But, what makes it so special? Why are more and more people uploading files to AWS S3 using Node.js? Why are developers choosing this technology over the likes of Ruby on Rails and Django? Below, we look at five main reasons Node.js stands out from the crowd;
- Fast and Event-based
The number one advantage of Node.js is the speed of development when using a common language on both the client and server side. Thanks to its non-blocking, single-threaded nature, synchronization happens fast which can be invaluable for event-based, real-time applications.
This makes Node.js one of the best development environments for online gaming, chat, video conferencing, and other solutions that require real-time data updates. It’s partly why the likes of Wal-Mart and PayPal have switched to Node.js. In the case of Wal-Mart, switching allowed them to serve customers faster, resulting in an 89% conversion increase on mobile devices. For PayPal, the switch resulted in a 35% decrease in response time.
The fact that Node.js can be used for both front-end and back-end coding also means that code can be re-used, increasing the development team’s productivity.
- Robust Technology Stack
The result is usually a more flexible, more focused development team, with more time to work on your projects.
It gets better. Despite common belief, you don’t need to entire MEAN stack for full-stack development projects. As long as you have Node.js for your back-end coding, the rest of the technologies within the stack are optional or can easily be replaced.
- Scalable for Microservices
The “micro” approach refers to developing a single application as a suite of small services, each running its own process. The microservices communicate with each other through lightweight technologies such as HTML and API.
Breaking an application into smaller modules instead of developing a single huge core at a go enables flexibility and lays a foundation for future growth. Developers can, later on, add more micro-services on top of the existing architecture without much trouble.
Owing to its lightweight nature, Node.js is an excellent choice for microservices architecture. Each micro-service communicates with the database directly through streams, allowing for better performance and increasing the speed of application development.
GoDaddy recently used the strategy to terrific effect. Running the SuperBowl ad campaign, the company was able to handle over 10,000 requests per second – without downtime!
- The NPM Advantage
NPM, the default Node.js package manager is arguably the biggest resource for app developers. With more than 35,000 tools in its registry and thousands of others being added daily, the ecosystem has everything you need to create the most complex application.
What’s better is that unlike other open source resources that often lie idle for extended periods, NPM is being used every single day by developers. In 2017, for instance, the site recorded more than one billion downloads.
These stats, combined with the fact that open source software has been gaining popularity over the years due to the low development costs and reduced time-to-market, are evidence enough that Node.js could be the future of app development.
- Corporate support
Finally, Node.js also enjoys strong corporate support. Since its inception, the likes of Microsoft, Fidelity, and SAP have all put enormous resources towards the development of the technology. Additionally, over 300 well-known companies including Medium, Zendesk, Trello, Uber, and Amazon all use the platform. You can, therefore, confidently use the technology knowing that you’re in good company.