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We’ve decided to share with you the list of tools we’ve used before or use on a daily basis, to make life easier for those who, like us, work with Node.js.
For each tool, you will find a download link and a few tutorials or blog posts to get you started. Plus, a developer’s commentary.
Here we go!
Powerful Node.js Tools – List
A big advantage of Mocha.js is that it’s modularity so you can easily use other libraries with is, such as Chai, Sinon or Should.js.
Why do we use Mocha.js with Node.js?
For writing tests (on all levels: unit, integration and e2e) I use Mocha.js, which is an equivalent of a similar tool – Jasmine. Both Mocha and Jasmine should be helpful for Ruby developers using RSpec.Piotr Sroczkowski / Full-Stack Developer at Brainhub
Download Mocha.js from Github.
Best resources to learn Mocha.js:
- A Quick Guide to mocha.js Test Driven Development (TDD) in Node.js
- Getting started with Mocha.js
Chai is a TDD and BDD assertion framework for Node.js which can be paired with any testing framework (like Mocha.js we just mentioned). We use Mocha.js to run asynchronous testes, but Chai helps us verify the test results.
Chai can be run in a browser or with Node.js. As an assertion tool, we use Chai with its rich plugins (ex. chai-as-promised, chai-subset, chai-things). If we need to test Node.js HTTP servers, we usually use SuperTest (it either makes real requests or simulates them while connected to Express.js).
Why do we use Chai with Node.js?
Chai is an assertion tool which I can use with Mocha.js, for example. I use it in all my tests because of the wide choice of standard assertions and even more in its plugins. It gives me much simpler and more readable tests than using my own assertion helpers or other less popular libraries.Piotr Sroczkowski / Full-Stack Developer at Brainhub
Download Chai from Github.
Best resources to learn Chai:
- List of useful plugins for Chai
- Tutorial: Test RESTful API with Mocha.js and Chai
- Testing Node.js code with Mocha.js and Chai
Why is Sinon.JS one of our best Node.js tools?
Sinon.JS is one of the most sophisticated mocking libraries. It distinguishes stub, spy and mock!Marcin Dryka / Tech Lead at Brainhub
Download Sinon.JS from Github.
Best resources to learn Sinon.JS:
- Best Practices for Spies, Stubs and Mocks in Sinon.JS
- Unit test like a secret agent with Sinon.JS
Why do we use Express.js with Node.js?
We enjoy using Express framework because of its simplicity. You can simply connect it with nodemon and you won’t have to restart the web app each time you make changes to your code. We were considering using a framework based on Express like Sails.js or Happy.js but we decided it would be an overhead (especially in microservices-oriented architecture).Piotr Sroczkowski / Full-Stack Developer at Brainhub
Download Express.js from Github.
Best resources to learn Express.js:
- Express and Nodejs tutorial for beginners
- The Dead-Simple Step-by-Step Guide for Front-End Developers to Getting Up and Running with Node.JS, Express, Jade, and MongoDB
- Build a Complete MVC Website With ExpressJS
#5 WebStrom IDE
You can do debugging, tracking (with built-in tool spy-js) and unit testing (with easy to integrate Karma or Mocha.js).
Why do we use WebStorm IDE with Node.js?
It speeds up everyday work. Gives you a coding assistance and navigation, refactoring, testing and debugging tool.Marcin Dryka / Tech Lead at Brainhub
Best resources to learn WebStorm IDE:
- Create and run your first web project with WebStorm IDE
- Introduction: JetBrains IDEs tutorial
Passport.js is an authentication middleware for Node.js. It gives you a choice of over 300 different ways of authenticating your app including username and password model, login via Facebook, Google, Twitter etc., and many other. It’s extremely easy to implement with any Express.js app.
Why do we use Passport.js with Node.js?
We use Passport.js with Node.js because it simplifies the authorization stage and lets us enable authentication methods that suit our customers’ needs.Piotr Kowalski / Tech Lead at Brainhub
Download Passport.js from Github.
