Server tests are slightly faster than browser-driven feature tests. Since the web browser is cut out of the test, we are not testing how things are rendered for the user. Instead, we are focused on the server response.

One use of TDD at the server level is to ensure that the HTTP status codes are returned as expected. Verifying status codes provide the most basic level of confidence that the server is functioning correctly. Having a test suite that includes status codes provides a quick check when implementing a new feature that we haven’t accidentally caused a request for valid routes to respond not authorized (401) or not found (404). (Full list of status codes at httpstatuses.com)

To verify status codes, we are asserting that the response status is equal to the status code integer that our application requires:

assert.equal(response.status, 200);

If we use the “red, green, refactor” approach to implement our server behavior we would start out with an assertion like this and expect it to fail (“red”). We then implement the behavior to pass the test (“green”) and continue to refactor if needed, ensuring the test remains passing.



In index-test.js to the right, we started a server test for verifying the homepage returns a 200 (OK) status code. Add an assertion to check that the status code is indeed 200 and run the test using npm test.

When you are ready to move on, check your work.


This test failed, but that’s good news! That means we’ve entered the “red” portion of the red, green, refactor approach. Use res.send() within the server implementation for this route in index.js. It should return an empty string when a request is made to the home route ('/'). Run the test using npm test and verify it now passes.

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