Learn Node.js

A Comprehensive Guide to Start Learning Node.js

Node.js is among the most popular and versatile framework libraries for the JavaScript programming language. It facilitates requests between applications and servers, allowing software applications to run JavaScript code outside a web browser.

Node.js is one of the most popular and in-demand JavaScript frameworks. This open-source library lets developers build software programs that run JavaScript code outside of a web browser. If you’ve always wanted to learn Node.js but can’t figure out how to get started, this guide is for you. Here, you’ll learn more about the various ways to learn Node.js, free resources to take advantage of, and the types of careers that commonly use Node.js.

What is Node.js?

Node.js is a commonly used JavaScript library and is an open-source, cross-platform JavaScript runtime environment. Node.js is among the most commonly utilized JavaScript libraries. It is far and away the most commonly used runtime environment in the professional sector, with Node.js being utilized by upwards of 98% of Fortune 500 companies. It allows users to create server-side architecture using JavaScript to build applications and webpages that constantly communicate information to server architecture without needing specific input from either the user or the server. This makes Node.js a vital programming language for any application that needs to be constantly connected to a server without needing to query that server at any given moment. For instance, it is part of the server architecture that allows users to stream video content on the internet without needing to download an entire video file. It is what allows online chat tools to function.

Node.js is also an integral tool in the continued development and refinement of the Internet of Things. More and more of our daily lives involve interacting with devices connected to the internet, ranging from our watches and phones to our cars and refrigerators. The various applications that these objects run to serve their niche functions tend to rely on Node.js to build the server environments and the asynchronous data processing events that allow multiple physical objects to be in meaningful conversation with one another over an internet connection. If you are using your voice to tell the virtual assistant on your desk to tell your thermostat to lower the temperature, Node.js infrastructure was likely vital in that exchange.

Read more about what Node.js is and why you should learn it. 

What Can You Do with Node.js?

Node.js is an incredibly versatile runtime environment that lets users construct virtually any program that seeks to use the functionalities of a webpage without needing to open up a web browser. This is vital for many web applications, such as almost all direct messaging programs and chatbot software. If you are designing an application and want to include a live chat feature, you will likely need to use Node.js. Node.js is also used for single-page web applications like Google Docs and Gmail. Even something as simple as including push notifications or scrolling news and weather updates in your application will require using Node.js.

Node.js is also a vital part of making the Internet of Things possible. Node.js is one of the key frameworks and runtime environments that allow sensors to detect changes and stimuli and relay that information to a device connected to the internet. This means that if you use the voice command on a digital assistant to tell your Bluetooth speaker system to lower its volume, you are using a program made possible thanks to Node.js. As this technology becomes more advanced and enters into sectors like the automotive and medical fields, skilled Node.js programmers will be able to construct complex, interconnected, potentially life-saving new technologies.

Careers That Use Node.js

As more and more software applications are being designed to run outside of the space of a web browser and the Internet of Things becomes a more significant part of our daily lives, the demand for skilled JavaScript programmers who know how to use Node.js is only going to increase. Since Node.js is a JavaScript framework rather than a programming language in and of itself, developers will need to be at least versed in JavaScript to find work as a programmer (and actually to learn Node.js). Still, they will also need to learn other important JavaScript libraries and frameworks like React, Express.js, and MongoDB. However, for these specialized programmers, a wide variety of career options are available, such as

JavaScript Developer: JavaScript Developers are specialized Software Engineers who focus on developing web applications and software using JavaScript. While they primarily work on web browser applications, those who use Node.js extensively will be working on applications that allow devices to access JavaScript programs without needing to access a server or browser directly. These developers will be working heavily on the developing technology that undergirds the Internet of Things, such as smart devices and digital assistants. This rapidly expanding career field offers JavaScript Developers the opportunity to work on cutting-edge projects across a wide range of industries.

