Introducing Node.js Simplified, a truly understandable Node.js tutorial series for beginner and intermediate developers.
In this tutorial you'll learn what Node.js is, what it isn't, how it's going to help your development career and how you can use it to be more productive in your web development projects. Let's start!
What is Node.js?
Why should you learn Node.js?
The two big mainstream uses are web application servers and asset pipeline automation.
Node.js uses an event-driven, non-blocking input/output model. Node.js scales flawlessly, and works perfectly for high-throughput server-side applications. Translated into simple English, this means that Node.js can be used to write applications that can handle large numbers of concurrent requests.
However, Node.js may not provide everything you need from a language out of the box. Many times you'll find yourself needing additional functionality, that you'll usually find available as a nicely maintained open source package. If you enjoy building things out of reusable blocks, then Node.js is definitely the for you. I sure do.
Express is a modular application server for Node.js that allows you to write scalable web applications. Express focuses on code reusability and development costs, giving you a strong foundation for your application. It's lightweight and super fast.
Node's package manager "npm" is a very powerful tool that can be used to share your code as packages. Not only that, but it allows you to reuse code written by other developers inside your own package, as dependencies. Just imagine having more than 600,000 packages at your fingertips.
require() in your source code to point to local files, and decide how they're processed in your final bundle. If you're building a complex front-end application with many static assets that require processing, then Webpack will give you great benefits.
Still not convinced?
What you already need to know
As you might have thought, there are some prerequisites before you can start learnng Node.js. When I started out, I had a strong programming and web development background, so the learning curve was almost non-existent.
HTTP ― If you're building web applications, you will need to understand HTTP client and server paradigm. You'll do just fine with some basic understanding and knowing what verbs like GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE are used for.
Besides these, I'd recommend trying to understand what the concept of REST is and how it works, and reading up about the Node.js Event Loop. It might all seem like a lot to learn, but in reality they're simple concepts with fancy names.
You'll learn how to create our own package and add dependencies to it later in this tutorial. Next, head over to Node.js Simplified Tutorial ― Part 2: Installation, to install Node.js, write and run your first Node.js "Hello world!" program.
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