RSpec / Capybara notes

August 21, 2016

I didn’t pay much attention to testing in rails until recently. I thought that it takes too much time to finish an app and sometimes feels boring.

But recently I decided to make a small task manager web-app and try to fully test it by using RSpec and Capybara. I know about Minitest but don’t like it for some reasons :)

Here’s what I got in the end:


Setup and problems…

So the first this was installing gems

group :development, :test do
  gem 'rspec-rails', '~> 3.5'
  gem 'capybara'
  gem 'selenium-webdriver' # to test pages that require js execution
  gem 'rails-controller-testing'
  gem 'factory_girl_rails'
  gem 'shoulda-matchers'
  gem 'database_cleaner'
  gem 'simplecov', :require => false

group :development do
  gem 'guard-rspec', require: false # to run tests when I make changes in code

Then, after rails generate rspec:install I had to configure the generated rspec config files:

spec/spec_helper.rb Here I only added expectations.syntax = [:should, :expect]

Most of the configuration goes in spec/rails_helper.rb And in most parts it can just be copied from project to project.

I came across a problem where Selenum couldn’t login to the app when I used js: true. As it turned out the problem was with configuration of Database cleaner.


The following configuration worked just fine.

config.before :suite do

config.before(:each) do
  DatabaseCleaner.strategy = :transaction

config.before(:each, :js => true) do
  DatabaseCleaner.strategy = :truncation

config.before(:each) do

config.append_after(:each) do

Also set config.use_transactional_fixtures = false More info


At first it was confusing what exactly should I test. But there’s a list of what can actually be tested with different kind of specs at

controller specs, model specs, …

here’s an example for controllers

Since most of the crud controller specs look the same, here’s an example of how controller spec should look like. If it’s not just a crud, it’s still gonna be something similar.


And here’re the other specs of this app: /spec

Helpful resources:

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