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What is Node.js?

Node.js is a backend Javascript framework for executing JavaScript code. In 2009, Ryan Dahl, the creator of Node.js, came up with a brilliant idea. He thought it would be a great idea to execute JavaScript outside of a browser. He took Google’s V8 engine and embedded it inside a C++ program and called that program Node.

Developers today use Node.js to build applications that run inside of a browser. Every browser has a JavaScript engine that takes the JavaScript code and converts it to a code that a computer can understand.

The niche where Node.js really shines is developing fast, scalable network applications. Thanks to Node, we have web applications with real-time, two-way connections where both the client and server can initiate communication.

Node.js runs on various platforms, including Windows, Linux, Unix, Mac OS X, etc. Although many people confuse it with a programming language, the '.js' means that the programming language you use with Node.js is JavaScript.

Node.js Programming Benefits For Business

Today, a wide range of businesses depend on Node.js’ unique benefits and functionalities. Walmart is a booming online retail leader thanks to Node.js. When the company wanted to build a bulletproof e-commerce system that can manage 20,000 hits per second, Node.js made that possible.

Or when Uber wanted to keep up with the ever-growing business demands of its customers, they build their matching system on Node.js.

Entrusted with developing products for the voice assistant platform Amazon Alexa, developers at NPR turned to Node.js.

What may be the cause of this fascination by Node.js in the business world? Well, businesses love using this framework because it lets them build quick, versatile system applications, as it's equipped for taking care of synchronous connections with high throughput, which translates into high scalability.

One thing is for certain: Node.js continues to grow in popularity on every continent because of its flexibility and a broad array of use cases.

Why do Developers Like Using Node.js?

With 46,000+ stars on GitHub, Node.js is very popular in the tech scene. These are the perks that make it favorite among developers:

  • Great for prototyping and agile development.
  • Great for building super-fast and highly-scalable services.
  • It’s easy to learn.
  • A Node.js app can be built twice as fast with fewer people.
  • Can decrease the average response time by 35%.
  • Node.js applications use JavaScript. So, front-end JavaScript developers can reuse their JavaScript skills and transition to a full-stack developer.
  • As developers can use JavaScript both on the front-end and on the back-end, the source code will be cleaner and more consistent.
  • It has the largest ecosystem of open-source libraries.

What is Node.js Used For?

If you’re building real-time applications with chat features like WhatsApp or collaboration features like Google Docs, Node.js is the obvious choice. Node.js should be your main pick if you’re looking to create single page applications, AJAX-intensive web apps, and streaming applications. When Node.js is used for the backend, it results in speed and performance improvements.

Made Possible With Node.js

Node.js today plays a major role in the technology stack of many high-end companies who depend on its unique benefits.
  • Uber. Have you ever needed to get to a concert quickly and used Uber? Well, without the flexibility and reliability that Node.js provides, you probably would have missed that concert. To keep up with the pace of its massive business demands, Uber has built its matching system on Node.js. It’s one of the three companies that first put Node.js into full production and credits the open source server-side technology with its ability to process lots of information, quickly.
  • Nasa. Did you know that thanks to Node.js, Nasa’s astronauts are kept safe? A few years ago, Nasa took on the challenge of creating an end-to-end system for data on the full lifecycle of spacesuits. This had to be done well, fast and as inexpensively as possible. They chose Node.js to make it work.
  • Walmart. When Walmart set its sights on becoming an online retail leader, they chose Node.js to help them achieve this. The company needed to build a fast, reliable and bulletproof e-commerce system that can handle more than 20,000 hits per second. Walmart currently offers 23 million items for sale and is rapidly expanding.

What are the Advantages of Node.js?

