What is Node.js and Why to Learn in 2021

What is Node.js?

Node.js is a server-side JavaScript runtime environment built on Chrome's V8 engine. Best known for its ability to build server-side and networking applications, Node.js is a popular tool for creating JSON API based applications, I/O applications, and data intensive real-time applications. Node.js also has a package management program called npm which is the largest collection of libraries globally.

Node.js logo

Client-side vs Server-side JavaScript

When working with Node.js, the term "server side JavaScript" frequently shows up, distinguishing Node.js from the JavaScript commonly used in the front-end aspect of web applications. When a user interacts with a website's user interface such as clicking a button, the client side JavaScript is triggered and the user sees the result from that code. Server side JavaScript is another use case of the language that allows JavaScript to handle back-end access to databases, file systems, and servers.

Client vs. Server

Node.js uses JavaScript which is known for its speed, performance, efficiency, and reliability.

  1. Ease of Use Since Node.js is built using JavaScript, developers can build full-stack applications using JavaScript only making development easy for web applications.
  2. Processing Speed Node.js is known for its speed: it is built on top of the V8 engine that powers Google Chrome and Node.js uses all of its performance powers to make development fast. Moreover, Node.js does asynchronous processing which means that requests are processed without any delays. The key difference between synchronous and asynchronous is that asynchronous processing does not run request by request so the thread does not stop for an individual request. This makes the processing speed increase and creates a short response time.
  3. Large package ecosystem Node.js uses npm for install dependencies and with 1 million packages indexed, the ecosystem handles a lot of use cases. This is why the same study linked above also finds that 97 percent of web applications consist of npm applications.
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Start Learning Node.js

Overall, Node.js is a powerful platform for web development that is only becoming more useful as more packages become available on npm and the need for server side web development increases. Due to its rapid processing speed, massive packaging ecosystem, and ease of use, developers are starting to use Node.js more and is a very popular tool for server side development.

Otherwise, if you're looking for Node.js development but don't want to learn it yourself, feel free to check out our services!

The views expressed in this post are the writer's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Aloa or AloaLabs, LLC.
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