For aspiring backend programmers, learning Node.js is important. Its widespread use across websites, applications, and software in the tech industry makes it a tool worth learning. This popularity also means that developers who learn Node.js and can use it professionally are in high demand.
But knowing how to learn Node.js is just as crucial as mastering the framework itself. Learning styles, budgets, and resources are important factors to consider when you want to learn Node.js. This article explores all of these factors to help you find the best way to learn Node.js and become a backend developer.
What Is Node.js?
A server, with use of a representational state transfer application programming interface (RESTful API), is an event-driven backend that uses endpoints to perform logic whose result will be transferred to the frontend so that the frontend developer can use it on the client side.
Why Should You Learn Node.js?
You should learn Node.js because it is a popular runtime environment often included in the tech stack for the backend service of websites. It is used on the server-side to test applications outside of a browser environment. Learning Node.js is important for the creation of real-time streaming apps and network applications that require the significant use of a database.
So, why learn Node.js now? Having an understanding of this tool means you will have many job opportunities available to you. Because it is widely used, many companies, platforms, and websites need Node.js developers to maintain their online presence.
How Long Does It Take to Learn Node.js?
Learning Node.js could take anywhere from three months to two years depending on how much time you can dedicate to studying the language. It also depends on how much prior coding experience you have before beginning. Having an understanding of programming fundamentals will make it quicker to learn Node.js.
Ultimately, though, learning Node.js will never truly end. You will eventually become an expert as long as you keep learning. The language and the runtime environment are ever-evolving and learning about those changes will take continued reading and education.
How to Learn Node.js: Step-by-Step Guide
Knowing how to learn Node.js most effectively starts with having a learning plan. This will help you stay organized and master the fundamentals in the most effective and efficient way. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to learn Node.js.
Step 1: Determine Your Motivation
First, you need to consider why you want to learn Node.js. This will help you discover your motivation for learning which will help propel you through the challenging moments of learning the framework. Below are some questions you should ask yourself before you begin:
- Is there a particular reason why you want to learn Node.js specifically?
- Do you have an end goal in mind?
- What purpose will Node.js serve for your project or career?
- What does the future hold as far as job prospects go?
If web development, particularly backend development, was part of your answer at all, you’re on the right path.
- Learn how to create a small program to test Node.js Environment
- Learn the difference between let, const, and var when it comes to variables
- Use typeof to learn differences between data types
- Arithmetic Operations, including add, subtract, multiply, divide, and modulo
- Comments, both single line and multi-line
- Be able to write a traditional if-else statement and a ternary statement
- Traditional For Loops (ES5)
- Advanced Array Methods, including map, reduce, filter, and forEach (ES6)
- Named Functions
- Anonymous Functions
- Higher Order Functions
Backend Basics to Learn Node.js
- Use npm or yarn to install Node.jsmodules that can be used in your backend server
- What is an HTTP Request and how it works
- Express.js and other Node.js frameworks to use as part of your backend application
- Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS)
- Difference between SQL and NoSQL Databases
- Learn how to create a RESTful API
This list is by no means comprehensive. There are many other topics in the Node.js world that can be learned. These topics are the absolute bare minimum you should master to become a well-rounded Node.js developer. In the next section, after the step-by-step guide, we’ll take a look at some of the more popular free Node.js tutorials to get you started.
Step 3: Build Projects
Node.js Project Ideas
- Create a RESTful API that has endpoints to create, read, update, and delete entries in a directory of some sort. Use a NoSQL database to store your information.
- Add on to the first project by adding registration and login endpoints. Allow only logged-in users to create, update, or delete an entry.
- Use Socket.io to create a chat application between two people.
Step 4: Join Programming Communities
Finding a Node.js community to join will help accelerate your learning and provide needed help when you get stuck in your learning. A Node.js community is a group of developers of various levels who collaborate to answer questions, discuss the framework, and even work on building web applications together.
- Node Slackers. This Slack community for Node.js is open to programmers of all skill levels and includes working groups.
- OpenJS Foundation. Found on Slack, the OpenJS Foundations has discussion channels and working groups for Node.js beginners, intermediates, and experts in the language.
- Nodeiflux. This Discord channel has a community of backend developers who are both studying or working professionals. It boasts 7,840 members who aim to share knowledge and help others grow professionally.
Step 5: Join a Coding Bootcamp
One of the best ways to learn Node.js is to study at a coding bootcamp. With Node.js being such a popular programming language, there are many options for bootcamps. Bootcamps are intensive learning programs that impart job-ready skills to students in a matter of months. They focus on developing these skills through comprehensive courses.
