@justin - I don’t think cucumber scenarios should’ve geared towards business or product owners. I think in the best case scenario - a business analyst can confirm (or even write) then. For me - its largely about BDD as @martin mentioned. Working in English forces me to think from the outside - and results in only writing the minimum amount of code.
I’ve seem cucumber stories and steps get really ugly though. This is especially true when too many people are writing them with their own style, and regexes are overused.
The same is true if rspec though. If too many people have different styles - the code suffers. What is missing from both rspec and cucumber are accepted patterns for style, structure, code organization, etc. any large project ought to have testing guidelines along with coding standards. (Eg - when is it okay to mock. When should code be shared, and where does it live. How do you name factories - especially those with relatins or sub factories. When do you use sub factories vs setting up data directly in a test. Etc)
Indeed - all tools have a cost - but they also have a reward.