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Evaluating unit testing methodologies

From: Node.js Essential Training

Video: Evaluating unit testing methodologies

Bring up unit testing in a room full of software developers, and you're likely to get a range of opinions on how to do it. Regardless of those opinions, Nodes community offers unit testing tools to suit just about anyone. In this video, we'll take a look at a few of the reasons why you should unit test your code, as well as some of the testing features specific to Node. While there are a wide range of unit testing methodologies out there. There are two broad approaches I'll bring up. The first approach, is to write unit tests first.

Evaluating unit testing methodologies

Bring up unit testing in a room full of software developers, and you're likely to get a range of opinions on how to do it. Regardless of those opinions, Nodes community offers unit testing tools to suit just about anyone. In this video, we'll take a look at a few of the reasons why you should unit test your code, as well as some of the testing features specific to Node. While there are a wide range of unit testing methodologies out there. There are two broad approaches I'll bring up. The first approach, is to write unit tests first.

This is the ideal approach. It's ideal, because you can catch bugs right away. Often, writing a unit test will reveal problems with your approach to a problem, before you get too far with writing the actual code. I find that writing tests first works best when you're writing individual pieces of reusable code. However, there's a pitfall with this. It's not always practical to write tests first. Sometimes, you have to write code that's inherently not testable. While this shouldn't be an excuse to abandon unit testing altogether.

Sometimes, untestable code is unavoidable. The other approach is to write your application, and then unit test it. This approach helps you find bugs in the code you've already written. When you write unit tests after writing application, it helps you define how the application is supposed to behave, and that can help you catch breakages later on. However, the biggest pitfall with this approach is that you don't get the benefit of fixing bugs before you write your code. That's something that writing tests first will help you with.

Now I have a confession to make. For the longest time I held out on unit testing my code. The tools in the coding environment I was in were difficult to install let alone use. Even worse, the people advocating testing seemed to always make it an all or nothing proposition. Unit testing became this unapproachable ivory tower. So I just didn't bother with it. However, my opinion changed when I approached node. Due to the frequent changes earlier on in the project, unit testing was encouraged earlier on in the community.

Consequently, a good number of the modules on NPM include unit tests you can run for yourself and learn from. Let's take a look at some finished unit tests. I'm here on the command line, in a final project. Now I'm going to run some unit tests that I've already written in this project. I'm going to use the mocha command to run these unit tests. Mocha is a unit testing framework that I've downloaded from MPM. To run it I'm going to type mocha and then I'm going to press Return. I've written three unit tests and all of them are passing.

Let's take a closer look at the project. In the package.json file there's a new section called devDependencies. These are all modules that are helping me unit test my code. Regardless of how you approach unit testing a node, all the tools you need are available on NPM. When you set up your project, always include the unit testing tools in the devDependencies section. In our next video, we'll take a look at our existing application and prepare it for unit testing.

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This video is part of

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Node.js Essential Training

52 video lessons · 14246 viewers

Joseph LeBlanc
Author

 
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  1. 3m 9s
    1. Welcome
      42s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      57s
    3. Using the exercise files
      47s
    4. Using the challenges
      43s
  2. 18m 50s
    1. Why use Node.js?
      2m 1s
    2. Choosing a Node.js installation process
      4m 56s
    3. Installing Node.js on the Mac
      2m 5s
    4. Installing Node.js on Windows
      1m 43s
    5. Installing Node.js via Node Version Manager on Ubuntu Linux
      4m 45s
    6. Installing Node.js via Node Version Manager on a Mac
      3m 20s
  3. 13m 54s
    1. Exploring language additions to the V8 JavaScript engine
      3m 38s
    2. Understanding require() and modules
      6m 39s
    3. Understanding callback execution in the event loop
      3m 37s
  4. 12m 23s
    1. Initializing Node.js projects
      2m 37s
    2. Finding an NPM
      3m 30s
    3. Maintaining projects using the npm command
      6m 16s
  5. 21m 4s
    1. Creating modules with getters and setters
      6m 33s
    2. Understanding module caching and scopes
      6m 15s
    3. Implementing JavaScript creational patterns
      5m 8s
    4. Challenge: Leveraging module caching
      55s
    5. Solution: Leveraging module caching
      2m 13s
  6. 32m 27s
    1. Starting Express applications
      3m 42s
    2. Handling GET requests returning JSON
      3m 26s
    3. Navigating large datasets using request variables in routes
      5m 4s
    4. Modifying data through PUT requests
      4m 32s
    5. Supplying middleware to modify HTTP response headers
      4m 37s
    6. Generating HTML views in Jade
      8m 9s
    7. Challenge: List all records as JSON
      37s
    8. Solution: List all records as JSON
      2m 20s
  7. 25m 37s
    1. Evaluating unit testing methodologies
      3m 8s
    2. Isolating existing code for testing
      6m 47s
    3. Supplying helpers for test data
      2m 35s
    4. Writing unit tests with Mocha
      6m 5s
    5. Simulating HTTP requests with SuperTest
      7m 2s
  8. 28m 45s
    1. Connecting to MongoDB via Mongoose
      4m 16s
    2. Defining schemas for collections in Mongoose
      3m 47s
    3. Querying MongoDB collections
      5m 32s
    4. Persisting Express sessions through MongoDB and mongo-connect
      7m 6s
    5. Logging in to Express applications using Passport
      8m 4s
  9. 21m 47s
    1. Controlling the built-in REPL
      4m 18s
    2. Constructing a custom REPL
      5m 40s
    3. Receiving command-line arguments with Optimist
      6m 14s
    4. Building command-line tools
      3m 35s
    5. Challenge: Launch a custom REPL from a command
      41s
    6. Solution: Launch a custom REPL from a command
      1m 19s
  10. 15m 46s
    1. Emitting events and attaching listeners
      5m 32s
    2. Streaming chunked data through readable streams
      2m 33s
    3. Controlling readable streams
      1m 52s
    4. Piping readable data into writable streams
      2m 10s
    5. Handling duplex streams over TCP
      3m 39s
  11. 4m 6s
    1. Deploying projects to cloud hosting services
      2m 36s
    2. Finding Node.js resources
      1m 30s

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