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Handling errors from async methods in Jest

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This blog post was published more than one year ago and might be outdated!
· 2 min read
Stephan Hochdörfer
Head of IT Business Operations

While testing an async method with ts-jest I came across a problem. The method throws an error on invalid input.

I created a simple test case like this:

expect(async () => {
await service.createDefaultIssuesForProject('My sample project');
}).toThrow('GitLab ID missing!');

When executing the test, jest died with the following error:

[UnhandledPromiseRejection: This error originated either by throwing inside of an async function without a catch block,
or by rejecting a promise which was not handled with .catch(). The promise rejected with the reason
"Error: GitLab ID missing!".] { code: 'ERR_UNHANDLED_REJECTION'

I was digging through a ton of blog posts and followed their advice but none really worked. Luckily my co-worker Daniel Ruf knew the answer. Well, actually two to be precise :)

Since the Promise was rejected, I have to tell expect() that:

await expect(
service.createDefaultIssuesForProject('My sample project')
).rejects.toThrow('GitLab ID missing!');

The more complex alternative would be to catch the error myself, and compare the error message with the one that I expect (pun intended):

let errorObj : unknown;
try {
await service.createDefaultIssuesForProject('My sample project');
} catch (error : unknown) {
const e = error as ErrorEvent;
errorObj = e.message;
expect(errorObj).toBe('GitLab ID missing!');

I decided to go with the first approach as it felt cleaner to me.