Front-End Developer: Front-End Developers are tasked with building and maintaining the client-facing side of a web application. This includes both its visual qualities and its functional qualities. This means they will use programming languages like HTML/CSS and JavaScript to program functionality into web assets. They will also utilize Node.js to build the aspects of a webpage that frequently update and consult with server infrastructure without prompting, such as a chat function or a push notification function. These developers will be less directly focused on specializing in things like Node.js, but they will still use it as part of the projects they are working on. 

Project Managers: In the modern web development world, very few projects are undertaken by individuals. Only very small firms and companies contract web development projects to small teams. Instead, software and web development projects are usually being worked on by dozens or even hundreds of individuals in teams specializing in specific aspects of the design project. The project manager's responsibility is to oversee these teams. Successful project managers need to know how to use their teams' tools, including Node.js and JavaScript on many projects. In addition, Project Managers will need to learn the soft skills necessary to manage the human element of a given project to ensure that it is completed on time and within budget.

Why Learn Node.js?

Node.js is an incredibly versatile JavaScript library that is being refined and utilized in many different development sectors. It lets users build the backend server infrastructure that is necessary for applications that are constantly connected to and querying servers without the need for downloading new information. It is most commonly utilized in applications requiring real-time information exchanges between multiple devices and servers, such as content streaming applications or chatbots and other communication applications. It allows applications and webpages to run JavaScript functionalities outside a web browser that directly queries an HTML address. It is also used to make those applications more responsive to a wider range of stimuli, making it an essential tool for building virtual assistants, automated environmental programs, or other applications that utilize sensors to receive and interpret data.

Node.js is the largest JavaScript library in the world, and it is also by far the most used. Anyone looking to program complex applications, particularly those designed to run outside of a web browser, will want to learn how to use Node.js. As the devices we use in our daily lives become increasingly connected, the underlying software applications that allow those systems to operate will become increasingly more complex. As this complexity increases, the demand for skilled programmers will only continue to increase, particularly as the stakes of this development increase. The Internet of Things, wherein physical objects we take for granted are becoming increasingly interconnected, is becoming a more central fact of our lives. While the stakes are low with things like building programs that listen for your voice to turn on lights in a room, they are much higher for companies attempting to develop applications that gauge the speed of your car to detect whether or not you have been in an accident to call for emergency services. As these kinds of applications become more and more common, learning how to carefully and precisely utilize Node.js will be essential for engineers.

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How to Learn Node.js

Interested in learning Node.js? There are a few different paths that you can take to acquire these skills. The primary point to consider is that Node.js is rarely taught on its own in live instruction courses. While it is an essential library, it is still a library of JavaScript, meaning that it is most often taught in the context of JavaScript instruction. Anyone who needs to familiarize themselves with JavaScript will want to enroll in a Node.js development class, and those who just want to learn Node.js will want to find a targeted training course.

Anyone interested in an immersive JavaScript education covering Node.js should consider a live instruction class. These classes are taught by expert instructors and available both in-person and live online instruction. These courses are the best place to receive a comprehensive JavaScript education, as they allow the chance to work hands-on with real-world projects and students can interact directly with their instructors to receive feedback and assistance. 

Students learning in-person will benefit from the structure and design of a classroom learning environment and the presence of a cohort of like-minded peers. They will be able to filter out distractions and learn directly from an experienced instructor in the room with them. They will also be able to take advantage of an on-site computer lab. They will, however, be restricted to locations they can commute to regularly and need to commute. Online students will be able to learn Node.js from the comfort of their homes, and they will be able to bypass the commute. They will have to supply their technology and won’t work alongside other students.

Those interested in targeting their education and learning only Node.js will want to ensure they are incredibly comfortable coding with JavaScript. Node.js is not trivial to learn, and people who aren’t comfortable with JavaScript may have issues. However, confident learners may wish to consider an on-demand Node.js course. These asynchronous courses let students learn skills like Node.js on their own schedule. This makes them ideal for people looking to learn at their own pace and for those looking to target a specific skill like Node.js. The drawback is that these classes lack live instructors, so participants must find other means of addressing any difficulties that may arise during their training.

