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. This makes it a vital component of online chat functions, streaming services, and the Internet of Things. In this overview, you’ll learn more about what Node.js is, what it can do, who uses it, and how to learn how to add this skill to your professional toolbox.

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.

How Do You Download/Get Node.js? How Much Does it Cost?

Node.js is an open-source library attached to JavaScript, which is also open-source. This means that the language and the library are free to use. Programmers will need to utilize a code editor to use these languages. Still, almost all major code editing programs have a free version or are open source. Interested users can download the latest version of the Node.js framework on the library’s official organization website. 

What Are the Benefits of Learning 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.

Read more about why you should learn Node.js.

Node.js Careers

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.

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.

Read the full guide on how to learn Node.js.

A Brief History of Node.js

Ryan Dahl developed Node.js in 2009 as a framework library for Linux and macOS devices. It was developed to address limitations in the then-premiere cross-platform web server framework application, Apache HTTP Server, which was limited in its ability to handle large amounts of concurrent connection requests. The library went public in 2010 and was made Windows-compatible in 2011. Since then, Node.js has received regular updates to keep it up-to-date with Google’s V8 JavaScript engine.

Comparable 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 worth learning. While it will ultimately benefit JavaScript Developers to learn all the critical 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 the field of 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. If you want to build APIs in JavaScript or in Node.js applications, you’ll need to learn Express.js.

Most JavaScript training courses will also teach students how to use 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 these frameworks alongside JavaScript and Node.js.

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