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Node.js backend development has become extremely popular among software developers. In order to keep up with modern technologies, it is necessary to know what is Node.js, what are the reasons to use it, where to hire developers, etc. Answers to these questions will be discovered in this article.

Node.js backend development is nothing new, and you can find its implementation in many products like Netflix or PayPal. It has many advantages, which make it suitable for both enterprise and B2C applications, and it is popular among the software engineering community. But what makes it so attractive from both technology and business points? In this article, we’ll try to answer this question.

There are probably no programmers who are not familiar with the concept of JavaScript. Its popularity has risen significantly, and some tasks in web development we couldn’t even imagine doing some years ago are now easy to perform with JavaScript. JS is a default choice, and having the backend technology powered by JavaScript is a great way to speed up development, make it more time, and be cost-effective via the unification of the codebase.

If you are familiar with programming, which you most likely are, you’ve definitely heard about Node.js backend development. Anyway, to avoid any confusion, let’s state that Node.js is a so-called framework, a runtime environment for running JavaScript code on the back of a browser or outside of it. JS, as a programming language, has drastically changed web development and has been successfully used by IT specialists worldwide since 1995.

node.js timeline

It begs the question, what has made Node.js so popular and actively used among programmers? First of all, despite the fact that JS has always had many great frameworks and libraries, it never had any backend platforms which were able to compete with other entrenched languages. Node.js has solved this issue, and a large number of startups and enterprise-level projects now use it for various purposes.

The researchers state that using Node.js for the backend and other tasks can enhance their applications’ performance. This claim has become so popular in the IT sphere that many programmers decided to change their code languages to Node.js. This may be caused by the fact that many giants like NASA, Twitter, Microsoft, and others use it.

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WHAT IS NODE.JS USED FOR?

We already stated that Node.js is used for writing in JS, but let’s clarify this concept a little bit. A runtime environment covers the category of software that allows programmers to write and edit code for future applications and run them. Different sources give us different definitions of Node.js but all of them say, in simple words, that it is a platform used for building apps in JavaScript.

To realize the main conception of Node.js better, let’s look at its principal characteristics:

  • It is a server framework
  • Free license technology
  • Suitable for different platforms

Node.js server-side processes are operated in such order:

  1. You set a task to a server
  2. The task is sent to the file system
  3. The system is waiting for the request
  4. When it is sent and the file is processed, the content is sent to the user by the system

Why Is Node.js Good For Backend

Now, when the perception of Node.js itself is clear, what is left is to figure out what backend development with Node.js constitutes. Speaking of web engineering, the backend of your app is perhaps the most significant part; thus, IT specialists should pay enough attention to it and use the best solutions to make it work properly. There are many benefits of Node.js for backend development that we’ll look at closely in this article. But first, let’s list the main competitors of Node.js among backend languages and frameworks.

PHP

PHP is widely used by programmers for backend development. It is most suitable for mid-sized projects but is also good enough for large ones. Numerous successful projects have been done exactly with PHP. Its architecture is event-driven, which makes real-time connections impossible. However, it still heads many listings of programming languages due to its great supportive community.

Python

Python is considered extremely easy to learn. Probably it makes it so popular among aspiring programmers. It is typically used for both mid-sized and large projects. Although Python does not always enable great performance, it can be easily solved with PyPy implementation. Generally, creating projects with Python is fast, productive, and has a great outcome.

Ruby

Ruby is fit for small and mid-sized projects. It has clear documentation and a huge community that makes it so actively used among developers. However, in recent years Ruby and RoR framework, in particular, have significantly dropped their market share and which is most important – popularity among the community, which means fewer updates and new implementations.

Java

Java is considered a multipurpose programming language. The availability of numerous frameworks makes it even more demanded. It has a good reputation among IT specialists. Java is good for large enterprise projects that require complex computations and difficult data processing.