Noble also offers free introductory seminars and resources for people who aren’t certain that learning Node.js is right for them or want to get a general feeling for the program before enrolling in a larger training course. On their official YouTube page, you can view a free tutorial seminar, Intro to Node.js. In this video, you will receive an introductory overview of the functions and applications of Node.js, preparing them for more immersive study in a JavaScript training course. Noble also has a collection of resources and articles available at their Learn Node.js Page.

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Free Introductory Node.js Course Online 

Anyone interested in learning the basic features of Node.js without enrolling in an immersive JavaScript course will want to consider their options for free online classes. These classes aren’t a substitute for professional skills training, but they are an ideal place for learning the basics of the library in preparation for more advanced skills training.

Noble Desktop offers a few options for free Node.js instruction. On their official YouTube page, you can watch an Intro to Node.js seminar that will give an overview of the library and its primary functions and applications. You will learn how Node.js works and how developers can use Node.js to build web applications that operate outside a browser's scope. Once you have watched this video, if you are looking for more free online tutorials, you can explore the options available on the Web Development Playlist on their YouTube Channel or their Learn JavaScript resources page.

Interested users can also explore their options for free training seminars through training providers such as Udemy or CodeAcademy. These classes will vary in content and delivery style, but they will still provide an overview of the basic features of the Node.js library. Some may also wish to explore the resources on the office Node.js webpage for free and open-source resources that they can utilize to help them learn how to use the library.

Read about more free Node.js videos and online tutorials.

Level of Difficulty, Prerequisites, & Cost 

The difficulty of learning Node.js will largely depend on your knowledge of JavaScript. It is a relatively easy library to use for anyone who has significant experience coding in JavaScript, but anyone who lacks this knowledge will need supplemental training that can make the process both more difficult and more expensive.

Learning Node.js comes with a few significant prerequisites. The most notable requirement is that you must be familiar with JavaScript to learn Node.js because it is a JavaScript library. This isn’t a major issue in most cases, as JavaScript training courses tend to dedicate time to teaching Node.js. However, to learn JavaScript, you will need to know HTML/CSS (alongside basic coding skills), and many JavaScript courses do not offer this training. You must ensure that you meet the training requirements of any JavaScript classes you enroll in.

Node.js is an open-source JavaScript library that is free to download and use. While there are paid services and hosting platforms that utilize Node.js, the code and framework are available through the Node.js website for anyone to download. 

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How Does Learning Node.js Compare to Other JavaScript Frameworks?

While some other coding libraries and frameworks provide the same functionality as Node.js, the ubiquitousness of JavaScript and its uptake in the corporate world makes it less than ideal to try and find an alternative framework to replace Node.js training. However, Node.js isn’t the only important JavaScript library students can learn. While it will ultimately benefit JavaScript Developers to learn all the important frameworks, picking which to learn first and which to prioritize is an important decision.

React is the most utilized JavaScript library currently available. Using React, developers can build reusable, stable component pieces of code that are easily modifiable and replicable. These blocks of code, called components, let developers work faster and more efficiently on JavaScript projects, making React an incredibly popular library, especially in mobile application development.

Express.js is a skill that is closely related to Node.js. Express.js lets developers build the infrastructure that manages the data flow that enters and leaves an application. It is also helpful for building the middleware that sorts and processes data requests from an application. To build APIs in JavaScript or Node.js applications, you’ll need to learn Express.js.

Most JavaScript training courses will also teach MongoDB, an object-oriented programming framework for building and organizing databases in applications running Node.js. Like Express.js, this is often taught alongside Node.js to create more well-rounded JavaScript Developers. 

Whether you want to learn Express.js, MongoDB, or React, Noble has course options available for you. They also offer a comprehensive JavaScript Development Certificate program in which you can learn all of these frameworks alongside JavaScript and Node.js.

