Why Use Node.js? A Recap of Node Summit
I was lucky enough to attend Node Summit in San Francisco – the all-things-Node.js conference. At Hubba, we are big believers and users of Node.js, so meeting the community and engaging with other Node.js evangelists is an important step in improving our product and growing the community supporting Node.js in Toronto. Node.js has come a long way since its inception in 2009 and here are some of my key takeaways after attending the Node Summit.
Node.js is now a foundation
On February 10th 2015, Joyent, the corporate steward for the Node.js open source project announced that it would be creating an independent foundation and governance model to support the future growth and community of Node.js. Joyent will team up with IBM, PayPal, Microsoft, Fidelity and the Linux Foundation to create the Node.js foundation and maintain the collaborative environment.
What does this actually mean for Node.js? More financial and community support for developers by way of bigger and better conferences and meetups, as well as travel support for developers who may not get a chance to meet the community in person. The foundation also puts Node.js on another pedestal of recognition amongst big players in the industry. Node.js is growing up to be bigger and more widely accepted.
Software from Monolith to Micro Services
A common theme of the Node Summit was how people have been integrating and building Node.js applications. Coming from a Java enterprise world, Node.js is often looked at like a small scripting toy, with limited structure and software development patterns to create ‘typical’ enterprise applications.
Node.js has changed how people build web apps – no longer is the big monolithic application king.
Big Enterprise are Betting Big on Node
No longer is Node.js a toy that developers are hacking together in their basement, but big enterprises are betting big on Node.js. Companies like PayPal, DowJones, Walmart, Netflix, and Yahoo all had a big presence at the Node Summit. It was mentioned that over 120 companies in the fortune 500 are not only using, but embracing Node.js in their everyday operations.
This is truly changing the landscape of Node.js because even the big enterprise companies are contributing to and support Node.js in a huge way. Every day, more companies are using and supporting Node.js because it is the future for developing technology and hiring quality developers that want to work on important and performant technology.
If you are a company doing business in 2015, then you are a technology company and you must be using the best technology to support your business – and Node.js is a key ingredient in making your technology practise of the highest quality.
The Node Community is Stronger than Ever
If there was one thing that was ever apparent at the Node Summit, it was the ever increasing interest in Node.js as a community. Since the last Node conference a year ago, there were more than double the participants at the conference. Not only that, but there was an incredible amount of speakers and projects that are supporting node and the open source community. People were showing best Node.js practices, and techniques that did and didn’t work for them.
Sharing and supporting is key to a growing and successful project. Everyone I had met there was incredibly friendly and genuinely wanted to help. People are ‘all-in’ on Node.js, are passionate about the project and truly believe it is the way of the present and future.
Taking a look at the growing npm modules.
It is obvious that node, the community, and the projects supporting node are growing exponentially and it is exciting to be a part of.
The Elephant in the Room
However, not everything was butterflies and rainbows at the node summit. In December the Node.js open source project ‘forked’ into two and io.js was born. io.js is a version of Node.js that is driven by the community – rather than by the main contributors appointed by Joyent. I do not have a belief one is better than the other, and at this point, the differences are small. But I do wonder about Node.js/io.js moving forward as I want to know which is best to choose and most supported.
Anytime io.js was mentioned at the conference, there was a slight ‘ah’ from the audience as if to ‘not go there’. Some believe that the creation of the foundation (see 1) will help bring the two sides back together – but no one really knows for sure. I hope that politics aside, Node.js/io.js can continue to move forward and help benefit everyone like they had originally intended.
At the Node Summit, to see brilliant people dedicating their time to improving Node and the community was exciting. At Hubba, we are believers in Node. Not only because it allows us to develop high-quality software, but it allows us to be nimble and change with shifting priorities – all well upholding to our ever-changing business needs. It feels good to know we are doing things right, but taking risks, and knowing that the important people are out there to support us along the way.
Interesting presenters and presentations
(I will be updating the topic links once the videos come out).
Alex Lui from Netflix – Integrating Node.js Into Your Ecosystem
Bryan Cantrill from Joyent – Node.js and Containers
Charlie Robbins from Nodejitsu – A Path Towards Securing Every Module
CJ Silverio from npm – Node.js at Scale
Scott Rahner from Dow Jones – Node at Down Jones
Fred Schott from Box – Performance Profiling the Unexpected
David Pacheco from Joyent – Industrial-Grade Node.js
Other people that were awesome
Raquel Valez from npm
Isaac Schlueter from npm
TJ Fontaine from Joyent
Reid Burke from Yahoo!
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