Why Node.js?

Why Node.js?

The turn of the century brought about an exponential growth in the amalgamation of technology within our daily lives. Technological innovation has been on a continuous rise in the past two decades, with technology now having gained a firm foothold in both our professional and private lives. This dependency on technology then drives the continuous consumer demand for more, with consumer-trends shifting towards technologies which facilitate better user-experience on utilized services. The resulting cut-throat competition amongst vendors for quicker release-to-market has given birth to newer development methodologies, platforms and frameworks, which enable faster provisioning and better experience of products and services to end users.

Node.js is one such framework, which has seen an exponential increase in adoption in recent years. Initially released in 2009 for the Linux and Mac OS X operating systems, Node.js saw the adoption on the Windows operating system in 2011 and the formation of the Node.js Foundation in 2015 under the Linux Foundation’s Collaborative Projects program. As of 2015, various branches of the greater Node.js community began working under the vendor-neutral Node.js Foundation. The stated purpose of the organization “is to enable widespread adoption and help accelerate development of Node.js and other related modules through an open governance model that encourages participation, technical contribution, and a framework for long-term stewardship by an ecosystem invested in Node.js’ success.”

Simply put, Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform JavaScript run-time environment for executing JavaScript code server-side. Historically, JavaScript was used primarily for client-side scripting, in which scripts written in JavaScript are embedded in a webpage’s HTML and to be run client-side by a JavaScript engine in the user’s web browser. Node.js enables JavaScript to be used for server-side scripting, and runs scripts server-side to produce dynamic web page content before the page is sent to the user’s web browser. Consequently, Node.js has become one of the foundational elements of the “JavaScript everywhere” paradigm, allowing web application development to unify around a single programming language rather than relying on a different language for writing server side scripts.

The popularity of Node.js is evident from the examples of companies who have adopted the framework for services and facilitations to their consumer base. Companies such as Netflix, New York Times, PayPal, LinkedIn and Uber are just a few names in the long list of global companies handling consumers in the thousands, and who have utilized Node.js for facilitation of better user experience for their customers. As quoted by Jeff Harrel, Senior Director of Payments Products and Engineering at PayPal, “Node.js helps us solve this (boundary between the browser and server) by enabling both the browser and server applications to be written in JavaScript. It unifies our engineering specialties into one team which allows us to understand and react to our users’ needs at any level in the technology stack.”

Backed by strong community support, and a Foundation to govern the Node.js eco-system, the future of Node.js looks very promising for young developers and enterprising startups looking to step into the web applications domain. With this eye to the future, Skill Orbit has an established web-applications team which makes use of the Node.js framework for delivering services and products to its esteemed customer base. We have developed and rolled-out Social Platforms and Services Applications utilizing the Node.js framework, and plan to continue using it for the future products in our roadmap.

We are excited to see where the future of Node.js leads to, since the continuous efforts in innovation are leading to an adoption within the developer community which shall establish a firm foundation for the framework in the days to come.

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