Top Javascript Testing Frameworks in Demand for 2019

January 09, 2019 0 Comments

Top Javascript Testing Frameworks in Demand for 2019



A quick overview of the most in-demand javascript testing frameworks that would take centre stage in the javascript ecosystem and developers should get familiar with in 2019

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TL;DR: in this article, we would look at the top most in-demand javascript testing frameworks and review them based on insights from the state of javascript results.

Generally, there are basically three types or ways a javascript application can be tested. The first way is by testing individual functions separately or independently through a kind of blackbox method where inputs are provided with an already known output to make sure expected results are produced, this is called Unit Testing. The process of then testing the whole component or application to see if expected results are outputted is called Integration Testing. The third way is known as User Interface Testing, it is used to basically test your application by controlling browser without much emphasis on the internal workings to test expectations.

State of JS is basically an annual survey of everything JavaScript where opinions of developers who take the survey are recorded and beautifully visualised to show insights that signify the state of JavaScript in that year.

The data points cover frontend web development frameworks, databases, state management, relationships between frameworks, reception and ease of use, languages that compile to JavaScript, mobile frameworks, build tools, JavaScript testing tools and a whole lot more. It is a very comprehensive JavaScript survey that was started in 2016 by Sacha Greif and a few other helpers and now it has over 20,000 developers’ response in the latest edition.

Yes, State of JS is actually the very first JavaScript-only developer survey that is universally respected as far as the JavaScript community is concerned. There are other very popular surveys like the stackoverflow developer survey with over 100,000 respondents and even Jetbrain’s State of Developer Ecosystem Report with over 6,000 respondents, we are going to however focus on the state of js survey today.

Let us take a quick overview of these testing frameworks in the order they were visualised in the state of javascript 2018 survey.

Tip: When working with components (React, ES6 etc) use Bit to easily share, organize and reuse them between apps- to build faster. You can also use it to individually test components in the cloud, before using them. Give it a try.

Jest, arguably one of the most popular javascript testing framework with over 22,000 ⭐️ on github was built and is constantly maintained by the team at Facebook. It is a zero-configuration javascript testing framework recommended by React and the most easy to use too. Jest has a very impressive acceptance rate in 2018 by the javascript community.

It is very performant, with an unambiguous and convenient user interface. It ships with spies and mocks and creates test globals by default. It also provides for snapshot testing and ships with a built-in code coverage tool. It is incredibly fast and one of the best options for beginners who would want to get into testing their javascript code. There is also a ton of resources available online about Jest.

Mocha with over 16,000 ⭐️on github is the most used javascript testing framework for years now. It is used with third party assertions, mocking and spying tools like chai or enzyme. Asides the massive ecosystem Mocha has well established options with a great documentation. It is very flexible and open to a lot of extensions.

Although we are seeing a little drift of dominance from Mocha to Jest, but Mocha is still the most used testing tool and the most depended-upon library and javascript developers are not letting go yet mainly because of the wealth of freedom and flexibility that comes with using Mocha. The Mocha community is very massive and there are tons of resources out there on usage and use cases.

Jasmine is universally known as the testing framework that is officially recommended by Angular for developers to use, the Jest framework was built based on Jasmine. With over 14,000 ⭐️on github Jasmine is one of the most popular frameworks for testing javascript, it is also one of the oldest too with the most resources and community support. Angular developers would find it easy to use and integrate as the Angular official documentation also suggests using Jasmine. It is very easy to get started, this is probably one of the things that inspired Jest. In 2018 according to the survey, we see a shift in the usage of Jasmine to Jest and also more react applications being tested by jasmine compared to angular.

It is very important to note that tests for Angular applications can be easily run with Jest and it is practically just all about preference.

Karma with over 10,000 ⭐️on github is a kind of general use case javascript testing framework. You can run tests in your browser or in browser-like environments like jsdom. There is support for continuous integration tools like travis and jenkins, tests can be run on real devices or on a headless phantomJs instance. It is framework agnostic so you can describe your tests with Jasmine, Mocha or write a simple adapter for any framework you like.

Tests can also be run remotely from your terminal or IDE or using services like BrowserStack.

AVA with over 15,000 ⭐️on github is currently the most minimalistic javascript testing framework out there that runs tests in parallel. AVA is a test runner for Node.js with a concise API, detailed error output, embrace of new language features and process isolation that let you write tests more effectively.

It ships with support for snapshot testing and typescript and runs tests in watch mode making it really fast; it also provides an isolated environment for each test file. It is easy to get started and has a collection of resources available online.

With over 9,000 ⭐️on github, Cypress is a very fast and reliable javascript testing tool. It basically injects tests into a web application, it provides a very clear and extensive documentation and is in constant competition with another testing framework TestCafe.

It also ships with support for Mocha and has a really good way of logging test results in a dashboard and easy debugging. It is the testing framework to look out for in 2019 with massively growing acceptance rate.

With over 43,000 ⭐️on github, Puppeteer built by the team at Google is a Node library which provides a high-level API to control Chrome or Chromium over the DevTools Protocol. Puppeteer runs headless by default, but can be configured to run full (non-headless) Chrome or Chromium.

It is new to the testing scene but already has a lot of developers using it (thanks google!) It is also pretty fast, since it is native, it does not currently support a lot of extensions but the future is really bright and promising.

With over 3,700 ⭐️on github, QUnit is a JavaScript unit testing framework which was originally developed for testing jQuery, jQuery UI and jQuery Mobile, it is a generic framework for testing any JavaScript code. It supports client-side environments in web browsers, and server-side.

QUnit is similar to other unit testing frameworks like JUnit, but makes use of the features JavaScript provides and helps with testing code in the browser, such as built in support for asynchronicity and exception handling.

With 6,000 ⭐️on github, Chai is a Behaviour-Driven Development and Test-driven development assertion library, similar to Node’s built-in assert. It makes testing much easier by giving you lots of assertions you can run against your code. It ships with support for any other testing framework like Mocha.

TestCafe with over 5,900 ⭐️on github, is a node framework used for end to end javascript application testing. It ships with typescript support and has a really nice interface for logging test results.

It runs on all the popular environments including Windows, MacOS, and Linux. It supports desktop, mobile, remote and cloud browsers (UI or headless). It also has very elaborate documentation and a growing community.

Here we see that in the testing scene, there is no winner take all situation as it might seem in other sections like frontend development or backend. The various communities are almost evenly dispersed with interests and acceptance rates always fluctuating over time. What testing framework do you use, you can tell me down in the comments section.

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