In many cases, learning Node.js is part of a bootcamp curriculum, which is typically designed to make graduates full stack developers or backend developers. This well-rounded education means you will understand how to code in Node.js and how to develop a website. The Tech Academy and Simplilearn both offer bootcamps in full stack development.
Step 6: Progress to More Difficult Projects
Progress toward more difficult projects by adding a front end to your already created backend project and making it work so it looks great when a user interacts with it online. Try using all kinds of databases to practice using the different types so you know when to choose one over the other. Lastly, take a look at projects you have already created to see if they can be made more efficient.
Node.js Advanced Project Ideas
- Collaboration tools like Zoom or Google Hangouts
- Web scraping a website to get information
- URL/link shortener
- Work on an open-source project and create a Pull Request for it
Step 7: Begin Freelancing to Garner Experience
After finishing your Node.js curriculum, and building some projects that showcase your range of knowledge in Node.js, try reaching out to find freelance work. By completing freelance work, you’ll be able to gain real-world experience in completing a functioning website and hone your soft skills in communication, time management, and project management.
Having this kind of experience to add to your professional programming resume will help you land a developer job more quickly. Be sure to request a testimonial of work from the clients you work with to showcase during your job hunt.
Best Way to Learn Node.js Online
The best way to learn Node.js is by going through Node.js tutorials and courses. You can choose a course based on your experience level, and some courses are even free. Read below to learn more about the best Node.js tutorials to help you advance your software developer skills and how you can learn Node.js online free of charge.
Best Node.js Tutorials for Beginners
Node.js tutorials are quick ways to master Node.js topics. Node.js tutorials for beginners especially focus on fundamentals and teach them in an approachable way. Some tutorials are grouped into entire courses, keeping your learning all in one place. Below are some of the best Node.js courses and tutorials to launch your Node.js education.
You can master Node.js by going through TutorialsPoint’s resources. The step-by-step tutorial will teach you the fundamentals of Node.js with single-page applications, streaming sites, and building an actual application. It’s an excellent platform for software developers who want to learn the basics of Node.js and its multiple architectural concepts.
This master class will take you through the entirety of Node.js. Pirple curated the course for only $197 to help students master all the Node.js concepts and APIs. You will understand V8, the architecture of Node.js applications, and different Node.js conventions. The course also touches on building a real-world RESTful API.
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You will also learn how to add configurations, route requests, and add HTTPS support. By the end of the tutorial, you will also know how to build a web application GUI. This means creating, editing, deleting an account, creating and deleting a session, and creating a check. The platform also features videos on building a CLI and how to gain stability and performance.
Learning about Node.js can help you seamlessly develop multiple server-side applications. Node.js has its own excellent introductory tutorial to help practitioners advance in tech. The tutorial teaches about different libraries that effectively support networking. Students also learn about Node.js frameworks and tools.
You will learn Express, Egg.js, Adonis.js, Fastify, or HAPI. These are relevant libraries that are in use by the Node.js developer community to build real-world applications. You will also receive multiple documentation on Node.js API referencing, ES6, and guides featuring technical aspects of the platform.
A beginner in the field can go to the advanced level by going through the Guru99 three-day tutorial. In the first lessons, you will learn how to download and the installation process of Node.js. You will also learn different Node.js core modules, how to create HTTP web servers, and scalable network applications.
This tutorial will give you an in-depth view of GraphQL and Rest. You will learn the major differences between Node.js vs Python. To ensure you land a job after your coding education, the platform also features possible Node.js interview questions and provides a tutorial for complete beginners.
Best Advanced Node.js Tutorials
To take your knowledge to the next level, advanced Node.js tutorials can take you through higher-level Node.js programming. These tutorials provide all the knowledge required to find work in the industry as a Node.js programmer. Read on below for our top choices.
Udemy provides a 36-hour tutorial for professionals to master Node.js by building a real-time application from scratch. The third edition will take you through three programming languages, namely Node.js, Express, and MongoDB. You will learn about debugging Node.js applications and asynchronous programming.
If you want to master how to create web servers and APIsin Express, you should consider this advanced tutorial. It also features lessons on building, testing, and launching Node.js applications. The content delves deeper by teaching students how to access APIs from a browser and application deployment.
Udemy provides yet another advanced course to help professionals master all the advanced concepts of Node.js. For only $90, you will grasp the event loop, worker threats, browser automation, and how to utilize AWS S3. It is an excellent course for professionals who want to add skills to their resumes or simply strengthen their existing knowledge.
In 16 hours, you will master C++ , fundamentals of Threads, Node.js Event Loop Ticks, testing Single Threads, and Libuv Thread Pool. You will also learn the multiple Thread Pools, how to change the size of the Threadpool, and explain OS operations. Udemy also ensures you learn to enhance Node.js performance and automate headless browser testing.
