Once upon a time the Internet was born. Among all the various protocols we could communicate with (e.g. email, file transfers, etc.), one protocol in particular rose to popularity: HTTP.
HTTP is today known as “the Web”. It was essentially people typing up information, sharing the information, and people consuming that information.
Web “browsers” were soon born – including Netscape. These were just different vehicles to browse the web, sort of like different cars traveling along a highway.
Combined with a server-side language (e.g. PHP, Python), you could now build full-blown web applications. Imagine that… software was no longer being developed to be downloaded/installed/executed. You could simply navigate to Hotmail and manage your email account – all from within your browser. Microsoft Outlook was no longer needed. Why purchase and download software when you can just access it via the browser? Web-applications were officially born.
The world was happy.
Until, developers began pushing the limits of what they could do with web applications.
This idea was, and still is, brilliant.
Why, you may ask?
Developers jumped for joy. Here is why:
- Technologically superior because of its non-blocking, event-driven model. Node.js can handle far more traffic, on far less hardware, with a far smaller development team, iterating new features in far less time. Yeah, it really is that badass.
- Blank canvas – all the lessons learned from the past 30 years were now being ported over to Node.js. Libraries, methodologies, etc., were all being built from the ground up. No “legacy” code. No nasty libraries built by inexperienced scripters from the 1990s. All brand new.
- Node.js package management. Similar to pip, yum, composer – Node.js has its own package manager called npm. Everything we all ever learned about package management was finally done right! Go to and see for yourself. Beautiful, clean, solid modules. Over 100,000 of them available for you to build your app like a Lego set.
- Economics – with all these advantages, you can understand why the enterprise began to put its weight behind Node.js. Today, you have companies like Walmart, Yahoo, PayPal, and eBay all running Node.js on the front end.