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By: Sagar Sharma

7 Tips For Developing Better Node.js Apps in 2019 & Beyond

JavaScript, today, is the most preferred language to build web apps. And web applications that are built using JavaScript are often accompanied by Node.js.

Node.js was first introduced in 2009 by Ryan Dahl. it is a JavaScript runtime environment that is mostly used for the backend development of a web application.

Since its inception, Node.js has gained massive popularity worldwide and it is currently being used by many tech giants such as LinkedIn, Netflix, Paypal, Uber, and others.

But, what’s so special about Node.js that has led the world’s most popular companies to adopt it?

Answer: Asynchronous I/O.

The main unique value proposition of Node.js is that it allows a server to continually process other requests without urging the users to wait until the current process is processed.

However, Node.js is not only used for backend development alone. There are a few other use cases for which organizations have adopted the Node.js technology.

In fact, you’ll be surprised to know that the majority of times Node.js is used for full stack development.

primary data focus

Source: Nodejs.org

In this article, we’re going to share 7 tips that will help you build better Node.js applications. You can use these tips to either improve your existing node.js app or to build a new node.js app from ground zero.

Tip #1 – Group “Require” Statements at Beginning

If your Node.js app is facing performance issues, then using this tip is highly recommended.

“Require” is synchronous that halts the execution of code. Therefore, it’s best to group all of “Require” statements at the beginning of the code to avoid performance downgrading.

Best yet, you can utilize the Node’s in-built ‘module loading system’ for loading your modules that exist in other separate files.

Tip #2 – Use async-await

The support for Asynchronous in Node.js arrived late (with Node.js 8 release), while other languages like C#, Go, and Kotlin supported async since way back.

If you don’t know what synchronous and asynchronous means, then here’s the simple explanation:

In synchronous, the resources get blocked until a request is being processed, while in asynchronous, the resources don’t get blocked and I/O operations are processed parallely.

Now if your node.js application involves multiple operations and you’re using synchronous, then the performance of the will get highly-hampered.

With async-await, however, you can execute multiple I/O operations at once and the performance of your node.js app won’t get affected.

Tip #3 – Listen to Error Events

Leaving bugs even when you’ve identified them can come back later to create ugly scenarios in the future. And in Node.js, error handling is quite easy and can be done without much fuss.

Therefore, make it a habit to start listening to error events on a regular basis. Error events will help to spot errors early in the development process so that you can steer clear of total chaos in the future.

Tip #4 – Embrace Microservices

If you’re developing a large-scale application or just facing deployment issues, it’s time to embrace microservices.

Microservices are basically a self-functional system that along with other microservices form a large system. Each of these self-functional systems is a scalable, fully-functional, and deployable system.

In simple words, microservices are the big rock (the web app) that are made of small blocks (microservices) with each service being an independent unit. That means if one microservice fails, it won’t take much time to replace it. And as a result, they help to save costs and reduce the risk of development involved in developing a node.js application.

To embrace microservices, you can any of the following two technologies:

Kubernetes:

Kubernetes is an open-source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications.

Docker:

Docker is a software technology providing containers, which wrap up a piece of software in a complete filesystem that contains everything it needs to run: code, runtime, system tools, and system libraries.

Tip #5 – Modularize Your Code

If you have the habit of writing large chunks of code, then it would be really difficult for you to get most out of asynchronous I/O.

So, it’s better to write or organize your existing code into smaller chunks that improve the readability of the code. Writing code in small chunks will help you in the long run whether or not you’re developing a complex node.js application.

Tip #6 – Use Prettier to Avoid Code Style Controversies

When Prettier was released in 2017, it became an instant hit. Prettier is basically an opinionated code formatter that enforces a consistent code style, instead of showing simple code style warnings.

In simple words, Prettier removes all original styling done by you and reprints it from scratch into a consistent style.

Take the following code for example:

foo(reallyLongArg(), omgSoManyParameters(), IShouldRefactorThis(), isThereSeriouslyAnotherOne());

The above formatting might look fine, but once your application starts to grow, you might run into a situation where the function starts to break down because it’s too long.

Prettier, on the other hand, can eliminate this risk by reprinting it for you like below:

foo(
reallyLongArg(),
omgSoManyParameters(),
IShouldRefactorThis(),
isThereSeriouslyAnotherOne()
);

Tip #7 – Security Above Everything!

Security is something that should never be ignored or compromised, especially on the internet.

This is why ensuring that your node.js application is entirely secure is no longer an option but a necessity. And even if you think that your application is already secure, it wouldn’t hurt to double-check using Snyk and Node Security Platform.

These two platforms will help you find any sneaky vulnerabilities that your node.js might have.

Conclusion

Node.js has proven itself as one of the best tools for solving various problems and this is why so many tech giants prefer it over other tools these days.

Though it’s difficult to adopt it in both existing as well as for developing a new web application, but if you hire node js developer, you can easily leap over all of its difficulties and build a better web app than your competitors.

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