NodeJS — A Platform to Rule Them All

Contine Reading

November 13, 2017 Technology


While still growing out of nascency, NodeJS can be considered one of the greatest innovations in internet technology. It was introduced as a new paradigm for web servers: push technology over websockets, real-time over stateless communication, and non-blocking communication.

However, in its relatively young history, NodeJS has evolved into something greater than a technology for web servers — an evolution owing to the advances in web technology but also the design of NodeJS itself.

What is NodeJS?

NodeJS is a runtime environment, which simply put, is a program that runs other programs inside itself. More specifically, programs written in JavaScript.

To those who know of JavaScript and what NodeJS is associated with, this may be an unusual coupling.

That is because until NodeJS came along, usage of JavaScript was limited to changing the appearance of and providing interactivity to web pages in the browser. In other words, JavaScript was never used outside the web browser.

But that changed when the developers of NodeJS chose JavaScript as the language of the implementation for their new technology. The reason JavaScript was ported into NodeJS was simply because it was easier to do so. In fact, the first language of choice for NodeJS was Ruby.

A very important characteristic of the NodeJS architecture is the Chrome V8 engine, the compiler for the Google Chrome browser, that compiles client-side JavaScript code directly to machine code for performance.

NodeJS developers have taken advantage of this JavaScript-to-machine code capability to create programs not just for web servers but even different platforms and applications: desktop, virtual reality, augmented reality, chatbots, and all kinds of IoT applications.

JavaScript is an easy language to work with; it is loosely-typed and syntactically familiar to anyone who has worked with a C-style language.

This makes it easy for non-web developers to transition to NodeJS and learn JavaScript, and web developers to apply their JavaScript knowledge outside of the web browser.

NodeJS adoption continues to rapidly grow and already includes big names like IBM, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Netflix, PayPal, SAP, Walmart, Yahoo!, Cisco Systems, and many more.




Artwork Credit

Icons (banner) made by Zlatko Najdenovski from is licensed by CC 3.0 BY

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