Technologies these days are moving forward at a really fast pace. There will always be amazing things on the path. Sometimes, things are so innovative and interesting that our mind is barely able to grasp what’s going on.
If you’re interested in Node.js, then there are things you need to know before you jump right into it.
What is Node.js?
Why use Node.js
There are numerous features that come up with Node.js despite being a completely free tool for both personal and commercial usage! No wonder that the community is picking up Node.js rapidly
Blazingly fast performance
Node.js is a lightweight solution. Typically, it uses a basic event-driven architecture. Using this method, every single operations and call are performed as a series of
Thus, Node.js users can enjoy
Single language for all layers
Other popular web techs like ASP.NET or Spring DEMANDS the developer to know some additional programming language for writing server-side codes (VB.NET, C# or Java etc.).
Node.js is available on almost all the platforms. With the exponential growth of Node.js users, most of the popular web hosting services like Google, AWS, Amazon, Microsoft Azure, Heroku, and others offer support for Node.js out-of-the-box.
Things you have to know as a Node.js developer
Are you interested in Node.js? Then consider following the following tips for becoming a better one.
Adding some types and schemas
Typeless coding has both its pros and cons compared to typed coding (you MUST define the data type). You can code faster using a typeless programming language. However, this can lead to more confusing errors than usual.
For example, you may end up trying to compare two variables with different data types. In the case of typed coding, such errors would easily be fixable during compilation of the program. However, typeless coding doesn’t generate any compile-time error in such situations. Instead, the real problem arises at the runtime when the runtime tries to perform a certain task with a non-matching data type. This will throw an error. Debugging such issues is also time-consuming and troublesome.
Use a good linter
Linters are outstanding tools. I don’t know how I could ever live without them!
A linter is essentially a small program that will continue analyzing your code on the go and figure out any potential error(s) of the code you’re writing.
Setting up a good linter isn’t very difficult. It can take the highest 5 min to set up a well-functioning one. Voila! As a helping hand, a linter can essentially solve a number of VIGOROUS problems that you didn’t even think of!
I’m a good programmer. I don’t need a LINTER!
Okay, I see you. Good luck! Let’s see how many hours you’re PROUDLY willing to waste debugging all the treacherous and hideous issues. And by the way, good programmers will use a linter MOST of the times.
A better understanding of different programming concepts
Architecture and design knowledge are essential for writing a powerful program. However, it seems like the community
However, while on the process, I don’t recommend heavy Java/Spring patterns. We’re on the Node-land for a reason, right? If you compromise with the flexibility too much, then it’s not going to be helpful.
Check out the newest features
With all the new features coming in, it’s worth being familiar with them. However, not all of them should be implemented in your programs. In fact, you may not even find all of them helpful for you.
From time to time, you might hit a new gem that would definitely benefit you a lot. Another thing to look for is, some features may require sacrificing code simplicity and clarity.
Enrich your testing portfolio
Over the decade, the development community has progressed a lot. On the contrary, the testing methods didn’t mature that much. In fact, it’s easily arguable that most of the test methods are following the rules of the old generations.
Are you already familiar with the testing pyramid, integration, unit and end-to-end tests? Congrats! These are the building blocks of a successful testing strategy. However, there are other things that have emerged (Microservice, Serverless, and rich frontends). You also have to have a good testing strategy for these features as well.
Think like an attacker
It’s one of the most important things you should always pay close attention. Otherwise, the price to pay is literally too much to justify.
Now, what’s the best way of defending any sort of security threat? Be the attacker!
Let’s break it down with a simple analogy. Suppose, you have your own home. Your target is to protect it from burglars. How do you do that? You become the burglar!
If you take the role of a burglar, only then you’ll be able to figure out all the possible ways of breaking inside the house. Okay, so you improve the security. Now, you become the burglar again. You can easily find ways of bypassing the current security. You improve the security again.
In the case of Node, the security is an especially major thing to consider. You shouldn’t rely on 3rd-party companies or static security scanners. The types of possible attacks on Node and the ecosystem is numerous (NPM and the development pipelines are the latest).
With tons of additional parts to be added in the project (database types, IAM role, AWS service and much more). So, the best way of preventing threats is programming wisely. You have to bake security practices into your and your team’s DNA for adding a powerful touch of security on every single part.
Things aren’t that scary, to be honest. Just get familiar with the common attack types and tools. When you design your app, develop a habit of figuring out how you would attack this. With enough time, your mind will automatically develop a better design decision. You’ll see the reflection in every single line of code you write.
Package update strategy
There is basically 2 package update strategy – updating as soon as possible and updating only when needed.
While the first approach looks like the best choice, it’s not the best practice. That’s the reason behind the devastating flat-stream. Those who waited didn’t get infected. Others were doomed.
Again, it’s a bad decision not updating at all. This essentially kills the project. You and your team have to come up with a sweet spot between “no update” and “update too soon”.
Switch to different techs
When you’re working on the same project for a long period of time, it’s highly likely that you’re using the same frameworks for a longer period of time. This can narrow down your view on better alternatives.
Strive to investigate other projects frequently, especially the successful open-source ones. GitHub can serve as a great source.
Study Linux OS
By far, Linux is the most successful operating system for enterprises. Why? It’s free, open-source and packed with all the powerful features like the well-known Linux kernel. The community behind Linux is growing and having a good understanding of the system is a must for competing in the competitive market.
Turns out, understanding the Linux process will earn you an even greater position. For example, it’s necessary to understand the Linux process for monitoring, working with Docker, guarding processes and shutting down gracefully etc.
Try to have a good understanding of the lifecycle of a process, signals, common commands, types of processes and others.
Dive deeper into Node
My favorite quote from Ryan Dahl, the creator of Node.js v0.1 is,
“You can never understand everything. But, you should push yourself to understand the system”.Ryan Dahl
Having a solid understanding of the underlying mechanism can prove a valuable asset when it’s necessary to handle hairy production issues or designing some infrastructural components.
You may already be familiar with the core building blocks like v8 and libuv. Why not jump deeper? I believe 2019 is a great year to deepen your understanding of Node.js. Maybe starting things that are happening inside each libuv event loop cycle?
Let’s check out what it takes to dive into the world of Node.js!
- Free courses
- Paid courses (Udemy)
Now, for learning TypeScript, I recommend checking out the following tutorials.
- Free courses
- Paid courses (Udemy)
It seems like you’re ready to go with Node.js! Check out the Node.js tutorials!
- Free courses
- Paid courses (Udemy)
Node.js is literally the ULTIMATE tech to date. It’s still new but over time, it’s bound to become more and more mainstream. With all the indications of a bright future, Node.js is here to stay.
Start learning Node.js to title yourself as an aspiring and prominent developer in the competitive market. Don’t forget the aforementioned tips to sharpen your Node.js skills to a greater level.