When is it a good idea to use Node.js over other technologies? Why Node.js and not another solution? This post aims to answer that question.
There are tons of alternatives to Node.js when it comes to building any kind of software.
Why is Node.js a good choice?
In this post I’ll tell you some good reasons to use it.
It is the only language that can run inside a Web Browser, which gives it a unique point of advantage over any other language.
With the rise of React Native, Electron and similar solutions, it’s also the only language which you can use to create web apps, frontend and backend, mobile apps, desktop apps.
This is something you will not find anywhere else.
Node.js is event driven and single threaded
What does this mean? In short, it can handle heavy load very well.
Every single Node.js program can manage a lot of concurrent connections, and still be very fast because of its non-blocking I/O nature.
This means that you have all the tools in place to build a very performant system, out of the box.
Node.js is hugely popular
This has a few side effects.
First, you’ll find the solution to any kind of problem discussed online. The community is huge and very helpful.
It’s easy to get started, and there are many resources to learn from.
Second, there is a library for everything.
The npm repository has a huge set of ready-to-use libraries, available with a simple
npm install command.
Thanks to this popularity, a vicious cycle is set up: your favorite API might only offer an official Node.js library, and other languages are not even considered, left for unofficial packages (with varying level of quality).
You can easily deploy Node.js apps
Some programming environments require a dedicated setup, even for simple projects, because no one has built an ecosystem around them.
Heroku famously made Rails applications development simple, and today in Node.js we have other solutions that are comparable.
I am thinking about Zeit Now.
When I want a place to easily set up a sample Node.js application and share it with the world, I think about Glitch (hint: it can also run private apps).