Best Way to Learn Node.js – A Complete Roadmap
Around one decade back (in 2009) when Ryan Dahl (the original developer of NodeJS) released the initial version of NodeJS nobody could have imagined that within a short period Node will gain so much popularity and it will become the top priority of small to large enterprises for building backend services of their applications. Today most developers are aware of the hype and popularity of NodeJS and due to its rise in popularity, Node has become one of the essential skills to learn.
Node is the hottest technology across the world, especially in Silicon Valley. It is the perfect skill to open up amazing career opportunities for any software developer. You can build various applications such as social media apps, video and text chat engines, real-time tracking apps, online games, and collaboration tools. Many companies switched their tech stack to NodeJS including Paypal, LinkedIn, Uber, Yahoo, Medium, GoDaddy, Groupon, Walmart.
All the above reasons are enough to tell you why NodeJS is popular among programmers and why you should learn it. Now the question is where to start? what topics you should cover? what are the NodeJS frameworks and which one is good to learn? Do you need to learn all the concepts from a book or you should go with some online tutorial? Relax, take a deep breath, and we will tell you everything one by one and give you a complete roadmap to becoming a NodeJS developer.
Why NodeJS? (Decide Your End Goal)?
Before you start your journey with NodeJS you should have a clear goal in your mind that why do you want to learn NodeJS? What exactly do you want to do with NodeJS? Do you want to build some web applications, to start your own business or your purpose is to get a new job? Do you want to build some chat applications or do you want to build some online games?
Most beginners make a common mistake that they start learning a language/framework just for the sake of learning it without having a goal in mind. Keep in mind that learning a new technology or language is a different thing and using it to build some real-world application is different and as a programmer, your purpose should be to be able to build stuff and not just to learn. So firstly explore each field and find out where your interest lies.
We have discussed various fields where NodeJS can be used. So first, decide what exactly you want to build, once your goal is decided, stick with it and move to the next step i.e. to find out resources.
How to Learn NodeJS?
There are plenty of resources and videos available online and it’s confusing for developers where to start learning all the concepts. Initially, as a beginner, if you get overwhelmed with so many concepts then don’t be afraid and stop learning. Have patience, explore, and stay committed to it. Also, whatever resource you prefer code along with that resource. Keep in mind that none of the tutorials or courses can teach you any language or framework if you don’t get your hands dirty in the code. So code while you learn and build some applications on your own.
Check out the official documentation and learn the various concepts of NodeJS in detail. You can also visit the link NodeJS Tutorial GeeksforGeeks. You can also go for some online video tutorials or courses but in most of the courses, different instructors may cover different concepts of NodeJS. This can be overwhelming for you and it can create confusion as well. So it’s important to know the clear path or roadmap to learn NodeJS.
A Roadmap to Learn
1. Introduction to NodeJS
Start with the basic introduction part of NodeJS. You should know what is NodeJS, where it is used, some of its features, and why companies are using it. You can read the article 7 Famous Apps Built on NodeJS: Reasons and Benefits to know why companies switched to NodeJS to build their application. It’s important to know why to choose NodeJS over another framework for the development of server-side applications. Explore the different application areas of NodeJS, advantages, limitations, and NodeJS application deployment server.
We are giving an overview but explore this topic in more detail…
NodeJS provides good throughput and higher consistency and that’s why it is heavily used by companies for building large scalable single-page applications, video streaming applications, and web applications.
History and Release
- Released in 2009 and the first version of NPM is created. It was introduced by Ryan Dahl.
- In 2010 Express and socket.io are introduced.
- In 2011 LinkedIn, Uber, and many big companies start using NodeJS.
- In 2016 Yarn was introduced along with Node.js 6
- The latest LTS Version of NodeJS is 12.18.3.
2. Learn about the NodeJS Architecture
- Based on the single-threaded event loop model architecture which means client requests will be executed by a single thread in NodeJS.
- The event-driven nature of NodeJS allows you to handle multiple client requests concurrently.
3. Installation of NodeJS
Installing NodeJS is a very simple procedure. You can download the stable version of NodeJs from the NodeJS official site. Depending on your operating system and system configurations install NodeJS and then you can immediately start working on it. Make sure that your RAM is at least 4GB to support NodeJS.
4. NPM (Node Package Manager)
The Node package manager is one of the most important core concepts to learn in NodeJS. After the installation, part learns about NPM. NPM comes with 800, 000+ libraries that can be used for different purposes. These prebuilt libraries come with their own code to build different features in NodeJS. So you don’t need to build everything from scratch. You can simply install the required library using the npm command and use that in your application. So these libraries help a lot in speeding up the application development process.
5. JSON File
JSON file is another essential and most important concept to learn in NodeJS. The first thing you do in any NodeJS project is creating JSON file. It is the manifest file in any project and you can find this file with the name package.json in your application. It contains the metadata of the project. In other words, it manages and holds the information about packages and dependencies along with the script used in the project. If you ever want to check which packages or dependencies are used in the application, you can simply open this file and check the information.
6. Node.js Fundamentals
7. File System
After learning the fundamentals, the next thing you need to learn is how to read and write data into a file instead of the console. To access the physical file system from a directory NodeJS uses the fs module.
NodeJS comes with event-driven features and a lot of Node’s core functionality is based on the concept of events. Event is basically a signal that indicates something has happened in the application. In NodeJS Event modules are available for developers to create and handle custom events. Applications built on NodeJS support concurrency because they all are based on single-threaded and event-driven architecture.
9. HTTP Modules
HTTP modules are the powerful building blocks of NodeJS. HTTP’s modules are heavily used for building the server-side networking application. REST API with NodeJS can be built easily using the HTTP module.
Like every other server-side language, NodeJS also provides a number of frameworks that help in building the application with better features. It’s a time-consuming process to write code from scratch to build various features in any application. So using the framework in your application makes your work easier and you build any kind of feature at a faster speed. Some popular NodeJS frameworks are given below….
We discussed a lot of concepts that you should know in order to build a fully functional NodeJS application. But what about the information which you need to store in your application? Of course like every other application you need to store the data in the database. Depending on the type of application or requirement you can choose any database and configure it with NodeJS. Some of the best fit database for NodeJS is given below…
- SQL Server
- Cloud Databases
- Search Engines
Any application requires proper testing before it releases in the market. The same goes for the Node. If you’re learning Node, you should also have the knowledge of testing frameworks or libraries for NodeJS applications. Check out some given below testing frameworks and libraries for NodeJS application…
- Unit, Behavior, Integration Testing
- E2E Testing
This is all about the roadmap to learn NodeJS from the beginning. We hope this was helpful !!!