.NET

.NET is a powerful Microsoft framework with a wide range of languages suitable for both backend and frontend development. The most effective is for small and medium-sized projects. .NET is free and works on different platforms. It supports services, website, and desktop development.

programming languages comparison

Other Cases Of Node.js Use

Many people think that Node.js is used only for web development, but there are many other spheres where the best apps are developed with Node.js. Here are some examples:

  • Package management. It is a collection of tools for installing, configuring, and removing programs from the personal computer. Many easy-to-use package managers are built with Node.js (NPM, Yarn, Bower, and others);
  • I/O bound applications. As Node.js was just created, it was often used for working with I/O subsystems. Increasing their speed, you automatically increase I/O bound programs’ performance;
  • Command-line tools are easy to build with Node.js because of Node.js’ strong ecosystem, which means that among all possible packages of Node.js, some of them were originally created to help programmers build high-quality command-line tools;
  • Development tools cover compilers, GUI builders, debuggers, and others. As for ones built with Node.js, they include a web pack for module management, gulp or grunt for task automation, jslint or eslint for debugging, etc.

As you can see, Node.js development covers much more spheres than web app development services, including Node.js for the backend. In addition, with the Node.js framework, even desktop applications can be created.

Node.js Frameworks

In spite of Node.js’ growing popularity, there are still some tasks that are difficult to perform with it. Thus, many frameworks have been introduced to ease the work. Let’s look at the most popular ones:

  • Nest.js is an advanced Node.js framework that enables the building of scalable and effective backend software. Nest.js is suitable for enterprise-level projects due to its wide range of libraries, implementing TypeScript, MVP, and combining principles of OOP, FP, and FRP;
  • Express.js always holds on the top spot of Node.js frameworks ratings due to its quickness, minimalistic design, powerful collection of HTTP helpers, and other features. Express.js is especially popular for those who don’t have the opportunity to contribute to the lengthy and costly process of development. Express.js is good for building web and mobile applications and APIs;
  • Socket.io is easy to use on different devices as it has a user-friendly API. It is focused on two-way real-time flows and supports automatic reconnection, multiplexing, binary, and others;
  • Meteor.js allows the creation of quality software with Node.js as it includes entrenched frontend frameworks. It provides dynamic imports, real-time features, great integration between frontend and backend, protection from hidden APIs;
  • Koa.js is built by Express.js creators and really recalls it but they still have some differences. Koa.js is faster and more expressive. It uses async functions and promises to ease the errors’ handling process and enhance the apps’ performance;
  • Loopback.io allows developers to develop an API in a matter of minutes because it provides various features that ease the working process. It supports ad-hoc queries, storage service, etc., and is also compatible with various REST services and many common databases;
  • Feathers.io is a Node.js framework on the basis of Express.js. It allows writing real-time web apps and REST APIs with little effort. It is compatible with many frontend frameworks, supports various optional plugins, etc.

Node.js frameworks

Among these frameworks, anyone can find the best Node.js framework that will address a specific project’s requirements and convey the best results.

ADVANTAGES OF NODE.JS BACKEND DEVELOPMENT

We’re clear now about Node.js’ major characteristics, and what is left is to answer the question is Node.js good for the backend and why use Node.js.

JS gained great popularity for web engineering many years ago already, but now its capabilities have grown even much with the help of the Node.js backend framework. So now, with JS, it is possible to build both server- and client-side applications with the same code. In addition, by using some frameworks like Electron, for example, it’s easy to create even software for desktops.

Node.js is great for real-time working with a large amount of information. Also, as HTTP requests and responses are basically a stream of large files, Node.js enables collecting and visualizing data as dashboards. For example, GraphQL can be used for this purpose. It works along with many programming languages, but exactly Node.js made GraphQL a new standard. Generally, Node.js backend development is so concise because it provides many features that are impossible with other event-based environments.

Alongside, Node.js is very fast, keeps data in native JSON, has a hugely supportive community of developers, performs data streaming on the highest level, is sponsored by Linux Foundation, provides excellent hosting options, and is suitable for developing software for various platforms.

advantages of Node.js

Node.js Performance: How Using Node.js Can Enhance The Apps’ Performance?

