We get asked "Should we start using Node.js?" a lot. When people ask this they usually mean if the technology is production-ready, is it easy to get started with, how great is the community or what are the benefits of choosing Node.js over other technologies.

In this post I am going to give you an overview of the current state of Node.js, what are the benefits of using it, going to take a look at NPM and the open source community and showcase case studies.

Current State of Node.js

Node.js is maintained and developed by Joyent, where Ryan Dahl started working on it in 2009. 6 years, 10.000+ commits and 500+ contributors later Node.js is becoming the go-to technology for the enterprise as well, including companies like Walmart, PayPal, Uber or Groupon.

NPM, the package manager for JavaScript has more than 115.000 open source modules (and growing fast), that can be used in your projects without reinventing the wheel. Yes, NPM has more modules than Maven, the package manager of Java.

Node.js also has a great community as both individuals and big companies are actively contributing to open source projects like Browserify or Hapi.

Benefits of Using Node.js

Productivity

When PayPal started using Node.js they reported an 2x increase in productivity compared to the previous Java stack. How is that even possible?

First of all - as I already mentioned - NPM has an incredible amount of modules that can be used instantly. This saves a lot of development effort on your part.

Secondly, as Node.js applications are written using JavaScript, front-end developers can also easily understand what's going on, and make changes as necessary. This saves you valuable time again as developers will use the same language on the entire stack.

Performance

Black Friday: 1.5 billion dollars were spent online in the US on a single day. It is crucial that your site can keep up with the traffic - Walmart, one of the biggest retailers is using Node.js to serve 500 million page views on Black Friday, without a hitch.

The same applies to PayPal - they served Black Friday without problems with the help of Node.js.

PayPal also stated their performance gains when migrated to Node.js:

35% decrease in the average response time for the same page. This resulted in the pages being served 200ms faster— something users will definitely notice.

Happy Users

As your velocity increases because of the productivity gains, you can ship features/products sooner. Products, that will run faster, resulting in better user experience.

Kissmetric's study showed that 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load, and 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. Every product manager should take this matter seriously.

Happy Developers

Finding top talent in 2015 will be harder than ever - the possibility to use cutting edge technologies on a daily basis can help find and retain the best developers.

Where Can You Use Node.js?

JavaScript is everywhere. With JavaScript you

and a lot more.

How RisingStack Can Help

Consider moving your stack to Node.js or start a new project soon? We help you make the best decisions so your business can prosper like never before. Interested in talking to us? Ping us!