Why Is Node.Js So Popular?

Krunal Shah

Aug 25, 2020 | 8 min read

why node js is popular

Why indeed? Everyone who is anyone in the realms of technology is talking about Node.js all of a sudden. Well, that’s not entirely true because ever since Node.js was released in 2009, it has been the blue eyed boy in the classroom of technology. While there is a lot of content online that discusses the advantages and disadvantages of this open source cross platform JavaScript runtime framework, however, there is no concrete discussion pertaining to its growing popularity (apart from people saying it is fast and such) and its relevance in 2020.

Honestly, before you even discuss the reasons that contribute to Node.js popularity, it is important to understand the scope of technological evolution that has occurred in the last decade. The internet itself has emerged as a consolidation of powerful platforms that changed the way people do business or communicate. This growing dependence has ultimately resulted in greater number of websites and, obviously, more number of internet users. Statistics indicate that the last decade alone has seen over 2,837 million unique users, which amounts to roughly 62% of the global population from about 7%.

These stats put in perspective how rapidly technology has had to undergo metamorphosis which demanded more and more developers. As the number of developers continued to grow, so did technology and all that came with it.

Node.js popularity in 2020

Node.js popularity in 2020 can be attributed to a number of things, including the freedom and fluidity that it offers to build different types of apps using it. But, of course, there are some very concrete and undeniable reasons that have today made it one of the most successful JavaScript runtime environments in the world. Here’s a list of some of the top reasons that we’ve curated from experts across the world.

Well, sorry, but it is FAST

Yeah, at the beginning of the blog post, we did sound like we were complaining about how people keep ranting about how fast Node.js is, as though there’s nothing more to it (you know what they say about pretty faces only being known for their beauty?), but, it is undeniably true.

Node.js popularity 2020

One of the biggest, most important and prominent reasons for Node.js popularity is the fact that it is lightening fast. It is powered by a V8 JavaScript Engine. Considering that it was built by Google in the first place to compile and execute JavaScript fast, there is no denying that it does it beautifully. V8 facilitates the compilation of JavaScript coeds into machine codes which lends it the speed.

V8 javascript engine

In addition to this, there’s something known as the ‘magical event loop’ which ensures that after every sync operation (that uses asynchronous tasks and call back actions) the event loop returns to the task to execute call back. This is very distinct from typical conventional looping which consumes a lot of memory, and, of course, is extremely tedious to undertake. This is what makes Node.js super lightweight. Okay, that was supposed to be the next point, but you get it, right? Lightweight, so fast.

Wealth of Open Source Libraries

This is my personal favorite. Node.js libraries are probably the biggest. It is perhaps equipped with the largest repository of open source information. One could say that this is because of the popularity of environment and the number of developers that have formed the Node.js community, but it’s a cycle. The more the number of open source Node.js libraries, the more popular it becomes. The more popular it becomes, the more number of contributors to the open source Node.js libraries.

What I’m really trying to say is that a continuous evolution in terms of what you can achieve with Node.js can be observed. With more and more developers across the globe finding it to be a fluid and more productive framework, its libraries are expanding and with that, so is its popularity.

Eventually, the whole purpose of having a technology stack is to make the life of the developer easy so that they can build great apps and websites. That is exactly what developers get here. With the kind of repository of Node.js modules that are available it becomes infinitely easy for developers to build as they like and be more productive while they are at it.

Performance at a lower cost

From a business standpoint, it is obvious that people want to reduce their costs while increasing their performances. Now, you probably already know by this time that I am biased towards Node.js and I totally believe that it is awesome, so, instead of having to rely on my word, I am presenting you with some sharp stats.

Node.js popular websites

PayPal reportedly almost doubled it’s per second request rate after it shifted to Node.js. According to them, after moving on to Node.js, their response time went down by 35%. Sharp, huh? But that’s not all. LinkedIn presented the sharpest numbers ever. Reportedly, they reduced 90% of the number of servers and increased their speed 20 times when they moved from Ruby to Node. Even Wal Mart put all their mobile traffic through Node.js in one of their Black Friday sales in 2013 deploying over 200,000,000 users and used just 1% of their CPU. I told you, IT IS AWESOME.

Node.js popular websites

Such performance promises higher returns. It helps companies reduce their costs (like LinkedIn did by reducing the number of servers from 30 to 3) and at the same time increase their performance. Now, who wouldn’t want that? If you ask me, this is reason alone for the outstanding popularity enjoyed by Node.js.

You can work my flair and host me anywhere

Don’t lie. You just sang ‘I’m a Barbie girl’ with me. Gotcha! I totally gave you an earworm. Coming back to Node.js it can practically be hosted anywhere. You don’t have to limit your options and go for more expensive choices, because whether it is Google, Microsoft IIS or Amazon (there are tons of others too), you can have your pick and opt for whatever suits you best. Web servers or cloud based hosting providers, when it comes to hosting Node.js, there’s no problem at all.

Pivot- Pivot- Pivot!

Nodejs popular frameworks

Node.js essentially operates with the event driven model unlike the conventional MVC (Model-View-Controller) format. You know, as much as we’d like to believe that our business will turn out to be exactly in line with the vision that we have for it, we need to be ready to phoenix the hell out of our business model in order to survive. I meant, go through the whole rise from the ashes drill.

Start ups have to change the basic parts of their business in order to cope with the changing demands of the market. So, while you start off with Mercedes Benz, you may have to start adding Audi guts to the car if the need arises. In my experience, such pivoting is significantly faster and more seamless with Node.js. Now, considering the fact that most start ups have the need to pivot from time to time, Node.js becomes the popular guy.

Node.js is super easy to scale

What else does a business want? Right at the outset of any kind of a business venture, it is hard to foretell exactly what the size of the business will be. This is why; the technology that is used in order to build the website and the apps for the company must be such that it is easy to scale.

Nodejs popularity 2020

Please don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that Node.js is more scalable than PHP. All I’m saying is that is it very easy to scale using Node.js. And, let’s face it. We like easy stuff. The world is a difficult place; there are too many problems, and easy is good.

It runs on JavaScript

I saved the best for the last. Well, guys, JavaScript is by far the most popular language that is and will be on the internet. I’m definitely not trying to undermine C#, Java or even VB.net, but if you have been coding in the last few years, you know the kind of ease that JavaScript brings.

Javascript framework

Now, unlike other technologies like ASP.NET or Spring, where in the developer may have to know more than one language for the server side and the client side, with Node.js, the only requirement for the developer is to be able to speak JavaScript across the different layers.

This gives them an incredible ease of access. It is also why, Node.js popular websites and Node.js popular frameworks seem more, well, complete and rounded off. Not having to code in different languages in different layers ultimately results in a more seamless final product, while also increasing the productivity of the developers.

Conclusion

Apart from a mental image of Ross screaming PIVOT in an episode of Friends and an earworm going ‘Come come Barbie, let’s do party’ (I know you had forgotten about it, so I had to do it again), I hope this blog post has also given you a brief idea of the biggest reasons that contribute to the popularity of Node.js. But, word of advice, whether you believe Node.js is relevant for your business in 2020 or the coming years is a matter that only your business goals can decide.

It is however one of the fastest, lightest and most dynamic framework which makes Node.js popular. It lends you the ability to pivot your digital presence with respect to your business models, scale easily and facilitates easy hosting anywhere.

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