helps us in writing comprehensive tests efficiently. 

What is Gomega?

Gomega is an assertion library. It is a general-purpose library that can be used with any Go or Ginkgo framework. 

In which directory is Ginkgo installed?

Ginkgo is installed in the "/usr/local/bin" directory. 


In this article, we have discussed how we can do behavior-driven development testing using Gomega and Ginkgo. We will also discuss how to install Ginkgo and Gomega. 

Do not stop learning! We recommend you read these articles -

  1. Gin - Rest API and Test with Swagger (Open API)
  2. Gin - Setting up a JSON Web Token (JWT)
  3. Main and Init Functions in Golang
  4. Sanity Testing vs Smoke Testing

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