What is Node.js used for, and what global companies use it?


Hiring the software development talent pool for an innovative IT project has been a challenge for big companies and start-ups. They have to explore the subject and deeply study IT companies’ cases, when looking for Node.js developers for hire.

Choosing a backend technology is one of the crucial tasks that every company must make when developing an app or software. Backend technology defines its development and maintenance cost, but also how fast the app could be delivered to the market.

JavaScript has been one of the most popular client-side programming languages and a widely used front-end web development language. The popularity of JavaScript frameworks and apps has been increasing, with Node.js. JavaScript companies are being of high demand.

What is exactly Node.js?

To put it in simple words, Node.js is a platform for running JS script outside the browser. Programmers can produce backend applications with Node.js.

Node.js is a free of charge open-source server environment that runs on various platforms using modern JavaScript on the server. It is built on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine. Node JS was designed to easily create fast and scalable web applications. It is well-scalable, because it relies on the non-blocking I/O model.

This tech solution consists of JavaScript and some C/C++ features. The application runtime environment enables using JavaScript for building server-side applications with access to the file system and operating system. This capability makes Node.js lightweight and efficient for data-intensive real-time applications.

Is Node.js a JavaScript framework?

The answer is no. Node.js is not a framework. As we explained above, it’s a runtime environment that allows executing JavaScript code on the server-side.

Node JS is a perfect solution for the development of apps that require a continuous connection from the browser to the server. This solution is often used for real-time applications such as news feeds, chat, and push notifications.

Full-stack JavaScript

Before the creation of Node.js, JavaScript language was only used for frontend development. Web developers had to use a different programming language for server-side. So, backend and frontend development flows were separated. With Node.js full-stack JavaScript app development became a reality.

Therefore, you can code both front-end and back-end of an app in JavaScript, in one common programming language. The development environment is fully based on the V8 JavaScript engine. It allows executing testing of code, tool kit, and other features to automate routine tasks. And this makes the app deployment more efficient and faster.

Node.js has been initially created to just make JavaScript run on the backend. But further enhancements enabled also frontend coding in Node.js. Nowadays, a full-stack JavaScript programmer can write both frontend and backend using Node JS. With tools like Browserify and Webpack, developers can compile the frontend Node.js code into JavaScript that can run on the browser.

Why it’s beneficial for software development? Well, Node.js has a feature 'require' similar to import when you are working with libraries in Java or Python or include in C++. So, when you require an external library, you can take only those functions that you need to use in your project.

Many frontend apps require several libraries, such as jQuery, Bootstrap, etc. When you import these scripts into your HTML file, your browser will download the entire library. And this will increase page load time, and affect the SEO of your website. However, this issue is partly resolved by using minified and cached files, and by deferring such scripts. With Node.js you can require specific functions and determine which parts of the libraries to integrate into the project. This feature squeezes the script size requested during the page load, and improves page speed score.

What Is Node.js Used For and How to Use it?

As this runtime environment is easy to learn for both, back-end and front-end developers, it went popular. Over the last couple of years, the area of usage for Node.js has expanded. It is used in blockchains, artificial intelligence, and machine learning projects.

In Node.js project, the database is used as a storage unit of the app. Accepting a request from the frontend server, the backend application searches the data in the database and sends back the response to the client’s browser.

Node.js can be used for serving web pages or act as an API, or other common backend purposes. However, Node.js cannot be used in the browser because it is a JavaScript runtime, which already exists in browsers.

JS developers also use Node.js in the front-end to automate coding tasks. Development tools, such as Gulp, Bower leverage capabilities of Node.js to enhance software development. Therefore, Node can become an added value for UI development as well.

Who uses Node.js?

On GitHub wiki, you can find a complete list of applications and companies which are using Node.js. Only to name the biggest ones: eBay, General Electric, GoDaddy, Microsoft, PayPal, Uber, Yahoo!

Netflix, the leading Internet television network, trusted its servers to Node. It uses lots of A/B testing to provide an enriched experience for the final users of its data-driven online platform.

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, has been using Node.js for its mobile app. It allows Walmart to provide advanced features on the client-side. Uber has developed its complex matching system on Node as well.

PayPal, one of the leading fintech market players, has trusted its back-end development to Node JS. First, they were testing two applications, written on Java and Node.js. And the company learned that the Node.js app was much faster while it required 33% fewer lines of code.

Why Node.js is so popular?

One of the biggest reasons why Node.js benefits from increasing popularity is because it uses JavaScript programming language for app development. Since JavaScript is a language that most developers know, switching from any technology to Node.js is an easy task.

The Node.js core is secure. It is also very lightweight as it uses an event-driven architecture and runs on a single thread. Node.js implies IDEs like Visual Studio, and the support for basic code editors like Sublime Text and Notepad++.

Besides, Node is supported by a document-based model of database, unlike common SQL databases that implement relational models. Such a database is convenient to use; you can host it anywhere on the cloud-based hosting providers.

How to Hire Node.js Developers?

If your company is looking to hire Node.js programmers for app development, you should look for a reputable outsourcing IT firm with a solid experience in building apps on Node. Pay attention to developers’ JavaScript skills, their knowledge of Node JS frameworks. Besides that, observe the response time and how efficient the communication is. 

Study Node.js company’s experience in building apps, but also pay attention to the pricing and transparency policy. Make sure, that the company you select for your app creation, is specialized in JavaScript and JS frameworks. These steps are essential for your business success.

What’s the future of Node.js?

The future seems to be promising for Node.js It can be used in both front-end and back-end development. On the projects where JavaScript can be used on the server-side for the development of web apps, Node.js allows having a single language for both front-end and back-end development.

In many global projects, Node.js has proven to be much more efficient than other backend solutions. Many global companies have trusted Node.js development of their web apps. And the outcome is always positive.

This JavaScript technology conquers with its lightness, speed, and impressive performance. As the future is with Machine learning and Artificial intelligence, we can say, that the future is with Node.js as it suites perfectly these types of software development projects.

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