Speaking of Node.js advantages, many people, first of all, mention the lower cost of development and increased developers’ productivity. However, these are not all the pros. What is much more important is that applications’ performance benefits greatly from using exactly Node.js for the projects. There are such reasons for it:

  • The ability to use the same language and codebase for both the frontend and backend. 
  • Node.js succeeds at multitasking because it is non-blocking and provides async functions.
  • It speeds up the server activity due to the previous point (processes are being handled in one thread instead of queueing).
  • The V8 Chrome engine, considered the fastest one for JavaScript, is used for Node.js.
  • Node.js is cross-platform, which means it can run on Windows, Linux, and macOS, making it easy to develop and deploy applications across multiple operating systems.
  • Node.js has a large and active community of developers, which has contributed to the development of a rich ecosystem of modules and libraries.

Applications performance depends on many factors, and leveraging Node.js backend development covers many of them; that’s why applications in Node.js are more scalable and have higher performance.

THE POPULARITY OF NODE.JS AMONG IT COMPANIES

In this article, we’ve considered the ups and downs of Node.js backend development. In addition, here is the 2022 survey, according to which Node.js holds on the top spot of the frameworks used by development companies due to its excellent characteristics.

Who Uses Node.js?

Accepting the obvious Node.js advantages, it’s worth mentioning that many giants in the IT sphere have been performing backend development with Node.js, which has led them to the great performance of their applications and hence, to the growing popularity. Among the magisterial companies that use Node.js:

  • Microsoft
  • Uber
  • PayPal
  • Amazon
  • BMW
  • Netflix
  • eBay
  • Intel
  • LinkedIn

And this is not a complete list. Many more well-known companies deal with Node.js backend development, but it may take hours to name them all. This list confirms the fact that Node.js can be successfully used for small projects as well as for enterprise-grade applications.

Besides, Node.js has become increasingly popular among IT companies due to its versatility and ability to handle a variety of tasks efficiently. Below are some examples of IT companies that have successfully used Node.js for their development projects:

  • Netflix has been a long-time user of Node.js, using it to power its web applications and services. With Node.js, Netflix is able to handle high traffic loads, which is essential for a streaming service that serves millions of users. Node.js development also allows Netflix to quickly add new features and scale its applications as needed.
  • LinkedIn has also adopted Node.js for its development needs. They have used it to create a more responsive and interactive front-end experience for users, as well as to build and scale their backend infrastructure. LinkedIn’s use of Node.js has resulted in faster development cycles and improved performance.
  • Uber has embraced Node.js backend development to power their backend systems and microservices. With Node.js, Uber is able to handle a large volume of requests and process data in real time, allowing for more accurate and timely information for both drivers and passengers. Node.js also enables Uber to quickly iterate and deploy updates to their systems.

These examples demonstrate the versatility and effectiveness of Node.js for various IT companies. The important thing remains that Node.js can be applied on both the frontend and backend.

HIRING NODE.JS BACKEND DEVELOPERS

According to the statistics, Node.js developers are the most wanted in the software market, so it might seem at first that it is rather difficult to hire those. However, supplying demands. Node.js is easy to learn not only from scratch but after having learned some others as well. That’s the reason why the number of Node.js backend developers is growing significantly. As a consequence, it causes reduced development costs when hiring such IT specialists. Altogether, if you seriously intend to hire a backend Node.js developer, you should acquire some knowledge about different engagement models, skills of Node.js backend developers, approximate cost, etc.

While hiring a developer who works with Node.js, it’s important to remember that Node.js is a relatively new technology, and the desire to hire a Node.js backend developer with great experience might fail. Therefore, if you want to hire a Node.js developer, set achievable requirements. For example:

  • 2-3 years of experience
  • Understanding of Node.js frameworks is welcomed by Node.js development companies
  • At least basic front-end knowledge
  • Good testing and error-handling abilities are appreciated
  • Familiarity with REST APIs
  • If you want to work in a Node.js development company, proficiency in database management is essential
  • Ability to provide good Node.js security (it is vital nowadays, so a good developer should know how to enable secure authorization, use encryptions, etc.)

