Is Node.js Still Relevant and Worth Learning?

In this article, I want to talk about Node.js and, more specifically - if it's still relevant and worth learning.

But before going further, let's refresh our minds on Node. In official terms, Node.js is a JavaScript runtime that runs on Chrome's V8 engine. Still a bit complicated? In simpler terms, Node.js allows developers to run JavaScript on the Back-end. That is, you can build web servers with JavaScript.

Before Node.js, you could only run JavaScript in the browser, and it was used to make websites interactive. But you could not run JavaScript in other places; it was only on the client-side.

When Node.js was released in 2009, it changed that! It allowed developers to write JavaScript applications and run them natively on their machines for the first time.

What makes Node.js so great?

Since JavaScript was built mainly to make web pages interactive, why would anyone use it to build web servers? That's a valid question, and you'll see the answer below!

Let's briefly go over the features that make Node.js an excellent choice for building servers.

  • It's cross-platform => Node.js is cross-platform or multi-platform, which means that you develop the application once, and then you can run it everywhere. You can run it on platforms such as Windows, macOS, Linux, mobile platforms, and more.
  • It is JavaScript => If you know JavaScript, you can already build Node.js applications. Even better, you can develop Full-stack applications with one language!
  • It's fast => Due to its single-threaded and event-driven architecture, Node.js can efficiently process multiple simultaneous requests.
  • Great support => Node.js has great support. Since it's so popular, it has a massive community and plenty of resources to learn or advance your knowledge!
  • Scalability => Thanks to the non-blocking Event Loop mechanism, Node.js allows you to build scalable web applications.

Node.js is a great technology, and its popularity proves that. It's used by companies such as Netflix, PayPal, Uber, LinkedIn, Nasa, Spotify and many more.

Thus, Node.js has many features that enable developers to build fast, scalable, and cross-platform applications. Moreover, developers who already know JavaScript can start with Node.js straight away. As a result, Node.js is an attractive choice for many developers and companies.

How does the JavaScript ecosystem look like?

Let's take a step back and look at JavaScript itself, the programming language used by Node.

According to surveys conducted by companies such as Stack Overflow and JetBrains, JavaScript is the most popular language. Looking at figure 1, you can see JavaScript at the top of the list. It's the ninth year in a row when JavaScript is the most commonly used language.

Screenshot of the Stack Overflow survey pageFigure 1

Moreover, JavaScript libraries and frameworks such as React or Vue are constantly at the top when it comes to popularity and top paying technologies.

Also, let's not forget TypeScript, which is highly popular and in-demand. TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript, and it adds optional static typing to it. The good thing is that you can use TypeScript with your Node.js application as well.

So, what does JavaScript has to do with Node.js? Since Node.js is a JavaScript runtime, the popularity of JavaScript and its ecosystem affects Node.js as well. We could argue that as long as JavaScript and its ecosystem stay popular and in demand, Node.js will stay too.

However, take it with a grain of salt - it's more of an opinion rather than a fact. Things in tech change at a rapid pace, so new alternatives can appear at any time.

If you want to get started with it, check these resources to learn JavaScript.

Is Node.js still relevant and worth learning?

Node.js is as relevant as ever and worth learning, especially if you are a JavaScript developer. Being a JavaScript developer gives you a headstart since you already know the language used in Node.

Moreover, if you are a Front-end Developer, you can transition and become a Full-stack Developer by learning Node.

Lastly, Node.js is used by companies of all sizes. Fortune 500 and Big Tech companies all use Node.js in a bigger or small proportion. Node.js is a fantastic piece of technology with lots of advantages, making it a great choice for many scenarios.

Is Node.js still relevant and worth learning? Absolutely yes!

P.S: If you want to learn and start using it, check these resources to learn Node.js.