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Mocking a property using getters and setters

January 19, 2018

6 min read

This is the getter/setter pattern explained on MDN that I only recently learned existed.

const test = {
set val(val) {
this._val = val;
get val() {
return this._val;
_val: 0,

Leveraging this pattern its possible to detect when a variable has been set or gotten. By passing in a mocked function as the getter or setter of a property you're interested in, its possible to test for assignment of the property by checking if the mocked function was called.


it('mocks the value property on originalObject', () => {
const originalObject = {
value: '',
// add new property to hold the value of the property
originalObject._val = '';
// create a mocked function in jest
const mockedSetter = jest.fn();
// implement setter behavior on the mock
mockedSetter.mockImplementation((val) => {
originalObject._val = val;
// override the value property definition with our mocked setter
Object.defineProperty(originalObject, 'value', {
set: mockedSetter,
configurable: true,
// assign to the newly mocked proprty
originalObject.value = 'test';
// expect our value property was set exactly once


https://j11y.io/snippets/fun-with-getters-setters/ https://github.com/jquery/jquery/blob/master/src/attributes/val.js#L46 https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/JavaScript/Reference/Global_Objects/Object/defineProperty