Everything is editable, and asynchronous — you don’t have to wait for one task to process before another gets processed. There is even a kind of object-oriented programming. No wonder JS has become the go-to language for beginners and startups.

Then, all these people go and make a ton of software.

And then they need that software to interface with servers. Here is where Node.js comes into play.

What is Node.js?

Node.js is a piece of software that lets you run JavaScript code on a server, without a browser. This can be useful if your software needs to talk to a database, do some server-side calculations, or run all the time on a remote machine.

For example, you can use Node.js to run a bot for a server-side part of your own messaging app. You can have a JS-based game that runs in a browser, and there can be an online scoreboard maintained over NodeJS.

You can have a DIY smart home system that runs on JS-enabled devices, and you can use Node.js to collect the data from the devices.

You can even have your own customized automation system: for example, you press a button on your phone, and the files on your server get synced up with a different server. This, too, can be done with Node.js.

What is it good for?

Like JavaScript, Node.js is good for asynchronous processing — when your software needs to be able to respond to many requests from different users at different times. When there is a task it needs to handle, Node.js will do its work. And when there is no work to be done, Node.js will remain idle, which is good for performance. That’s why Node.js is often used for scalable web apps.

But most importantly, Node.js is good for people who already know JavaScript because they can write software with it quickly and efficiently. You just take whatever code you already have and adapt it to the server environment.

Should you try it?

If you already know JavaScript and have a need to run some JS code on a server, this is basically the only solution you have.

If you are looking to start programming, JavaScript will be a quick and easy way to start.

The tech is not the key

Funny thing is, you don’t need to look for that perfect technology, framework, or language to get your programming going. Most basic tasks can be accomplished in any language. Just open up your text editor, and get that software running.

To learn more about becoming a developer, check out Practicum. We offer online education and mentorship to help you learn essential skills and build a successful career in tech.


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