Js Basics Variables Lab

Learning Goals

  • Practice using const and let to declare variables in JavaScript


We've covered a lot of JavaScript concepts, but now it's time to put the concepts into practice. We'll start with variables.


When we want to run an experiment, we need to develop a hypothesis and we need to test it. In programming, we run tests to verify that programs behave the way we think they do. Tests help us identify bugs and judge how healthy our applications are.

We use tests to describe the program's behavior, just as you would in a professional coding environment, and we also use them as teaching tools. You are in charge of getting the tests to pass.


The structure of this lab — where its files and folders are located — looks roughly like the following:

├── LICENSE.md
├── README.md
├── index.js
├── node_modules/
├── package.json
└── test
    └── indexTest.js

All labs will more or less have the same structure. (And non-lab lessons, for that matter, will still have CONTRIBUTING.md, LICENSE.md, and README.md files.)

Code Along

Open up index.js in your text editor. In index.js, you should see, well, nothing. We'll fix that soon.

Now open up test/indexTest.js. Hey, there's something! What's all of this stuff doing?

Note: The test/indexTest.js has great info that we want to look at, but do not edit this file otherwise you may have extra difficulty passing this lab.

A few lines down in the test/indexTest.js file you will see:

describe("index.js", function () {
  // there's stuff in here, too

describe is a function provided by our test library, Mocha, and it's used to hold our tests. After the word describe is information about our tests. Tests are used as a way to document the behavior of a function to developers. For example, the next word describe is followed by the word companyName. Here the test is telling us that the tests that come afterwards will be about companyName. Then comes the word it, where you see the following:

it("is set as Scuber", function () {
  // tests are here

This is telling us that the companyName should be set to Scuber. Finally, filling in the missing part of the it code, we see:

it("is set as Scuber", function () {

This example shows that the test expects companyName to equal Scuber. That expect and to.equal are essentially doing the same thing as companyName == 'Scuber'. In other words, expect(companyName).to.equal('Scuber') is running code that will have this first test pass if companyName equals Scuber and fail if it does not.

Don't worry too much yet if it's hard to understand what is happening inside of the test/indexTest.js file. But it's a good idea to open up the file, and gather the information that you can. We will also provide instructions in the README.md file that will allow you to complete the lab.

Running the Tests

To run the tests, type learn or learn test in the terminal. You should now see the current status of the tests in the terminal. For the moment, all of the tests fail. Let's figure out how to get one of them passing! (The rest will be up to you.)

To get our first test to pass, we can open up our index.js file, and write the following:

let companyName = "Scuber";

If you run learn again, you'll see that our first test is now passing. However, the second test, which is also about companyName, is not yet passing. It's not passing because it expects companyName to be declared using a different keyword than the let keyword — it needs a keyword that is used for variables that can't be changed...

Continue to work through the problems below. Keep in mind the general workflow for a lab:

  1. Run learn test.
  2. Read the errors; vocalize what they're asking you to do.
  3. Write code; repeat steps 1 and 2 often until a test passes.
  4. Repeat as needed for further tests. learn test will save your work and mark your assignment complete in Canvas once all the tests are passing.

Working Through the Problems

If you open up test/indexTest.js, you will see the tasks in front of you:

  • companyName — Inside the test/indexTest.js file, look at the describe function call for the companyName variable. The two it function calls inside this describe tell us the features of companyName we need to create. To review, in the first it function call, it says that it (companyName) is set as Scuber. In the next line, you can see that the test checks to make sure this occurs by seeing if companyName equals Scuber. So this means that you need to go to your index.js file and declare a variable named companyName and set it equal to Scuber.

  • In the second it function call for companyName, it says it is defined as a const. The next line of code tests this. So you need to make sure that you are using the correct type of variable declaration such that attempting to reassign the variable throws an error.

  • mostProfitableNeighborhood and companyCeo — Here we are getting more practice with declaring variables. Read the tests to see how you need to code these two variables to get the remaining tests passing.


Unlock your future in tech
Learn to code.

Learn about Flatiron School's Mission

With a new take on education that falls somewhere between self-taught prodigy and four-year computer science degree, the Flatiron School promises to turn students with little programming experience into developers.

In the six months since the Manhattan coding school was acquired by WeWork, it has spawned locations in Washington, D.C., Brooklyn, and London. Now, WeWork is opening a fourth Flatiron School location, this time in Houston.

Adam Enbar, Flatiron School's cofounder, believes now is the time to grow. "How the world is changing has impacted working and learning in very similar ways. We think education fundamentally is about one thing: enabling people to pursue a better life."

Learn. Love. Code.
Students come to Flatiron School to change their lives. Join our driven community of career-changers and master the skills you need to become a software engineer or a data scientist.
Find Us