One week of learning Node.js

I’ve never built an end to end web application. I’ve contributed parts of it. Some on the front-end and some on the back-end. Mostly front-end. Which is why, when the time came to build Open Learn (see introductory post), I had to make a conscious decision to learn how to build an end to end we application. Daunting – yes! Fun – yes!

Then came the confusing part of deciding which stack to build on. Php, Python, and Ruby all have very strong and dominant followings. I had played with each a little bit but never seriously committed to learning how to build with them. At the same time, I had started hearing about Node.js on hacker news and it piqued my interest. Reading more about it, I realized it was based on Javascript.

I was super confused – I had done a fair bit of javascript but always thought of it as a way to add all kinds of cool effects to html/css rather than being able to build a whole site with it. After talking to a few friends, I realized that Node.js extends javascript quite a bit to give rise to a pretty sweet piece of technology that, in fact, in some ways is more powerful than the other frameworks out there. I could care less about that for now, as I don’t have the depth to make that kind of a judgement, but what did appeal to me is that I could use all that javascript familiarity and knowledge to get up to speed with Node.js.

So, it’s been one week and I already feel like this was a great decision. The side effect of having one language across both front and back end is also very comforting. I can imagine that this simplifies web development for a lot of people who are new to the trade. The site that has made it even easier for me is Javascript is Sexy – a super simple step by step guide to learning Node.js (and javascript, if you are new to it).

I’d love to hear from others who have learnt web development from scratch and any best practices, resources and mistakes! :)

  • Rashid Omar

    Javascript is sexy is a must bookmark for every wanna-be JS warrior.