Coding Tips

What Can You Do with Node.js as a Web Developer

Node.js is a JS (Javascript) runtime environment, an open source and cross-platform, built in Chrome v8 JavaScript engine that can be written in JavaScript, C and C++. This technology enables execution of JavaScript outside of a web browser, which can be done in a computing environment, for instance, a server or a local development environment. The source code of Node.js can be found at Github - node.js/node.

Once you install Node.js, you won’t find it in your apps list, and it can’t merely be launched. You’ll have to type command line instructions or know how to start a tool like PowerShell or Windows Command Prompt. From the very start, you have to know that Node.js is quite specific.

What’s interesting about node.js is the fact that every developer has heard of it, even if they haven’t used it. Node.js is different because it can’t be put in a regular tech development box. It’s so because of the following points:

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  • Node.js distinguishes from programming languages such as PHP or Ruby that are used for the development of backend applications. While you can develop backend apps with Node.js as well, it’s not exclusively created for that.
  • Installing Node doesn’t mean that you’ll get a library of a framework. However, there are Node.js frameworks, such as Express.js - the minimalist web framework for Node.js. By using the Express application generator, you can easily create the skeleton of the application. Also, Express is used for having your client side code communicate via Ajax, by utilizing jQuery, for example.
  • Even though Node.js isn’t a package manager, it has an npm registry of around 800,000 code packages. Npm is Javascript’s runtime environment - Node.js’ default package manager. To get the Node Package Manager, get a proper npm install.

So, what is Node JS development used for? For instance, creating HTTP servers in Node.js  is quite common. This way, the HTTP module can create a web server that will listen to ports and respond to the client. 

The other five most common uses are the following:

  1. Chatbots and neural networks,
  2. Creating backend web apps,
  3. Package management by npm, jspm, bower, etc.
  4. Desktop apps,
  5. Command line tools; module management tooling; development tooling; task running automation, etc.

It seems that Node.js is continually being upgraded, and that’s the reason why Microsoft has created Node.js tool for Visual Studio. For instance, the Visual Studio Code editor is useful for debugging and writing Node. 

Since investments are made into the Node, you should consider investing in your Node.js knowledge. So, if you're planning to use Node.js, we’ll share with you the benefits of Node JS development that will be useful for every Node JS web developer. The sooner you start learning about Node.js, the more years of experience you’ll have, so the better for you. Before you install Node.js, check out its perks below:

Robust Technology Stack

Robust Technology Stack

It seems that JavaScript is among the most commonly used programming languages. As a result, the usage of Node.js keeps on growing, according to the number of downloads and reviews by Node JS web developers. So, when using Node.js for backend, developers get the full stack JavaScript perks: 

  • Code sharing and reusing
  • Efficiency and productivity
  • Many free tools
  • Speed and performance
  • Access to a community where you can learn and develop

As a result of the speed and flexibility, the Node.js development team can create excellent software. Also, the developers who are trained in frontend JavaScript can overtake the development of the server side without any more significant issues. The same programming language on both sides makes it easier to reuse the code. Therefore, full stack developers should only know Node.js because there is no option for backend JavaScript development. For the other technologies, such as MongoDB, Express, and Angular.js, there is a replacement, offering quite the same functionality. 

Scalable Technology for Microservices

Node.js is a regular choice of developers who are dealing with microservice architecture. This type of microservices creates an opportunity for scalability further on. It’s because of the smaller modules compared to a solid core that doesn’t offer much flexibility. Therefore, adding microservices to smaller existing units is a more accessible alternative than integrating features to an already created and functional application.

Corporate and JSON Support

IBM, Microsoft, SAP, PayPal and Fidelity established the Node.js Foundation in 2015, and that’s where the technology gets resources for an acceleration of its development. Besides, the list of companies that are using Node.js keeps on growing, including corporations such as Uber, Trello, PayPal, Medium, etc. on the list. Compared to other open source projects, the support that Node.js receives indeed predicts a fruitful future for itself.

Node.js also gets support from the JSON format of communication that it does differently from other backend technologies. For instance, Ruby on Rails and PHP use JSON format as well; however, Node.js doesn’t convert the binary models. Therefore, Node.js using Javascript can be especially useful when creating RESTful APIs that will be for NoSQL database support.

Fast Processing Nature

Fast Processing Nature

Compared to the other technology, Node.js is pretty fast when it comes to handling requests. The reasons for it are because of the v8 engine, asynchronous processing and the event-based model. 

  • Node.js’ engine was primarily written in C++ for the Chrome browser, for converting functions from Javascript into machine code. Its engine keeps on being enhanced, thanks to Google that invests into v8.
  • When it comes to backend development, synchronous processing is executed by assuming that the code is done in a sequence. As a result, every request would block the thread, and the other requests will be kept on hold. On the other hand, asynchronous processing is all about processing the demands without any blocking of the thread. It is how Node.js keeps a short response time, making the most out of single threading. 
  • The third aspect that puts Node.js in advantage is the event-based type of model. In real-time applications, using the same language for both sides (client and server), Node.js keeps a step ahead. It’s why Node.js is the first choice in chats, online gaming, video-conferences and other apps that deal with real-time uploading and updating of data and information. A library handles these reactions to events, and the mechanism is called an event loop. 

In the end, we have to admit that there are tons of options when it comes to usage of Node.js. However, it’s up to you to choose whether this technology will be suitable for your future projects and applications. If you think that you might need the upgrade, go on and grasp the potential that Node.js offers!

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