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Introduction to Node.js Tutorial Series Overview

Node.js, JavaScript, intermediate, tutorial, intro-to-node-js2 min read

Introduction

Welcome to the Introduction to Node.js tutorial series. This tutorial series consists of the following six parts:

By the end of this tutorial series, you will be able to:

  • Use Node.js to build server-side JavaScript applications
  • Deepen your JavaScript knowledge to build better applications
  • Build web applications with Express & Socket.io
  • Use Node Package Manager (npm) to manage, build & publish packages

Prerequisites

An intermediate-level of JavaScript knowledge is assumed. Note that this is not a tutorial for beginners.

Installation Guide

To complete this tutorial series, you'll need to install Node.js (v14 or newer).

Installing Node.js

Node.js is free, open-source, and available for all operating systems. You can install Node.js by either downloading the source code or installing it with Homebrew.

  • Downloading the Source Code: Official packages for all the major platforms are available here. Other package managers for Linux and Windows are listed here.

  • Installing with Homebrew: Homebrew is a popular package manager for macOS and Linux operating systems. On macOS, if you already have Homebrew installed, you can install Node.js very easily by running the following command in your terminal:

1brew install node

For this course, make sure you're on version 14 or greater. You can check your Node.js version by running the following command in your terminal:

1node --version

Every Node.js installation also comes with a package management tool, npm, which allows modules to be easily installed and offers version and dependency management of packages.

Node Version Manager (nvm)

nvm is a popular way to run Node.js. This tool allows you to easily switch between Node.js versions, and install new versions to try out and easily rollback if needed.

Installing Visual Studio Code (Optional)

VSCode offers a fantastic ecosystem of extensions and themes as well as debugging tools for Node.js. Like Node.js, it is free, open-source, and available for all operating systems. It is the recommended code editor for this tutorial series.

Why Node.js?

Node.js is gaining popularity in the industry. As of August 2021, Node.js had ~80k stars on Github. Many big companies (e.g., Netflix, Uber, Paypal, Microsoft) are using Node.js. Node.js is a popular choice for building microservice-oriented architectures.

Why use Node.js? Node.js is light, scalable, & fast. It uses a single-threaded, non-blocking I/O model capable of processing multiple concurrent requests using asychronous request handling. Don't worry if you aren't familiar with these terms, as they will be explained in the tutorial.

Today, Node.js is supported by a large, active open-source community. Node Package Manager (NPM) is the largest software registry in the world, hosting more than one million free, open-source packages. 11 million developers worldwide rely on NPM's publicly available and reusable modules.

Some of the most useful npm modules today include Express.js and Socket.io, which you will explore in this tutorial series.

Review

  • Why is Node.js awesome?

Key takeaways

  • Node.js is light, scalable, & fast. As a result, it is quickly gaining popularity in the industry. There is a large, active open-source community supporting the ecosystem.

What’s next?

Now that you have the tools you’ll need, you’re ready to start the tutorial. In Part 1, you’ll learn how to work within the Node.js environment.

Continue to Part 1

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