Node JS Development: All You Need to Know

Want to start your journey with Node JS? Discover why the biggest players choose it, what are the best implementations of Node and how to easily compose your tech stack.

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • What is Node JS and what is it used for?

  • What are the actual facts about Node JS (+ myths busted)?

  • Why Node JS is a solution for both startups and corporate organizations?

  • What are the best tools for developers?

  • How you can stay up to date with Node JS easily?

  • and more..

Introduction

Facebook, Netflix, Uber, eBay – they all use Node JS. It seems like a proof of its efficiency, don’t you think?

But let’s investigate for ourselves. What is actually so great about Node Js development?

In a nutshell. From the business point of view, Node helps to deliver fast and test concepts quickly. It’s not more scalable than PHP, Ruby or Python, but it’s way easier to scale. It lets developers create a web server in minutes. Any developer familiar with JavaScript can learn Node quickly. And fact: it’s not a framework (we will bust that myth later!).

Want to dig deeper? Then read on.

What is Node JS?

Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform, back-end JavaScript runtime environment used to build fast and scalable network applications. It is built on Google Chrome’s JavaScript V8 Engine. It executes JavaScript code outside a web browser. Node JS is light and lets you create a web server in just a few minutes.

Simply speaking, Node is a lightweight, fast, and modern way to execute code on your computer.

Node JS brings JavaScript to the next level. It lets developers build an app on the client and server side at the same time, using JavaScript.

CHAPTER 1:

What is Node JS used for?

Node JS is particularly well-suited for building scalable network applications. There are several features that allow it: V8 JavaScript engine, the fact that Node is asynchronous, single-threaded, and has unified API.

Node JS can be used especially for:

  • chat applications
  • streaming applications
  • command-line applications
  • browser games
  • embedded systems
CHAPTER 2:

Facts about Node JS development

Let’s take a look at four commonly spread myths about Node Js and then… bust them.

Myths:

  • Node JS is a framework.
  • It relies only on Chrome V8 engine.
  • Multi-threads are not supported.
  • It’s hard to work with Node JS for beginners.

Actual facts:

  • Node JS is a server capable of executing JavaScript.
  • It’s an open source and cross-platform system that allows for building web apps.
  • Node JS supports multi-threads, provides asynchronous and event-driven APIs.
  • Developers familiar with JavaScript will learn Node quickly.

Pros and cons of Node JS development

Pros of Node JS development:

  • Learning curve is low for developers familiar with JavaScript.
  • A runtime environment supports the caching of modules.
  • Thanks to event-driven input/output (I/O) requests are handled better.
  • Developers use the same code for server-side and client-side, what makes the deployment of web applications easier.
  • NPM is the biggest package manager in the software world.

Cons of Node JS development:

  • Inconsistently enhancing API.
  • It’s not an optimal solution for tasks that are intensive on CPU.
  • Opinions about the asynchronous approach are split.
CHAPTER 3:

9 famous apps built with Node JS

Node JS is used by the biggest players:

  • PayPal
  • LinkedIn
  • Yahoo
  • Mozilla
  • Netflix
  • Uber
  • Groupon
  • GoDaddy
  • eBay
CHAPTER 4:

Benefits of Node JS development

Node JS allows for faster delivery and, that way, helps to test concepts. It does it by sharing model code and tests between the client and server, which leads to a significant efficiency for development team.

Plus, Node.js excels as a “framework” for applications that provide real-time experience or streaming (chats, transactions, reservations, advertising).

With Node JS it’s easier to make changes in the app. It happens smoother when the application model is based on Node.js’s event-driven model rather than a classic MVC.

CHAPTER 5:

Why the biggest companies from various industries choose Node.js?

Above reasons may seem more crucial for startups, but corporate organizations across the world are also choosing Node.js to build game-changing applications.

Why corporate organizations choose Node JS development.
CHAPTER 6:

15 best Node JS tools for developers

That list may be a little subjective – those are the tools our developers use and love. But for the ones who are starting with Node JS – let’s just make your lives easier.

Tools you (or your team) may want to try with Node JS:

  • Mocha.js – test framework for asynchronous testing both in console and in the browser
  • Chai – a TDD and BDD assertion framework which can be paired with any chosen testing framework
  • Sinon.JS – a standalone testing framework for JavaScript, works with any testing tool, supports stubs, mocks, and spies.
  • Express.js – a minimalist framework, Node JS and Express.js enable developers to build software using JavaScript on the server side.
  • WebStrom IDE – an outstanding IDE for Javascript, has all you may need for building Node JS apps on the server and on the client side.
  • Passport.js – an authentication middleware for Node JS.
  • Socket.io – a framework that allows for bi-directional real-time communication, based on events.
  • Webpack – it bundles JavaScript files for usage in a browser.
  • BlueBird.js – a library that helps you to control asynchronous code.
  • PM2 – a process manager.
  • Electrode.io – a platform for building universal React/Node JS applications with standardized structure and best practices baked in.
  • Meteor.js – a framework for rapid prototyping and writing cross-platform code.
  • Vue.js – seems a great alternative for Angular.js.
  • MEAN.JS – a full-stack JavaScript solution for web apps. The stack consists of MongoDB, Express.js, Angular.js and Node JS.
  • Babel – a JavaScript compiler.
CHAPTER 7:

Want to be up to date? 9 best Node JS newsletters

Node JS newsletters and resources not only allow developers to be up to date with changing trends and important topics, but also to learn something new.

Here is the list of the most interesting newsletters connected to Node.js development:

Next steps

If you want to learn more about top implementations of Node JS, proceed to the next chapter.

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