651.288.7000 info@intertech.com

Best Node.js Tutorials: A Comprehensive List of Learning Resources

by | Aug 27, 2018

Node.js executes Javascript code outside the browser, on the command line or server-side scripting. It’s an open source environment that any project can use to develop an application that runs on both a Javascript back end and front end. Node.js’s server-side scripts allow developers to produce dynamic content for a web page before that content is ever sent to the browser.

Many companies are using Node.js in production, including major corporate users like IBM, LinkedIn, Netflix, SAP, Microsoft, Paypal, and Walmart. Since its initial release in 2009, use of Node.js has grown rapidly. This article investigates the trend and gives you all the resources you need to get started using Node.js.

 

What is Node.js?

Perhaps the best place to start understanding Node.js is the official website and documentation. You can also get a thorough introduction from Node.js’s Wikipedia page. These resources will give you a strong foundation in the environment and what it’s used for.

For a bit more context, InfoWorld does a deep dive into the history of the creation of Node.js. The article also addresses why companies are choosing to use Node.js over traditional server scripting approaches. If you understand code, this article from freeCodeCamp explaining Node.js makes clear how it all works.

 

Advantages of Node.js

According to DZone, the three core benefits of Node.js are asynchronous I/O, breaking down barriers between front and back end by making the whole thing Javascript, and open source community with modules and extensions. Async I/O is by far the biggest selling point of Node.js, allowing for concurrent processing of inputs. This makes Node.js much faster than synchronous approaches for tasks that aren’t processor-heavy.

Node.js excels at fast, real-time, multi-user applications. This InfoWorld article asserts that it beats Java and .NET for most types of web and mobile apps. JaxEnter has a great article on when and why you should consider using Node.js in an application. While Node.js isn’t perfect for every application, it does make sense in a lot of dynamic contexts.

To hear a bunch of opinions on the issue, head over to this StackOverflow thread where many developers have discussed the pros and cons of using Node.js.

 

Node.js Tutorial for Beginners

So you’re interested and want to learn more about how to actually code your first Node.js application? Getting started isn’t too challenging, but it does require a few more hurdles than learning basic client-side Javascript.

The Node Beginner Book is probably the best resource for getting up to speed quickly once you understand the basics of Node and why you want to learn it. It’s comprehensive and walks you through every step of the process. Another great resource is W3Schools tutorial. W3Schools has been around for a long time and earned the trust of many a developer. They have their own beginner’s tutorial for Node.js.

For a lighter introduction in the form of a single article, Pramod Chandrayan has a great introductory tutorial. If you’ve been a developer for a while and pick up new technologies quickly, this single article might be a good place to start. Then you can read the docs for more information on specific challenges.

 

Advanced Node.js Tutorial Topics

If you want to be really good at Node.js, you’ll necessarily need to be an advanced Javascript programmer. InfoWorld has a great article on Javascript skills you’ll need in order to use Node.js effectively.

Once you’ve learned the basics, it’s time to start looking for common pitfalls when using Node.js. Since running Javascript on the backend is a fairly recent trend, Node.js raises a lot of new issues that you might not have thought of before. Toptal’s article on common mistakes using Node.js is a valuable resource. You’ll also want to think about security in your Node.js app, so make sure to acquaint yourself with the best practices.

Node.js runs on the server directly, not on the browser. So, deployment gets a little more interesting, as well. Gun.io has a great resource on the basics of Node.js deployment. To dig a little deeper, check out StrongLoop’s Node.js deployment resource (a blog from IBM).

Each of the major server/cloud providers has their own resources for deploying Node.js to them as well:

 

Conclusion

Welcome to the wild world of Node.js. With such a rich open source community of developers, there are whole libraries of Node.js packages to get you up and coding complete apps in no time. In fact, even new developers to the environment can piece together very nice looking and operating code using existing resources. You’ll also find that there’s a lot of people willing to help you on your journey.

If more in depth Node.js help is needed, our team offers free, one hour discovery calls to help you on your project.

Good luck and have fun!

/]
/]
/]