How to Decide the Best Way to Learn Node.js

Since Node.js is a framework for laying JavaScript code into different runtime environments, the best way to learn Node.js will likely depend on how much experience a student has with JavaScript as a programming language. Anyone with extensive JavaScript training or experience will find that more targeted skills training is preferable. In contrast, students who don’t have a background in JavaScript will want to look towards more immersive career training options.

Those with a background in JavaScript who want to improve their skills by learning to use the basic functions of Node.js will want to enroll in a targeted course, such as an on-demand training option or a free course training seminar. These courses tend to only be ideal for people who are intimately familiar with JavaScript as a programming language. Even students with a minor background in JavaScript will want additional training to learn Node.js.

Developers who are either familiar with JavaScript but want additional training to complement their Node.js training or those who aren’t familiar with JavaScript but are familiar with HTML/CSS will want to enroll in a targeted JavaScript development bootcamp. These courses are designed for students who want to get a hands-on programming education and want to target specific JavaScript training. These courses are focused on singular topics, so they may have significant prerequisites, but these are the ideal way to approach a Node.js training program for students who meet those prerequisites.

Those with no significant background in coding but are sure that they want to learn Node.js will want to enroll in an immersive programming career certificate program. These classes take students from complete novices to expert professional programs over weeks or months of dedicated study. These courses are the best option for those who feel they will need a tremendous amount of training and want to benefit from the professionalization services that these courses tend to offer. They tend to be the most expensive, but also the most thorough of learning options.

People who think they might want to learn Node.js but also aren’t certain that a new career path is their goal may want to take advantage of free training resources to ease them into learning the framework. These courses won’t replace professional training options, but they may help prevent students from jumping too far into the deep end without understanding what they want to get from their Node.js training.

Learn Node.js with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

Since Node.js is a JavaScript library, it is rarely taught on its own. It is so ubiquitous in professional JavaScript development that it is often taught alongside JavaScript as an equally crucial professional skill. Therefore, those looking to learn how to use Node.js will likely do so within the context of a JavaScript class or bootcamp. In these classes, students will learn the basics of using JavaScript to code web applications. Then they will receive training in how to utilize Node.js to expand the scope and functionality of those web applications. Many of these classes, particularly those with a significant Node.js component, presume that students are familiar with basic coding skills, particularly HTML/CSS, so looking at course prerequisites is advised.

At Noble Desktop, students can learn Node.js in a wide array of different course settings. However, no matter what program you enroll in, you’ll stand to benefit from the chance to interface with expert instructors in their field in small, intimate classes that rarely exceed twenty students. Even online, students will be placed in private classrooms with live instructors who can answer their questions and provide feedback in real-time. You can also retake any course within one year, giving them an extra chance to hone their Node.js skills.

Noble offers JavaScript and Node.js instruction in its web development certificate curriculum. These courses provide hands-on training in JavaScript and Node.js by giving them projects to code that mirror the kind of real-world projects they can expect to work on in their professional lives. You can opt to enroll in the JavaScript Development Certificate program or the Full Stack Development Certificate program. In these classes, you will receive professional career instruction in web development skills, including JavaScript. Students in the JavaScript Development Certificate program will learn how to use the advanced features of JavaScript and Node.js to build complex web applications. Students enrolled in the Full Stack Development Certificate program will receive this training alongside introductory HTML/CSS training, React training, and back end development instruction.

These courses are career-focused training seminars, meaning they are designed to take students from novices in their field and graduate them as trained professionals ready to enter the workforce as Web Developers. These courses deliver hands-on training in the kinds of Node.js projects students will be hired to work upon and provide one-on-one professional mentorship as a part of their professional development. Students will conclude the course by working on a final web development sample portfolio. Upon completion, they will be awarded a career development certificate which signals to employers that they are prepared to start working as Node.js experts.

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