TIL: Back to Learning Mongo

I bought this Udemy course on mongodb nearly a year ago. Based on my completion history, evidently I got about a 3rd of the way through it before quitting and moving on to something else. Considering how much the course focuses on nodejs, I’d assume I probably went and started working on courses that covered node and javascript in general (even knowing what I do now, there’s still some advanced topics being covered).

As mentioned the other day, my coding ADD is in full effect, so I decided to bring this course back from the dead and see what else I could learn from it now that I feel much more comfortable working with node.

To my surprise, a lot of the early content in this course is great, new info for me. Despite the fact that I’m a tester, I’ve never actually tested any of my node apps that I’ve written (like with a test suite), it’s always just been manually playing around with stuff.

So today I got through quite a bit of coverage, which I’m going to barf back up down below from my notes:


  • Used to help define asynchronous functionality
  • You can create a new Promise by using the following syntax:
new Promise((resolve, reject) => {
   setTimeout(() => {
       if (counter>5) {
       } else {
   }, 2000)
  • Note in the above that a Promise has two different inputs, resolve and reject.
  • When your Promise has completed running whatever it needs to do, and the call was successful, you’d call the resolve() method, passing in any variables you need to return.
  • If the promise has failed, such as erroring out, you can call the reject() method to return back the failure.
  • To handle the actual function in the code, you use the dot notation to chain on to the initial function call:
   .then((count) => alert(`You win!\nYou clicked ${count} times!`))
   .catch((count) => alert(`You lost!\nYou only clicked ${count}/5 times!`));
  • Most libraries already have promises written, we’ll be written the consumers to handle them (at least in this course).

Basic MongoDB Concepts

  • Mongo allows for multiple databases within a single mongo instance
  • Each database is made up of n number of collections
  • Collections represent a specific kind of data (you wouldn’t typically mix with another collection)
  • We’re using Mongoose for Node in this course
  • We’re using Mocha for testing against the Node app

User Models

  • We create user models (using Mongoose in this case) to define how collections will be structured
  • This is where we’re setting what the schema will be for that collection when accessing data within the collection.
  • Going to be using mongoose.Schema to define the model.
  • Schema is created like follows:
const UserSchema = new Schema({
   name: String
  • Note how the properties of the schema is assigned to a Javascript type of String.
  • In order to actually create the model (and in turn the collection), the following is required:
const User = mongoose.model('user', UserSchema);
  • If the defined collection does not exist in the connected database, it will create it on runtime.
  • User above can now be referred to as the User Class.
    • User does NOT represent a single user, it represents the ENTIRE SET of data
  • Best practice is to only export the Class name when creating models in projects (making usable in the rest of the application)

Inserting Records

  • Start by creating a new instance of your model, complete with the parameters for that model:
const joe = new User({ name: "Joe" });
  • Once the instance has been created, you can use the .save() method to save it to mongo.
  • Save method will return a promise, which can then be used to move on to assertions in Mocha.
    • After the new instance is created, Mongoose attaches an isNew property to the instance, defaulting to true
    • Once this has been saved to the database, this is flipped to false

Mocha Tests

  • Using mocha for testing automatically gives you access to describe function (test case) and it method (test step).
  • Have to make assertions to do the evaluation
    • assert package must be imported, not immediately accessible
  • Execute tests by running mocha <test_folder_name>.
  • As an alternative, you can set up an npm start rule to kick it off (same as above).


  • test_helper file is created to handle things we want to be done related to the test
    • In this example we’re using it to establish connection over to mongo
  • Inside of test_helper you can use a beforeEach() function to define what needs to be done before each part of the test (such as wiping the db)
  • Need to use the done callback to pause tests to wait for long running tasks to finish
    • done is provided by Mocha
    • beforeEach and it accept the done callback
  • Use the before function to have the tests wait until the connection has been completed before starting