Why is Node JS so Popular?

Why is Node JS so Popular?

Node JS is one of the most popular technologies in web development, with LinkedIn, Netflix, and Paypal among its top users. As a result of this popularity, you’ll no doubt see Node JS repeatedly mentioned as you learn web development. As a student, it might be confusing to understand what Node even does. So why is Node JS so popular in the first place?

In today’s article, we’ll give you a quick breakdown of Node JS, how it relates to JavaScript, how it fits into the internet ecosystem, and why it is so popular.

What is Node JS?

Node JS is based on one of the most popular web development languages: JavaScript. Built on the V8 JavaScript engine found in Google Chrome, many people often make the initial mistake of calling Node a framework. While this is partially accurate, Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform runtime environment. Generally speaking, this means it contains everything needed to load and execute JavaScript code outside of the browser.

Due to the ability to run the entire website on a single “stack,” development and maintenance are quick and easy. Additionally, because Node.js is open source, a sizable global community of developers is constantly improving and modifying it.

In other words, you could say it’s one of the best tools for creating conventional websites, back-end API services on event-driven servers, and other server-side programming tasks. 

A developer can access Web APIs in a runtime environment, also known as RTE, to create code. A JavaScript engine is also present in this environment to parse the code. This makes it lightweight, adaptable, and simple to deploy—all characteristics that will help you optimize and accelerate the development of your application.

Node Package Manager (NPM) is a crucial command-line tool you will be using to install, update, or remove Node.js packages from your application.

Using this manager as a command-line tool, you can communicate with the online repository that serves as a publishing platform for open-source Node.js projects. In essence, it offers a user-friendly interface to help developers utilize the tools and packages in Node.js to their full potential.

Why Use Node JS? 

Its ability to function as a full-stack JavaScript for both client-side and server-side applications is Node.js’s greatest advantage. By eliminating waiting and saving money and time for you in the process, you can always move on to the next request without delay.

Again, Node.js runs single-threaded, non-blocking, asynchronous programming, which is very memory efficient. Other reasons why you should consider Node.js for your project are:

  • The V8 engine in Google Chrome can be integrated with NodeJs to speed up execution. 
  • The Node Package Manager has over 50,000 package bundles available, and you can import any of them whenever you need a certain functionality. 
  • NodeJs is completely non-blocking because it is entirely asynchronous and does not require waiting for an API to return data.
  • It is easy to learn, has a large community, a great ecosystem, and is scalable.
  • It is possible to create conventional websites and back-end API services using Node. In addition, JavaScript is integrated with Node.js for front-end and back-end development, enhancing the language’s consistency across the entire application. 
  • It is a good option for prototyping solutions and architectures because it makes experimentation quick.
  • The Node Package Manager (NPM), which enables you to download and use code packages provided by other developers in your own projects, is yet another significant benefit.

Node JS: A Brief History

Ryan Dahl started the whole project back in 2009.

The goal was to reduce the difficulty that developers experience when attempting to manage a large number of concurrent connections. It enables developers to use JavaScript for server-side scripting by centralizing the development of web applications around a single programming language.

The creators created a package manager for Node.js in January 2010. This was done to streamline the publishing, sharing, installation, uninstallation, and updates of the Node.js package source code for programmers.

Developers now have more options than ever, thanks to the collaboration between Microsoft and Joyent in 2011 to create a native Windows version of Node.js.

Later, a Node.js Foundation was established to unite the developer community, and in 2019, it merged with the JS Foundation to become the OpenJS Foundation. The foundations assist in directing the Node.js open-source, distributed development project.

Node.js has undergone various iterations, but version 18 is the most recent update as of this writing. Node.js 18 will become Long-Term-Support (LTS) compliant later this year (2022), which is crucial for extended development. The development team behind the popular tool will support it until 2025. This means that if you migrate to version 18 now, you will have three years before further upgrades or changes are made.

Node.js is one of the few technologies gaining significant traction, even years after its release. From its humble beginnings, Node has developed into a full-fledged enterprise platform and has become a key player in the broader app and web development ecosystem.

What is Node JS Used For? 

Node.js is now a household name in the field and is used by 2.1 percent of all websites. You’ll find that some of the biggest web and app development industry players use Node.js development technology. This includes companies like:

  • Netflix
  • PayPal
  • LinkedIn
  • Amazon
  • eBay
  • Reddit 
  • Twitter

Final Thoughts?

Node.js is popular because of the flexibility, scalability, and extensive features it offers web and application developers. This popularity makes it a safe bet if you are looking for a new technology to learn, whether you are trying to get a web development job or just looking to build some projects for fun.

A fundamental understanding of JavaScript is essential if you want to learn Node JS. Since the technology is basically just JavaScript code, your path will be a little easier to walk if you learn JavaScript first.

Tyler Von Harz

I am a computer and software nerd. I love working on new projects that involve taking something apart, troubleshooting, coding, writing, or developing. I started my journey down this path as a kid and opened my first computer repair shop at 18. I also own and operate a web development agency and a Youtube channel for coding.

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