Like many aspiringSoftware Engineers, you might want to learn Node.js but worry that it will take too much time. Node.js is somewhat unique amongst vital programming skills because it is a framework library rather than a programming language. This means it doesn’t do anything without extensive programming knowledge of JavaScript. Owing to this, it will take substantially more time to learn the basic skills necessary to start working with Node.js than learning how to use Node.js. The framework itself can be picked up in only a few days of study by skilled JavaScript programmers. However, these skilled programmers must have undertaken a lengthy study period, possibly months of dedicated training, to learn JavaScript. Of course, this depends on several factors. Keep reading to learn about how you can learn Node.js and some resources to help speed the process along.

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.

Average Time it Takes to Learn Node.js

Students can learn Node.js in about a week of immersive study, presuming they come to these lessons with significant JavaScript experience. Students with coding experience but minimal JavaScript training will need several weeks to learn JavaScript, followed by a few days of Node.js training. Students with no coding experience will need several months of training before they are ready to learn Node.js

Other Factors

The most significant factors in learning Node.js, outside of personal learning style, will be how much prior coding experience you have and what skills you need to master to reach the point where you can learn Node.js. 

Do You Know JavaScript

Since Node.js is a framework for JavaScript, you will need to know JavaScript to learn Node.js. This means that the most time-consuming part of learning Node.js is learning JavaScript, so students who are unfamiliar with that language should consider enrolling in courses that combine the two into a singular training space.

Do You Know HTML & CSS

To learn JavaScript, you’ll need to know HTML and CSS (as well as the fundamental skills that go into computer programming). For students who don’t have this knowledge, Node.js will take a long time to learn simply because you will need to spend a long time learning skills that make it possible to begin to study Node.js.

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. 

Read about how difficult it is to learn Node.js.

Watch a Free Node.js Online Course

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.

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 backend 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.

Key Takeaways