Move jest.conf Out of Root Directory

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TIL how to move a jest.conf file out of the root directory for a project, while still allowing it to respect all of the relative pathing defined in the config.

Jest has a ton of configuration options, which can be stored either under a jest key in in your package.json, or in a separate jest.conf file.

We like to keep our package.json dedicated just to npm scripts, dependency versions, and application metadata, so we went the route of creating a separate jest.conf file in our latest project.

Several jest configuration options involve specifying file paths for certain transformations to be applied. For example:

// jest.conf
{
  "transform": {
    "^.+\\.(js|jsx)$": "<rootDir>/node_modules/babel-jest"
  },
}

The transform above tells jest to run files that end in .js or .jsx through babel, so they are transpiled to node-compatible javascript.

Notice the <rootDir> prepended to the babel-jest path above… <rootDir> allows you to specify relative paths in your jest config, which makes executing tests in different environments (local, jenkins, different machines) much simpler.

The name <rootDir> makes it seem like it would always reference the project root, right?

WRONG!

<rootDir>defaults to the directory in which your jest.conf file exists.

When we moved our jest.conf file to a config/ directory, our transformations started breaking. Jest couldn’t locate the babel-jest package anymore.

After doing some digging, we found a jest configuration option for updating the rootDir to point at root, even from inside of a folder.

We updated our config to the following:

// jest.conf from inside `config/` directory
{
  "rootDir": '../',
  "transform": {
    "^.+\\.(js|jsx)$": "<rootDir>/node_modules/babel-jest"
  },
}

Since our jest.conf file is one directory down from root, we needed to configure <rootDir> to point back to the root from inside of this directory (e.g. go one level up). Without doing this, <rootDir> was referencing everything relative to the config/ directory.

Hope this saves someone some time in the future!

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