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Node.js: The Backbone of Champions

June 13, 2014

When building a website or web app, the importance of carefully choosing the right software platform can’t be overstated. Platforms are chosen early on, and once the decision is made and the ball is rolling, it can be extremely difficult to change gears.

And yet so many companies are getting it wrong. They’re building web apps or websites, planning to bring on millions of users, or sell millions of products, or serve millions of interactions every day – and they’re choosing platforms that won’t scale with their success.

What’s worse is that the extent of these mistakes aren’t obvious until the website or web app is successful – when it finally reaches those millions and millions. It’s painfully ironic. Weak technology reveals its shortcomings exactly when you need it most.

So, what’s the right backbone for scaling? It’s Node.js.

There are plenty of other options – Java, Ruby on Rails, .NET, PHP, Python – and for some businesses they may be the answer. But JavaScript on top of the Node.js platform takes the cake ninety-nine times out of a hundred for a handful of reasons.

First, it’s scalable, since it’s capable of handling a huge number of simultaneous connections with high throughput. That means you can save a lot of money on infrastructure and still reduce page load times. One great example is LinkedIn, whose switch to Node.js allowed them to reduce their number of servers by 90% while increasing the speed of their system by 20x.

Second, code is reusable, so applications are built faster as sections are shared between server and browser – saving costly rewrite time. Using half the number of developers to build the same products is a good thing, right? Well that’s exactly what PayPal did – they rewrote an entire Java application using JavaScript and Node.js, and did it faster with only half the number of developers.

Third, Node.js is proven. Giants like Walmart, Yahoo!, Groupon, and eBay all boast Node.js success stories of dropping costs and increasing performance. Besides Bootstrap, Node has the most starred repositories on GitHub. Ruby on Rails had a three-year head start (Node was introduced in 2008), but by 2013 “Node.js” had already surpassed “Ruby on Rails” in Google’s search frequency. Data from Indeed.com shows that Node.js developer jobs have been exploding over the past couple of years.

ROI·DNA was an early adopter of Node.js (we don’t mean to gloat, of course). Some companies are just catching on, but we’re into it deep – with a solid number of Node.js-based applications under our belt, and a whole team of Node.js ninjas on our side. If you’re interested in building your business with the most scalable technology available, let’s talk.