You can go through Pluralsight’s advanced Node.js tutorial to increase your knowledge. This tutorial will help you to master all the concepts of Node.js in under four hours. You will learn Node.js architecture, Node’s CLI, and C++ addons. The video tutorial teaches event loop, event-driven architecture, and Node.js for networking.
DevSprout features an online tutorial that helps professionals gain deep insight into creating production-grade functionalities and features for a web application using Node.js and Express.js. This tutorial will teach you ES6, geospatial indexing, search, pagination, or image uploading step by step.
You will learn Bootstrapping of Express design, models, user routes, post resources, and user authentication. You will also learn how to upload images using Cloudinary and set up geolocation using Mapbox. You can access the 30-minute tutoring service at $100 or the one-hour service at $200.
Udemy features a 25-hour tutorial to help professionals learn how to build projects using Node.js, React, Redux, and Express. In the online course, you will learn all the major deployment techniques and web technologies. By the time you complete this course, you will know server-side development, authentication with Google, and how to add MongoDB.
Best Free Node.js Tutorials
The best free Node.js tutorials allow you to learn both fundamental and advanced concepts without paying a penny. Free tutorials and courses make learning Node.js more accessible as not everyone can afford to pay thousands of dollars for bootcamps. Below are some of the top free Node.js tutorials today.
Pluralsight offers a tutorial to help professionals learn Node.js from scratch. This training will help you strengthen your software development skills. This tutorial is taught by advanced developers. You will gain real-world experience to help you land a job at top-tier tech companies like LinkedIn and Netflix.
W3Schools is a popular platform offering different coding courses, tutorials, and resources to experienced developers and beginners in the field. The platform features multiple examples to help professionals learn about Node.js through examples. You can also try out your own code in the command line interface.
In addition to live examples, you will find built-in modules and downloadable Node.js resources from the official website. Students will learn how Node.js uses asynchronous code as well as its features and functionalities. These tutorials are a great way to learn this popular framework, and even an experienced developer can benefit.
You will also learn how to render HTML as response and routing. The free tutorial also touches on MongoDB, Mongoose, and Monk. You will learn how to update, modify and delete data on MongoDB after setting it up. This is tutorial video is one of the most accessible Node.js tutorials out there for learning server-side code.
Smartherd features 27 video tutorials to help professionals learn all the fundamentals of Node.js. By going through the tutorials, you will learn the fundamental skills to create scalable and reliable backend services using Node.js. You will also learn multiple tools that come with Node.
freeCodeCamp features an eight-hour tutorial to help professionals learn core concepts of Node.js and Express. John Smilga, an instructor, will help you learn the basics of Node.js and Express. He will also teach you the process of building a Rest API web application. You will also build a MERN application and multiple Node.js projects.
The YouTube tutorial will also take you through HTTP Intro, NPM Command, Global Install, Event Loop Slides, and Events Emitter. This will help you learn how to create data-intensive real-time applications at no cost. You will also learn about database access and how to avoid application errors.
This YouTube playlist is a pretty comprehensive first look at Node.js and how it works. The first couple of videos start completely from installation on your respective operating system to diving directly into concepts that will help you to create a server to handle multiple HTTP requests. Really great, free resource!
Other Node.js Resources
It is in an online book format with a built-in IDE for end-of-chapter exercises. If you prefer an actual tangible product, there is an option for purchasing as well.
This prepares you for interviews where you are asked to describe your methods. For example, you could be asked about the difference between a variable declaration with ES5 keyword “var” vs. a variable declaration using the ES6 keyword “let.”
In addition, freeCodeCamp offers an API and Microservices Certification that includes a curriculum on using npm, basic Node.js, and Express, and more. Node.js Package Manager (npm) is just that – a package manager that allows you to add modules to your application.
Express is a Node.js framework that makes setting up a server on the backend incredibly simple. freeCodeCamp works well in this regard with its presentation of the material. The learning platform uses testing to make sure you have mastered the material before it shows that you have completed it.
Should I Learn Node.js?
Learn Node.js FAQ
Is Node.js easy to learn?
How can I learn Node.js for free?
You can learn Node.js for free from YouTube, freeCodeCamp, and from other online resources designed for people on a budget. Some paid courses even offer free trials, and you may be possible to complete the entire course before the trial is up.
Is Node.js worth learning?
Yes, Node.js is worth learning if you plan to work in backend development. This is an important and popular framework that will open many doors for you in the job market. If you plan to be a full stack developer, knowing Node.js will also be important as you will conduct backend work as well as front end development.
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