Let me just start by stating this:
2017 was a great year for the Node.js Community!
Our favorite platform has finally matured to be widely adopted in the enterprise, also, a lot of great features have been merged into the core, like async/await & http2, just to mention a few.
Not only the developers who contribute to Node make this platform so great, but those who create learning materials around it were also exceptional.
In our final article of 2017, we collected a bunch of longreads which were created by the Node community. We used data from Reddit, Hacker News, Twitter & Medium to search for the most read, most shared & liked stuff out there. We intentionally omitted articles written by RisingStack (except 1, couldn't resist) - if you're interested in those, please visit our top15 of 2017 post!
I'm sure we left a bunch of amazing articles out - so if you'd like to get attention to an exceptional one you read, please let us know in the comments section.
Also, keep in mind that this post is not a classic "best of" list, just a collection that shows how amazing the Node community was in 2017! I figured that a big shoutout to the developers who constantly advocate & teach Node would be a great way to say goodbye to this year.
So, here come the proof I promised in the title:
1. We have insanely useful community curated lists:
If you'd like to gain useful knowledge quickly, you can count on the Node community. These lists were created in 2017, and contain so much best practices & shortcuts that you can definitely level up your skills by going through them.
- The largest Node.JS best practices list is curated from the top ranked articles and always updated.
- Awesome Node.js is an extensive list of delightful Node packages & resources.
- The Modern JS Cheatsheet contains knwledge needed to build modern projects.
These lists have over 300 contributors & gained around 50K stars on GitHub!
Also, we recommend to check out these articles written by Yoni Goldberg & Azat Mardan which will help you to become a better developer:
2. There are actually insightful Case Studies available!
One of the best articles on using Node.js was written by Scott Nonnenberg in April. The author summarized his Node experiences from the past 5 years, discussing basic concepts, architectural issues, testing, the Node ecosystem & the reason why you shouldn't use New Relic.
"I’ve already shared a few stories, but this time I wanted to focus on the ones I learned the hard way. Bugs, challenges, surprises, and the lessons you can apply to your own projects!" - Scott
Also, did you know that Node.js Helps NASA to Keep Astronauts Safe? It's hard to come up with something cooler than that.
NASA choose Node.js for the following reasons:
- Node.js’ asynchronous event loop for I/O operations makes it the perfect solution for a cloudbased database system that sees queries from dozens of users who need data immediately.
- The Node.js package manager, npm, pairs incredibly well with Docker to create a microservices architecture that allows each API, function and application to operate smoothly and independently.
To learn more, read the full case study!
Also, shoutout to the Node Foundation who started to assemble and distribute these pretty interesting use-case whitepapers on a regular basis!
3. Node.js Authentication & Security was well covered in 2017:
When it comes to building Node.js apps (or any app..) security is crucial to get right. This is the reason why "Your Node.js authentication tutorial is (probably) wrong" written by micaksica got so much attention on HackerNoon.
tl;dr: The author went on a search of Node.js/Express.js authentication tutorials. All of them were incomplete or made a security mistake in some way that can potentially hurt new users. His post explores some common authentication pitfalls, how to avoid them, and what to do to help yourself when your tutorials don’t help you anymore.
If you plan on reading only one security related article (..but why would you do that?!), this is definitely one of the best ones!
Also, we recommend to check out the Damn Vulnerable NodeJS Application github page, which aims to demonstrate the OWASP Top 10 Vulnerabilities and guides you on fixing and avoiding these vulnerabilities.
Other great articles which were receiving a lot of praise were Securing Node.js RESTful APIs with JSON Web Tokens by Adnan Rahic, and Two-Factor Authentication with Node.js from David Walsh.
4. API development with Node.js has been made even more easy:
One of the main strengths of Node.js is that you can build REST APIs with it in a very efficient way! There are a lot of articles covering that topic, but these were definitely the most popular ones:
- RESTful API design with Node.js walks beginners through the whole process in a very thorough, easy to understand way.
- Build a Node.js API in Under 30 Minutes achieves the same result, but it uses ES6 as well.
- 10 Best Practices for Writing Node.js REST APIs (written by us) goes a little further and includes topics like naming your routes, authentication, black-box testing & using proper cache headers for these resources.
