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?
What is Node JS?
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.
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?
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 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 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:
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.