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Prerequisites for learning Node.js? What should I know before starting Node.js?

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    Mehul Mohan
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    Vishnupriya
    Team codedamn
Prerequisites for learning Node.js? What should I know before starting Node.js?

Thinking of becoming a full stack web developer but have no idea of where to start or what skills are required? No need to worry, because Javascript can help you accomplish your goal. It can be used for frontend as well as backend making it so popular that about 67.8% of the web developers are using it to build their web projects. Companies like Netflix, Amazon, LinkedIn, and Tumblr make use of Node.js as it increases the application’s performance by 50%. Additionally, it also reduces the development cost by almost 58% making it the primary technology used by the majority of startup companies. So now, let’s understand what Node.js is, the need for it, and the basic prerequisites.

What is Node.js?

Many people on hearing Node.js think that it is a programming language, some of them also think that it is with a JavaScript library or framework. But it is neither of those. Node.js is an open-source runtime environment developed in JavaScript. People who are unfamiliar with Node.js used to run their JavaScript program inside the browser but now by taking advantage of Node.js, you can access, read, or write files as well as connect to various databases outside of your web browser.

Node.js is built on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine and by using Node.js one can execute a JavaScript program outside of your browser. It makes use of an event-driven, asynchronous, non-blocking I/O architecture. Due to this, it is steadily gaining popularity in backend development for making high-performance and effective real-time web projects.

What are the Advantages of Node.js

Here are some of the reasons why you should start learning about Node.js if you are motivated in becoming a full-stack or a backend developer.

1. Easy to Learn

As mentioned before, Node.js is a JavaScript runtime, which is one of the most popular programming languages globally. Due to this Node.js requires relatively less time and effort to perfect if you already have adequate knowledge in JavaScript.

Previously, to become a full-stack developer, one had to learn to code in multiple languages but now programmers can make Frontend using JavaScript and complete the backend through Node.js. Due to this, now more programmers can become full-stack web developers easily, as there is no context switching between programming languages.

2. Increased Demand

With the majority of the world going digital, there is a great need for web developers, especially full-stack developers. With Node.js in your set of skills, you can easily expand your career opportunities. Additionally, the pay for a person with Node.js expertise is great and high in demand now.

3. Growing Community

Node.js is an open-source cross-platform environment that supports multiple features. Due to this, its community has highly active and vibrant developers who provide tons of resources as well as guidelines for beginners. Even though Node.js is a recent technology in comparison to other backend stacks like PHP, its community provides exciting projects which fulfill most of the modern days’ web development requirements.

Requirements for Node.js

All right, so now you must be having a clear view of Node.js and how it can be an important asset to your skillset. Let’s further understand what are the prerequisites for learning Node.js

1. JavaScript

Node.js’s environment is developed for writing JavaScript code, hence we must have an adequate understanding of the core and advanced concepts of JavaScript. These concepts include having knowledge about expressions, loops, data structures, callbacks, functions, objects, this keyword, event handlers, and other related topics. It is recommended to brush up on your JavaScript concepts before learning Node.js.

2. Asynchronous code

Before diving into Node.js, you need to be well aware of asynchronous code and its working. Asynchronous code or architecture means the program can do multiple tasks simultaneously without disturbing the main thread execution. JavaScript makes use of this model via callbacks. The majority of the functions in Node.js are asynchronous in nature.

3. CLI

Command Line Interface also known as CLI is a text-based user interface through which you can type commands to make your computer execute certain tasks. Once you are comfortable with using CLI, then you will get a hang of running nvm, npm as well as executing your Node.js projects easily.

4. NPM

Node Package Manager or the NPM is a very powerful tool that helps in managing the server-side dependencies of any Node.js project. Through NPM, one can easily install, upgrade or even delete various libraries or packages of JavaScript when required. NPM is not the only package manager that is compatible with Node.js, the most popular package manager among developers is Yarn which was developed by the engineers at Facebook.

5. HTTP

In situations where you need to retrieve data from a data source or send certain data, you will need to make an API request to that server through HTTP. Having a basic knowledge of HTTP requests and HTTP methods like GET, POST, PUT, PATCH, DELETE, etc., will be beneficial for you while working on a web project.

6. ES6+ Syntax

Currently, for JavaScript, the ECMAScript 2015 or ES6 is the standard scripting language. ES6 is the second major revision in JavaScript which involves important features like the let and const keyword, for loops, default parameters, arrow functions, classes, and many more. Hence it is advised to be familiar with all these features.

Conclusion

Other than the above-mentioned topics, you will also have to learn many things like how to work with a database, usage of tools like pm2 and the working of Docker, etc. Remember in programming the learning part never ends. In order to continuously improve yourself, you will always need to study, practice, and understand new concepts.

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