5. We're constantly looking under the hood of Node.js.
Luckily, the Node/JS community delivers when you want to go deeper, in fact there were so many interesting deep-dives that it was really hard to pick out the best ones, but one can try! These articles are really insightful:
- Understanding Node.js Event-Driven Architecture
- What you should know to really understand the Node.js Event Loop
- Node.js Streams: Everything you need to know
- Processing a large dataset in less than 100 lines of Node.js with async.queue
- ES8 was Released and here are its Main New Features
Also, you should check out async_hooks in node.js, illustrated by Irina Shestak for sweet visuals & excellent insights into the new, experimental
async_hooks API which arrived in Node 8!
And we recommend to check out the Node module deep-dive series written by Safia Abdalla, who so far covered the
What were the best articles that peeked under the hood of JS/Node in your opinion? Share them in the comments!
6. Awesome new Tools were made in 2017:
The result is good-looking code that is completely consistent no matter who wrote it. This solves the problem of programmers spending a lot of time manually moving around code in their editor and arguing about styles.
Fastify was introduced by Matteo Collina, Node.js core technical commitee member during Node Interactive 2017 in Vancouver.
Fastify is a new web framework inspired by Hapi, Restify and Express. Fastify is built as a general-purpose web framework, but it shines when building extremely fast HTTP APIs that use JSON as the data format.
..just to mention a few.
7. There are Amazing Crash Courses Available for Free
If you'd like to start learning Node, you can count on the commmunity to deliver free, high-quality resources that can speed up your journey!
One particular author - Adnan Rahić - received a huge amount of praise for releasing crash courses for different topics on Medium. Here they are:
We hope Adnan will continue this series and create crash courses on other areas of Node as well!
8. Miscellaneous Topics are Covered as Well
What do we mean under miscellaneous topics? Well, those are topics that go beyond the "traditional" use cases of Node.js, where the authors describe something interesting & fun they built with it.
Chatbots were a hype topic too, and there was no shortage of blogposts describing how to build them using different languages.
Building A Simple AI Chatbot With Web Speech API And Node.js was one of the most praised articles. In this post Tomomi Imura walked us through building a chat-bot which can be controlled by voice. Yep, it's pretty cool.
We also recommend to check out Developing A Chatbot Using Microsoft's Bot Framework, LUIS And Node.js too, which is the first part of a series dealing with the topic.
What other fun projects did you see? Add them to the comments section!
9. The community can attend great conferences, like Node Interactive!
Node Interactive Vancouver was a major event which provided great opportunities for it's attendees to meet with fellow developers & learn a lot about their favorite subject.
Fortunately every prezentation is available on YouTube, so you can get up-to-date even if you couldn't participate this year (just like us.)
The 10 most watched right now are:
- Node.js Performance and Highly Scalable Micro-Services by Chris Bailey
- The V8 Engine and Node.js by Franzi Hinkelmann
- High Performance JS in V8 by Peter Marshall
- The Node.js Event Loop: Not So Single Threaded by Bryan Hughes
- Welcome and Node.js Update by Mark Hinkle
- Take Your HTTP Server to Ludicrous Speed by Matteo Collina
- WebAssembly and the Future of the Web by Athan Reines
Of course this list is just the tip of the iceberg, since there are 54 videos upladed on the Node Foundations' YouTube channel, and most of them are really insightful and fun to watch.
For example, Troy Connor's prezentation: Using minikube (Kubernetes) for Local Node.js Development was pretty good & well received as well!
10. Node.js is finally more sought after than Java!
Although Ryan Dahl recently stated in an interview that..
for a certain class of application, which is like, if you're building a server, I can't imagine using anything other than Go.
.. we have no reason to doubt the success of Node.js!
Mikeal Rogers, one of the core organizers of NodeConf, community manager & core contributor at the Node Foundation stated that Node.js will overtake Java within a year in a NewStack interview this summer!
Mikeal is not alone with his opinion. There is hard data available to prove that Node is becoming more sought after than Java.
According to the data gathered by builtinnode, the demand for Node.js developers has already surpassed the demand for Java devs by the summer of 2017 in the Who is Hiring section of Hacker News!
Since Node was already adopted and is being advocated by the greatest tech companies on Earth, there's no doubt that it will remain a leading technology for many years ahead!
We hope that the Node community will continue to thrive in 2018 as well, and produce a plethora of exellent tools & tutorials.
At RisingStack, we'll keep on advocating & educating Node in 2018 as well, for sure! If you're interested in the best content we produced in 2017, take a look!