Best resources to learn Express.js:
- Easy Node Authentication: Setup and Local
- Authenticating Node.js Applications With Passport
- User Authentication With Passport and Express 4
Socket.io is a framework that enables a bi-directional communication in real-time, based on events. It doesn’t matter which device or platform you’re using – it will work great on anything.
The package includes real-time analytics with counters, logs and charts. It’s perfect for chat apps and it’s loved by both big companies such as Microsoft, Zendesk, Trello and small startups.
Download Socket.io from Github
Best resources to learn Socket.io:
- Node.js Tutorial With Socket.io
- Socket.IO Tutorial With io.js and Express
- Node.js and Socket.io multiroom chat tutorial
Why do we use Webpack with Node.js?
We use Webpack with Node.js because it makes bundling and serving assets easy and fast. It simplifies deployment and makes development a pleasure.Łukasz Pluszczewski / Full Stack Developer at Brainhub
Download Webpack from Github
Best resources to learn Webpack:
BlueBird.js is a promise library, that helps you to control your asynchronous code. You can separate with it your code into different files without any problem. It’s a must-have if you care about a quality of your code. As an alternative, you can try the Q.
Download BlueBird.js from Github.
Best resources to learn BlueBird.js:
PM2 is a process manager for Node.js applications. It ‘s simple to use and provides many useful built-in features (like load balancer or watch mode).
Why is PM2 one of the best Node.js developer tools?
PM2 monitors whether the application is running properly and reloads it without any downtime. You don’t need to worry about restarting applications after they’ve crashed, PM2 does it for you. I use it in many of projects at Brainhub and I’m a big fan.Mariusz Dybciak / Full Stack Developer at Brainhub
Download PM2 from Github.
Best resources to learn PM2:
- Deploying Node.js Applications with PM2
- Node Process Management with PM2
- How To Use PM2 to Setup a Node.js Production Environment On An Ubuntu VPS
It’s a universal platform for React.js/Node.js applications. It’s brought by WalmartLabs which means that this set of tools had been tested on a huge amount of data. It’s not only a set of best practices, standardized structure and modern technologies – it also includes Electrode Explorer and Electrify.
These tools let you explore all docs and components of your platform as well as visualize in a clear and appealing way the module tree of electrode.io + Webpack project bundles.
Download Electrode.io from Github.
Best resources to learn Electrode.io:
While Meteor.js is great for prototyping apps, it’s good to keep in mind that it might not be the best solution for maintaining the already finished ones.
Why do we use Meteor.js?
We chose Meteor.js as the development framework for our projects because of the development speed achieved by sharing the common codebase between front- and back-end of the application, and by providing a ready-to-use solution for handling real-time communication between the UI and the server.Leszek Knoll / CEO at Brainhub
Download MeteorJS from Github.
Best resources to learn Meteor.js:
- Learn Meteor.js From Scratch: Build a Polling App
- Get Started with Meteor by Building a Chat App
- Building An App In 45 Minutes With Meteor
A great alternative for those who use Angular.js is Vue.js . If you don’t want to build a complex web app and have to configure routings, controllers and services then Vue.js could be the lightweight solution you’re looking for.
This framework is focused on a ViewModel – you get features of larger frameworks in a lighter version for your single page applications.
Download Vue.js from Github.
Best resources to learn Vue.js:
Download MEAN.JS from Github.
Best resources to learn MEAN.JS:
- Mean Stack Tutorial – Beginners Tutorial
- MEAN Stack User Registration and Login Example & Tutorial
- Setting Up a MEAN Stack Single Page Application
Why do we use Babel?
Babel is a transpiler from es6/es7 to es5. I use it because no popular JS engine gives you all es6 features (even V8 which is run by Node.js and Chrome). Es6 and es7 features give you much of syntactic sugar that improves code readability. Babel can generate es5 files or run es6 on the fly as well. It can be connected with a lot of other JS tools like Webpack or eslint.Piotr Sroczkowski / Full Stack Developer at Brainhub
Download Babel from Github.
Best resources to learn Babel:
- Beginners ES6 and Babel Tutorial
We hope that this list will make your journey with Node.js development a little bit (if not a lot!) easier.
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