Testing Javascript with iterables


I wanted to write tests for the retryAxios function described in my recent post about retrying back-end service calls.

Rather than mocking Axios itself with either moxios or Axios mock adapter, I wanted a simple mock of an Axios function. The mock needs to be configurable to return a known sequence of responses, where each response is a promise that either resolves or rejects.

My solution was to create a function that returns a closure:

const mockAxios = (...returns) => {
  const iter = returns[Symbol.iterator]();
  return () => {
    const { done, value } = iter.next();
    if (done) {
      throw new Error('Testing error: mockAxios iterator done');
    return mockRequest(value);
  • The rest parameter returns contains an array that specifies how each function call will return.
  • mockAxios returns a closure that iterates through returns, calling mockRequest for each value in that iterable.
  • If the iterable is exhausted the test itself is in error.

mockRequest is a bare-bones implementation of the behaviour of Axios functions:

class HttpError extends Error {
  constructor(response, ...params) {
    this.response = response;

class NetError extends Error {
  constructor(code, ...params) {
    this.code = code;

const mockRequest = async (retVal) => {
  if (Number.isInteger(retVal)) {
    const response = { status: retVal };
    if (retVal >= 400 && retVal <= 599) {
      throw new HttpError(response);
    return response;
  throw new NetError(retVal);
  • If retVal is an HTTP success status code, it returns a response object with that code.
  • If retVal is an HTTP failure status code, it throws a simplified HTTP error object with that code.
  • Otherwise it returns a simplified network error object with code retVal.
  • mockRequest is async so it wraps the return value in a resolved or rejected promise.

Here is a simple example of using mockAxios in a Jest test case, with inline comments for annotation:

test('retryAxios should return first successful call if within retry limit', async () => {
  // Calling expect.assertions() is useful when testing asynchronous code.
  const data = await retryAxios(
      // The iterable with delays after retriable failures.
      [5, 5],
      // A mock Axios function that returns server failure, then network failure,
      // then success.
      mockAxios(500, 'ECONNRESET', 301)

The test code has been added to my Gist for retryAxios.