Becoming A Better Node.JS Developer In 2021

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If you’re a developer looking for career growth, you’ve probably already heard of the Node. It allows you to create an immense range of applications, from social media to instant messaging, collaboration tools, online gaming, and much more. Many companies such as LinkedIn, PayPal, Uber, and Walmart have already chosen to move their tech needs to Node.JS.

While learning a language or framework is a good initiative, it will be pointless if you don’t set yourself a goal for it and plan how you’ll use your knowledge to build real-world applications. Identifying a clear goal will always be your first step in becoming a better developer. Let’s now look into what Node.JS is about.

What Do We Understand By Node.JS?

Let’s start with the basics: this JavaScript runtime environment executes JavaScript code outside a web browser; it is open-source, cross-platform, server-side, and compiles the JavaScript code into the native code of the computer which then boosts application performance. Its non-blocking input-output mechanism is event-driven and makes it convenient for fast, stable, and scalable web application development, as well as for real-time data-intensive applications. It has won over businesses because it combines performance and consistency, allowing its user to create massive, flexible single-page apps, video streaming apps, and web apps.

Its wide range of frameworks (such as AdonisJs, Express.js. Meteor.js, and NestJs), effectively cutting development time by allowing you to incorporate the great features they propose without spending hours writing code from scratch.

As a Node.js developer, your job is to write server-side web application logic using JavaScript; you also create back-end modules, work to link the app to other web services provided by third parties, and help front-end developers integrate their projects within your Node.js application. So your focus should be on attending to front-end requests, guarantying them efficiency and responsiveness. To be the best Node.js developer you can be, you should already have strong JavaScript expertise – If that’s something you lack, you definitely should start by brushing up on your JavaScript skills.

We’ve compiled a list of the skills necessary to become a Node.JS talent:

  • Must master front-end technologies like HTML5 and CSS3
  • Must have at least a basic understanding of Node.js and other systems (Express, Meteor, etc.)
  • Must be able to identify and navigate asynchronous programming
  • Must possess a working knowledge of templating languages on the server-side (Jade, EJS)
  • Experience with preprocessors for server-side CSS (like Stylus) will be required
  • Actionable experience in user authentication and authorization between several systems/servers and different environments
  • Ability to integrate several data sources into a unique and fluid system.
  • Know their way around multiple delivery channels, understand their variations, and be able to maximize overall performance
  • Strong tools expertise for code versioning (Git)
  • Need to master the core principles of development devices for Node.js (like npm, grunt, gulp, brunch, etc)
  • Show error management skills

Let’s now go into the proper step-by-step of refining your Node.js practice, and a few things to consider:

Learning the Basics of Node.JS

Node.js Architecture

Its event-driven design allows you to manage several requests simultaneously. The single-threaded event loop model also means that a single thread in Node.js will conduct client requests.

Installation of Node.js

To install a stable version of Node.js, simply download it from the official website; it will configure itself based on your OS and system configs, and you’ll be able to start working on it instantly (note: do make sure that your RAM is at least 4 GB).

Node Package Manager

Node.js notably offers a node package manager, comprised of over 80,000 libraries with unique code that proposes various functions. The NPM command allows you to easily install the library you want and implement it in your project right away. These libraries are one of the most interesting features of Node.js since they accelerate the entire development process.

JSON Files

Another useful component of the environment is JSON files, and creating them should be your first order of business when using Node.js. It will be the manifest file with your project’s metadata, and you’ll be able to localize it in your app with the name package.json. This can be useful when you have to review data about the packages and dependencies used in the application.

Using Typescript features strategically

Typescript actually proposes two mutually exclusive deals (type-safety and advanced design structures). But a lot of people tend to use it for improved type safety inadvertently, engaging with its advanced features, interfaces, and namespaces without proper training. This leads developers to shift their design style from JavaScript to OOP. This bias then means that one needs to use the tooling to identify whether or not they are the best option for the task.

Focusing on Docker and Kubernetes knowledge

While DevOps still needs to convince some, developers should still consider production run-time, and make informed choices for the intersection of Dev and Ops. This procedure ensures that all outgoing requests are replayed on failures (the pattern of the circuit breaker). You could either use dedicated packages on the code for that or use K8S Istio on the infrastructure.

Prioritizing Security

Nowadays, malicious activities are ever-present, and security simply shouldn’t be entirely outsourced or dependent on static security scanners. The secret is to provide training to developers to incorporate security DNA within your company. A helpful first step in improving your knowledge and practice of security would be to undergo vulnerable code and attack vector instances.

Learning ELK or Prometheus

Incorporating a monitoring mechanism is a vital step to further compliance between Dev and Ops. It’s key that developers are involved in that process, and by configuring systems like ELK and Prometheus, they can learn a great deal about exposing metrics.  

Implementing gradual deployment techniques

You need to remember that your deployment engine catches mistakes and bugs even before your users do, which you can use to your advantage by distinguishing the process of deployment from the launch phase. The core idea is to propose the next iteration of your project to a pool of users and testing whether it works.

Experimenting with Async toolbox

Version 11.7 of the async toolbox introduces worker threads, which can fix the unpleasant blind spots in a node when only 1-10% of requests pick up the CPU for a long time. This can be prevented immediately by most non-Node frameworks (thread per request). Node.js, particularly, will be enough for 1 to be CPU-intensive while serving 1000 req/sec – meaning the remaining 999 suffer. While there is no full cure, you can now ensure that a dedicated event loop will spin-up worker threads so that the main one can stay snappy.

Making use of machine learning as a black-box product

This is mostly relevant machine learning (ML) beginners. Although even without extensive knowledge of the implementation, the JavaScript ML environment has evolved to be able to provide several reliable libraries that can deliver high benefits. If you do have a basic understanding of ML needs and solution, you can witness exponential benefits and learn to absorb their teachings whenever a problem occurs.

Summing Up

Node.js is not only incredibly quick and efficient, it also has the world’s largest package ecosystems. This invaluable platform has convinced many with its multi-faceted uses, from creating the backend to build an API. 2021 is likely to have a lot in store for us as Node.JS’ popularity keeps rising.

What’s important to remember if you also want to get on the Node.js train is that you’ll need at least a decent knowledge of JavaScript, and this is where you should start, regardless of what exactly you’re planning on building. Other than that, there are many platforms online to learn the basic concepts. Don’t let yourself get by the abundance of resources available, but don’t miss out on it either by getting side-tracked. While learning to navigate Node.js is a big commitment that will require patience and informed research, we’d also advise that you work on your own coding on the side.

If your ongoing project requires certain skills, you can also look into hiring Node.js developers who have already gone through this ordeal and will help you complete your projects on time, until you can do it yourself.