Some of the most notable advantages of Node.js include:

  • Thanks to the asynchronous I/O, you can accomplish more things with less code.
  • The javascript code execution is very fast as Node.js uses Google Chrome’s V8 JavaScript Engine.
  • It lets you write highly scalable networked apps.
  • Node.js has been heavily tested as major companies like Walmart, Uber, LinkedIn, and Microsoft use it.
  • It has a growing community of developers.
  • Developers can code in the same language, both on the server side and on the front end.
  • Real-time communication is managed by the loop so developers can spend more time working on the functionality of the app.
  • It comes with many tools that can enhance your app’s readiness and performance.

What are the Disadvantages of Node.js?

Here are some drawbacks of Node.js that you should consider before you make the choice:

  • Node.js’ API changes often, and the changes are sometimes backward-incompatible.
  • With Node.js, developers need to write everything from square one. However, if you have internally developed good processes for developing and maintaining code, you shouldn't worry about efficiency.
  • Node.js doesn’t support multi-threaded programming yet.
  • A large number of packages in the npm registry are of poor quality.

What are the Fundamental Technical Skills Every Node.js Developer Should Have?

Hiring the best developer is crucial for the development of your application. These are some of the skills you should be looking for:

  • A good grasp of the main JavaScript concepts.
  • Knowledge of Node.js frameworks, IDEs, and tools.
  • Experience in front-end design and development such as HTML5 and CSS3.
  • Proficiency in RESTful APIs and API communications.
  • Good knowledge of asynchronous programming.
  • Working knowledge in user authentication and authorization.
  • Error-handling skills.

Reasons for Using Node.js in Your Web Development

So why should you use Node JS in your web development? What is it really good for? Well, here are a few good reasons:

  • Event-driven and single-threaded. What does this mean? It means that Node.js can handle heavy load very well. This JavaScript framework can manage a large number of concurrent connections and still remain fast due to its non-blocking I/O nature. To translate, this means that you have the ideal framework with all the right tools at one place to create a high-performing system.
  • A vibrant community. Node.js has a vibrant and large community. You can find the solution to any problem discussed online. There is a number of resources to learn from and a library for everything. With a simple npm install command, you can gain access to a broad set of ready-to-use libraries.
  • Easy deployment of Node.js apps. Many programming environments need a dedicated setup because no one created an ecosystem around them. Today, in Node.js, you have many solutions for deployment. If you want to share an application with the world, you can use platforms like Glitch, Heroku, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.
  • It has a wide range of applications. Node.js can be used for developing web apps, single page apps, APIs, chats/RTAs, and dashboards.
  • It has a proven record of success. Node.js has been heavily tested by major companies like Walmart, Uber, LinkedIn, and Microsoft.

Why Hire a Node.js Developer?

Node.js developers can make your customers happier

Node.js developers can make your customers happier by reducing the page loading time. The javascript code execution is very fast as Node.js uses Google Chrome’s V8 JavaScript Engine. PayPal experienced a 35% decrease in the average response time for the same page after deploying Node.js applications. The pages were being served 200ms faster and this is something users will most certainly notice.

Experienced Node.js developers have many skills

Businesses hire Node.js developers who have several years of experience because their list of skills grows over the years.

A skilled Node.js developer:

  • Has knowledge of the main JavaScript concepts.
  • Is experienced in front-end design and development such as HTML5 and CSS3.
  • Is proficient in RESTful APIs and API communications.
  • Possesses error-handling skills.
  • Has working knowledge in user authentication and authorization.

Node.js developers already know JavaScript

Node.js developers are already quite comfortable using the JavaScript ecosystem. They understand the language so switching to a similar open-source framework is very practical.

Node.js developers can work on various projects

Node.js developers can create applications with varying levels of complexity. This can include E-commerce applications, CrowdFunding, IOT, social media, and Enterprise Web Service, among others.

How Do I Hire a Node.js Developer?

The first step is to create a well-written job description. The job description should include your company’s culture, the benefits of working there, relevant responsibilities, and the skills and qualifications that you expect the candidate to have.

You will be most successful in your search for Node.js developers if you attend Node.js conferences and meetups, search online communities, and stay active on social platforms.

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