Testing with RSpec

Posted by Julee117 on May 2, 2018

Testing is one of the things that I will be working on while building new apps to further my skills as a developer. I have read in many blogs that it is perceived writing tests takes too much time. However, it is helpful in verifying our codes function as intended. We also gain time by not having to manually check our codes.

Test-Driven-Development uses a red, green, refactor approach which is:

  • Red – Write a test that fails
  • Green - Write a code that passes the test
  • Refactor - When the test pass, clean up the code

Setting Up RSpec

First add the gem to your Gemfile:

gem ‘rspec-rails’

Add a spec folder:

bundle install 
bundle exec rails g rspec:install 

Basic Syntax

describe is RSpec’s unit of organization and gathers together several it blocks into a single unit. describe and it take strings as arguments. For describe, use the name of the method you are testing. Use “.” when testing a class method and “#” when testing an instance method. describe can also take a constant that is the name of the class or model you are testing.

describe Student do 
  describe ".student_class_method" do 
  describe "#student_instance_method" do 

For it, you describe the behavior you are testing.

expect() matches between the value your code returns and the expected value.

describe "hello" do 
  it "says hello" do
    expect(hello).to eq("Hello!")

context is an alias method of describe. They both group related tests together. context names should explain why or when a user would call the method.

describe "#new" do 
  contect "when logged in" do 

let is a standard helper method that takes a symbol and a block. It is not evaluated until the method is run for the first time. It also does not persist state so the same value is returned when the method is invoked within the same scope. Every it is a different scope so let does not persist state between them.

describe “Dog” do 
  let(:dog) { Dog.new(“Cooper”)}

  describe “name” do 
    it “returns a new name” do 
      dog.name = “Benji” 
      expect(dog.name).to eq(“Benji”)

    it “returns original value” do 
      expect(dog.name).to eq(“Cooper”)

There is much more to RSpec than this. Further information can be found in RSpec docs.