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By: Sagar Sharma

What is Node JS? The Most Popular JavaScript Framework Explained!

JavaScript’s rapidly rising popularity has brought notable advancements in the world of web app development.

For instance, we can finally build real-time web applications with two-way connections where both server and client can initiate communication and exchange data freely, all thanks to Node.js.

Another notable change that JavaScript witnessed after Node.js’s arrival is its ability to unify data format (JSON) with the language, which ultimately allows companies to optimally reuse developer resources.

Although, this is much of a JavaScript advantage than Node.js, but it’s still wise to add Node.js in your web application development stack.

What is Node JS?

Node.js, as you already probably know, is an open-source, cross-platform, JavaScript runtime environment that enables developers to execute JavaScript on the server.

In simple words, Node.js allows developers to write server-side scripting, while also executing JavaScript to create dynamic web pages on the front-end.

It is built on Google Chrome’s JavaScript engine that makes it possible to build fast and scalable web applications. The event-driven, non-blocking I/O model in Node.js what makes the framework lightweight and perfect for developing real-time web applications.

Besides this, Node.js also has a rich library of different kinds of JavaScript modules, which greatly simplifies the Node JS Development process.

Some JavaScript History Before Node JS

JavaScript came into existence in 1995 and since then it has taken over as the dominant language of the web. However, JavaScript was used, for the majority of its life, as a client-side scripting language to execute on the web browsers.

This limitation forced web developers to use a multitude of frameworks and programming languages for building web applications.

Though there were other projects that focused on bringing JavaScript to the server-side of web applications, but Node.js was first to make JavaScript code run on the server-side possible.

What is Node JS Used For?

Node.js, for its multitude of advantages, plays an important role in the technology stack of many high-profile brands today.

International brands and enterprise-level companies have utilized Node.js in production for developing different sorts of web applications.

Below, we’ve composed a list of hands-on solutions you can build by using Node.js.

  • Single-Page Applications
  • Data-Intensive Real-Time Applications
  • I/O Bound Applications
  • JSON APIs-Based Applications
  • Data Streaming Applications
  • Rest APIs
  • Command Line Tools

Why Use Node JS?

Now that you know what is Node JS used for, it’s time we jump onto the important point – Why use Node JS and not other available options in the market.

There are multiple reasons to use Node JS. Below, we’ve shared the most important reasons that explain why use Node JS in your next web application development project.

1 – V8 Engine

Though Node.js is not a Ford Mustang GT, but it also has a V8 engine. It is basically a JavaScript Engine built by Google that converts the JavaScript code into machine code, making the execution process extremely fast compared to other server-side frameworks.

2 – Rich Ecosystem

The Node.js has a rich ecosystem with a wide range of ready-to-use tools for building high-performance Nodejs applications.

The Node.js Package Manager (also known as NPM) amounts to over 700K today. You can easily search, install, and reuse any packages to save yourself from rewriting the same lines of code over and over again.

3 – Asynchronous Non-Blocking I/O

Node.js allows developers to process thousands of requests parallelly without any trouble. This, as a result, reduces RAM consumption and provides way faster performance.

4 – Full-Stack Development Environment

Node.js has played a critical role in increasing JavaScript adoption worldwide. As you already probably know, Node.js is the first JavaScript framework that paved its way to the server-side.

As a result, today startups to companies and large-scale enterprises have adopted it to build both front-end as well as back-ends of their products.

In laymen’s terms, Node.js has drastically cut the development time as well as costs since it eliminates the need for using multiple programming languages and thus hiring different engineers to build a web application.

5 – Microservices Architecture

Microservices, recently, has gained massive popularity over the monolithic one.

As Node.js offers a wide range of ready-to-use modules and event-driven non-blocking I/O model, it has allowed Netflix and other popular companies to adopt the practice of breaking their app to implement microservices solutions.

Popular Node JS Examples: Companies That Use Node JS

Node.js is wildly popular, not just amongst developers but also amongst big brands & tech giants. Microsoft, Netflix, and Paypal are just a few top companies that have embraced Node.js in their software products.

So, what are the other popular Node JS examples?

What are the other famous companies that use Node JS?

We’ve gathered information on which famous companies that use Node JS and written an entirely separate blog post.

In the above blog, you will find why Netflix, NASA, and other companies have adopted the Node JS technology and what exactly did they gain from it.

Spoiler Alert: You’ll be blown away with the growth they’ve witnessed!

Bonus: Node JS Interview Questions to Prepare

If you’re a Node JS developer, having interviews lined up for your next job, then the following Node JS interview questions will help you nail the interview confidently.

These are the questions that we (and most other IT companies) usually ask while interviewing the candidates. We will start from the basics to move towards some advanced questions that you should expect to be asked in your job interview.

On the other hand, if you’re a business looking to hire Node JS Developer for your projects, asking these questions can help you determine whether a candidate is a right fit for the job or not.

Without any further ado, let’s check them out.

  • What is Node JS? And What is Node JS used for?
  • What is the difference between non-blocking and asynchronous?
  • What is Event Loop in Node JS?
  • What is an error-first callback?
  • What is a callback and how can you avoid callback hell?
  • What are promises in Node JS?
  • What is NPM and what are its main functionalities?
  • What is an exit code in Node JS?
  • What is Steams in Node JS?
  • What is a Test Pyramid? Explain with an example.

Now, since most of the questions mentioned above can be answered in different ways, feel free to personalize your answer or add your work experience related to each question.

Conclusion

To summarize, Node JS is a powerful backend technology that can help you build modern web applications. In fact, we bet that once you use embrace Node JS into your existing project or a new one, you’ll eventually ask yourself “Why not use Node JS”?

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