Node.js Development is Fast

Node.js development is Fast!!!  You develop applications in Javascript that run on Linux, Windows, Mac, and BSD servers.  You read that correctly… Javascript on the server!

We were very skeptical when we first encountered this technology, but it didn’t take long before we drank the kool aid.  You will not be alone.  There is a thriving community with major support from Joyent, Paypal, Walmart, and others.  This technology is gaining widespread adoption quickly.  Get onboard!

Last update 12/02/2014


 
Asynchronous programming on the server…  Huh?  Think about it.  This is pretty cool.  You can do all kinds of asynchronous operations without blocking;  Parallel operations, read files, implement web sockets, file uploads, etc.

 

Resources

 

How do you get started?

  1. Learn some Javascript.  (Obviously)
  2. Install the Node.js runtime.
  3. Use the Node Package Manager (npm) to install Node Packaged Modules.
  4. Start coding!

 

Keys to success!

  • Think about objects.  Not classes.
  • Learn how to effectively use packages and npm.
  • Get setup with a Compose.io (formerly MongoHQ) account for data storage.
  • Start with one of the prebuilt Express sites such as Drywall.

 

Where can you host these applications?

  • Server with Node.js runtime.
  • NodeJitsu “no ops” service.
  • Amazon Web Services.
  • Many others.

 

Can you debug Node.js applications?

Yes, Node has console logging, Chrome browser based single step debug environment, and the latest Jetbrains IDE’s work fantastic with Node debugging. We use PhpStorm, but WebStorm has the same functionality.  With the Jetbrains IDE you have all of the things you would expect from a development environment. [modified 12/02/2014]

 

What have we built with Node.js?

  • Responsive Website (Bootstrap 3)
  • Blog with RSS Feed
  • Content Management System
  • Administrative Interface (Backbone.js)
  • Customer Portal
  • Stripe Integration
  • REST API with Swagger Interface
  • Integration with Accounting Systems
  • Integration with Sendgrid, Postmark, and Mailgun
  • Integration with Slack
  • Integration with Twilio [added 12/02/2014]
  • MongoDB data persistence
  • Redis integration

 

Conclusion

Node.js is powerful, evolving, and worth checking out.  The community is creating beautiful software at a rapid pace.  This is time well spent.

 

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