Gulp Test Task with Mocha and Visual Studio Code

18 Nov 2015

Being able to quickly define and run tests in your Visual Studio Code node project is one of those things that’ll not only make the development process easier and more delightful, but also quicker and more efficient. Luckily Visual Studio Code makes this possible to set up a test task (I’ll be using gulp for my build system and mocha for my test framework).

Install mocha

npm install --global mocha

Create tests

Create the test directory and the mytest.js file

mkdir test
ni test\mytest.js # powershell cmd to create file

Add test code to mytest.js

Note: it is a good idea to add the type definition for mocha by running tsd install mocha for IntelliSense support

var assert = require('assert');
var app = require('./app');

describe('My awesome test', function () {
    it('should return 1', function (done){
        assert.equal(app.returnOne(), 1);

Create gulp test task

Install gulp

npm install --save-dev gulp

Create gulpfile.js

ni gulpfile.js # powershell cmd to create file

Create gulp test task

Note: it is a good idea to add the type definition for gulp by running tsd install gulp for IntelliSense support

var gulp = require('gulp');
var exec = require('child_process').exec;

gulp.task('test', function (callback) {
    exec('mocha', function (err, stdout, stderr) {

Run the test task

From the command pallete

task test

(Best option) Shortcut keys

The default shortcut key combination for running the test task is CTRL + SHIFT + T.

And there you have it!! Now once this is setup, you can simple hit the shortcut key combination and Visual Studio Code will run you mocha tests!