If you are looking for a Node.js backend developer with all the listed skills, you should know what the approximate cost of hiring such a specialist is. Statistics show that in the US, a backend Node.js developer earns $92 000 per year on average, with the least number of $63k and the biggest being $134k. This gives us a minimum hourly rate for the trainee specialist, about $32/h, and a maximum hourly rate for the senior developers, about $70. There are always some alternatives, and, for comparison, you can hire the same senior Node.js specialists with 5+ years of experience in countries with well-developed IT outsourcing industries like Ukraine or Poland for $40/h and $55/h, respectively. 

Looking for some additional details on the process of hiring Node.js backend developers?

You can find the comprehensive guide on how to hire a Node.js developer, including information about required skills, experience, salary, etc.

Read the article

Speaking of the engagement models, functional and cross-functional teams should be mentioned.

functional and cross-functional team

Their concept is: if you employ, for example, nine people to work on a project, among them, there probably will be three system analysts, three developers, and three testers. This is what a functional team looks like. A cross-functional team includes fewer people, and all of them are experienced in all the spheres needed for the project development (coding, hosting, maintenance, etc.). Among the advantages of the cross-functional team:

  • A better insight
  • Increased productivity
  • Developing communication skills
  • Team spirit
  • Fewer problems with days off, and many other benefits.

Why do businesses favor cross-functional teams?

You can find out more details on the cross-functional team benefits, its specifications, and how setting up this team type can help streamline the development process.

Read the article

Now that we’ve figured out why it is considered a good practice to assemble a forward-thinking team let’s clarify why it is much easier to do with Node.js backend developers. As Node.js is practically JS, which is known by most IT specialists, there will be no gap between the front – and back-end development. Therefore, the borders will smoothen and allow any participant of the team to pay certain attention both to the client- and server-side.

CONCLUSION

This article included much exciting information for the developers. It is the technical aspects of Node.js backend development, such as comparing Node.js with other languages and frameworks, most popular use cases, etc. As an employer, you probably got your questions about the cost of hiring Node.js backend developers, engagement models, and others answered. 

How to set up your team to start Node.js backend development?

If you are interested in hiring Node.js backend developers, feel free to contact Existek. We’ll help you build a dream team of web developers who can develop your following market-winning product. You can fill out the form on the contact page or use the chat widget on the right.

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Frequently asked questions

What are the advantages of Node.js?

Node.js development has gained popularity due to the number of offered advantages. It has become one of the most efficient ways to deliver robust products, covering the following aspects:

  • Cross-platform approaches

  • Increased developers' productivity

  • Fast processing

  • High performance

  • Scalability

  • Robust and secure development

  • Lower development cost

What is the Node.js framework?

In fact, Node.js is a JavaScript runtime built on Google Chrome's V8. It has opened new possibilities for web development, including user-side and server-side scripting. Thus it has a number of separate frameworks to handle specific tasks. These are the most popular Node.js frameworks:

  • Nest.js

  • Express.js

  • Socket.io

  • Meteor.js

  • Koa.js

  • Loopback.io

  • Feathers.io

What is Node.js best used for?

It might be surprising, but Node.js is also applied in other spheres besides web development. You can find huge numbers of products implemented by means of Node.js. It is used for the development of the following:

  • Web applications

  • I/O bound apps

  • Command-line tools

  • Package managers

  • Development tools

Is Node.js better than Java?

The upward trends in choosing Node.js for web development show the real market situation. Node.js advantages win the choice over Java solutions. Of course, both technologies worked successfully for various projects. However, Node.js offers better performance, an easier development process, customized security strategies, and strong community support.

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