node16 and Jest with ES6+ modules

I’ve run into this a few times, so leaving some notes for myself for next time,

By default, attempting to use “import x from ‘y’ ” style ES6 module imports with Jest will give you this error:

SyntaxError: Cannot use import statement outside a module

With node16, support for modules is added with the experiemental-vm option, so update your package.json to add a script executing jest with this flag:

"test": "node --experimental-vm-modules node_modules/.bin/jest"

and then also in your package.json, add:

  "type": "module",

If you search for the ‘cannot use import statement outside a module error there are plenty of recommendations, including more elaborate babel transpile ES6 modules to CommonJS style requires.

Depending what you’re doing maybe you’ll need some of the other approaches too, but I found the above 2 steps to be the bare minimum

Jest error parsing React jsx files “Support for the experimental syntax ‘jsx’ isn’t currently enabled”

I ran into this error adding new Jest tests to my React project:

SyntaxError: CellComponent.test.js: Support for the experimental syntax 'jsx' isn't currently enabled (7:34):

and then this recommendation at the end:

Add @babel/preset-react ( to the 'presets' section of your Babel config to enable transformation.

Doing an ‘npm i @babel/preset-react –save-dev’ gets us almost all the way there. Add a default babel.config.js with this config and you’re ready to go:

module.exports = {
    presets: [
          targets: {
            node: 'current',

I pieced this together from multiple places, answers on this question got me in the right direction.

Adding Jest to an ES5 project (‘Unexpected token’ errors on JSX)

So far I’ve been using Jest with ES6 (see here), but to run Jest tests against React code using ES5, you might get errors when running your test and rendering the JSX.

Per the Jest docs, install the required Jest dependencies:

npm install --save-dev jest babel-jest babel-preset-es2015 babel-preset-react react-test-renderer

If you run ‘npm test’ at this point, any tests matching the *.test.* pattern will get executed, but you’ll probably also see an error ‘Unexpected token’ whenever a render() is called that contains JSX.

The quick fix in this SO question is to add a .babelrc containing this:

{ “presets”: [“es2015”, “react”] }

and then when Jest runs against your React components Babel will know how to transpile your JSX.

More React unit testing with Jest and Enzyme

I’ve been writing some additional tests to get a better idea of how to use Jest and Enzyme for testing my React components (see my first attempts here).

I have a simple Flux app that had a LabelComponent and a ButtonComponent. The full source is here. I want to test the render output is what I expect. The render method on my LabelComponent is pretty simple:

render() {
    return (
        <div className="label">
            Text: { this.state.labelValue.value }

This component has state which comes from a Store, so this seems a little more interesting to test.

Using Enzyme you can either fully render a component to a virtual DOM using mount() and then check the results, or you can shallow() render which only renders that component and not any additional child dependencies (this is probably more useful for unit tests).

Using mount(), you can check for expected rendered output in the resulting DOM using .contains() – without doing anything to initialize the Store, this is my first step:

import React from 'react';
import {shallow, mount} from 'enzyme';
import LabelComponent from '../components/LabelComponent';
it('renders with text value', () => {

    const result = mount(<LabelComponent/>);
    expect(result.contains(<div className="label">Text: </div>));

This is good so far, but I’m really more interested in how the component renders when the Store contains values to be rendered. I’m not sure if I’ve found the right way to do this, but looking for info on how to mock out other parts of my app, like the Store, took me down a rabbit hole. The Jest docs for mocking are not particularly useful. In the api reference there’s something that looks like it allows you to setup a mock return from a function, but it doesn’t have enough info to tell you exactly how to use it.

It seems the Jest api has changed enough over time that it’s hard to find any articles that are current, and show you how the current api should be used. This SO post has a question that’s pretty close to what I was trying to do. There’s two answers that combined together got me to a working solution.

This approach didn’t work for me:

const getData = jest.fn().mockImplementation(() => {
    return {
        getData: jest.fn().mockReturnValue({'labelValue' : { 'value' : 'test'} } )

… but, this approach did exactly what I needed:

import LabelStore from '../stores/LabelStore';
const getData = jest.fn().mockImplementation(function() {
    return {'labelValue' : { 'value' : 'testvalue'} }
LabelStore.getData = getData.bind(LabelStore);

As far as I work out, this is mocking my getData() function to return the mocked data I want for testing, and then binding it to a mocked LabelStore.

I’m not sure if this is the best approach for mocking with Jest, but this is doing exactly what I need. If I learn more about this approach I’ll come back and provide an update later.