So your software development agency are talking about something called Node.js? You may never have heard of it, but if it’s going to be a part of your new tech project it’s useful to find out the basics, if only so that you can nod along wisely during progress meetings with the development team. What you want from Node.js and what you need it to do for you will depend very much on your individual project, but these days it can have a useful place in almost every development project, from fast-to-market startup concepts through to large scale multi-connected applications.

Node.js explained

So, basics first: Node.js is a runtime environment for JavaScript built on Google’s Chrome V8 Javascript engine. This means that developers can write Javascript code that runs directly in a computer process instead of a browser – in other words, at the back end or server-side, as well as at the front end. This makes it means great for creating scalable, high performing apps that are good at data intensive real-time updates and also using a language that is familiar to a majority of developers. So you can relax, and concentrate on marketing.

It’s popular with developers

In August 2018 the Node Foundation proudly announced the billionth download of Node.js.

According to a recent blog from NodeSource, Node.js ‘can fit in everywhere within an organisation’ making it a universal platform and a ubiquitous part of the modern development workflow.

It also benefits from npm, the world’s largest open source library collection, meaning that bespoke development time can often be reduced. These massive library and community resources also help to increase confidence in long term support and sustainability for projects using them.

Node is based on one of the most popular global programming languages, JavaScript, meaning that your new app is going to be familiar to the majority of developers, giving you greater and more cost effective opportunities for future maintenance and growth options.

It’s trusted by global players

The Node.js application has been cited as the fasted growing open source project on Earth, and its ability to work in a myriad of context across multiple sector specific projects means that it is now used in some capacity by the majority of Fortune 500 companies.

Node has been tried and tested by household names such as NASA, Uber, Netflix, eBay and Paypal. LinkedIn claimed that transferring their entire mobile back end to Node allowed them to make a 10:1 saving in machines required to host.

It’s efficient

The Node.js event-driven, Javascript model makes it speedy and efficient. It is designed to build efficient, scalable network applications. Node.js excels at event heavy real-time applications and data heavy collaborations. It’s ability to find a place within almost every part of the modern development team structure means that Node can be found working in harmony with and supporting a wide variety of tools and projects, from the smallest startups to global ecosystems. ability to The ability to cover parts of both front and back ends of projects in one language, Javascript, can bring efficiencies to development costs, both in terms of budgets and timeframes.

It’s future facing

For new startups looking for speedy proof of concept, Node.js can help them to get to market faster. Even if you’re an established company, the fact that you’re undertaking a new app build or development project means that you have one eye on the future and / or you’re creating innovation frameworks, and a future facing company need to take a future facing approach to software development.

Node’s ability to thrive on real-time data intensive applications makes it a great fit for innovative projects and especially webapps. It’s relatively young communities embrace trends like Internet of Things, chat, streaming, robotics and hobbyist electronics projects like Arduino.

It’s popular with developers

Updated 1st September 2020

Given the substantial growth in the number of developers, you may find yourself asking, how can we find a great Node.js developer? A good set of questions during an interview can help filter the best Node.js developer for your needs.