Intro to Cypress Testing


In this lesson, we’re going to be working with a new codebase and testing multiple scenarios to explore the power of end-to-end tests and the tools Cypress provides. Before the lesson, please work through the following set-up steps.

Clone down the following the repos:


git clone
cd feedback-loop-ui
npm i
npm start


git clone
cd feedback-loop-api
npm i
npm start

Once you have application running, spend 15 minutes using the application and examining the FE code to see how the application runs. The fake log-in information is located in this file. It’s not important to understand every line of code, but take note of the various user flows and how the various API calls work.

For example, you don’t need to know how Router works. Instead, use the application and see how the URL changes as you navigate through the website.

Setting Up Cypress

You’ll need to use the Cypress docs to figure out how to get it set up in your repo. This might feel uncomfortable and unfamiliar, thats ok - these docs ARE unfamiliar to you right now. Take your time working through them. Ask questions in your cohort channel if you get stuck - but only after doing some research and troubleshooting to try to get yourself unstuck first.

  • First use the Cypress docs to figure out how to use npm to install Cypress within the Feedback Loop UI repo.
  • There are multiple ways of opening up Cypress. Use the docs to figure out how to setup a script in the package.json that you’ll be able to use to open up Cypress.
  • Open Cypress with the script you added. A new window will appear with two testing options.
    • Select E2E Testing.
    • There are some config options on the next window…but for now just select Continue at the bottom.
      • Hint: If you see an error that references webpack, you likely chose Component Testing by mistake in the previous step.
    • Then select your browser (Chrome) and the Start E2E Testing in Chrome button. Pause here for now and keep working thru this prework lesson.

Having completed these steps, you should notice some new directories and files added to your application.

If you get stuck!

  • Install cypress as a dev dependency.
  npm i -D cypress
  • Add the following to your package.json
  "scripts": {
    "cypress": "cypress open"
  • Then run npm run cypress

Note: This syntax might be slightly different than what you found in the docs. Thats ok! There are many syntax options.

Writing your first test!

You’ll notice in your code that there are a few directories including downloads, fixtures, and support inside of a cypress directory. Make note of these directories and go back to the main window on Cypress, then follow the instructions here for adding your first test file.

Creating some test files

As we consider what we will be testing, let’s consider a few ways to set up our files.

We could make one giant file and test absolutely everything there: But it’s probably more maintainable to group up our related user flows.

Create a few files in the e2e directory (located inside the cypress directory) using the Cypress UI (do not add them manually within your repo):

  • cypress/e2e/
  • cypress/e2e/
  • cypress/e2e/


Notice that each of these describes actions tied to our data/server/network requests. When viewing feedback from coworkers, there are several different user flows. But they all involve GETTING feedback data from the back end.

Figuring out how to group user flows/stories can be tricky, and ultimately there are no hard-and-fast rules about how to do so. Over time, you’ll develop a sense of what to put together, just like how you are learning what to break out into a React component and what to leave as is. And, of course, these conventions change from team to team.

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