WTF is Node.js?

An brief introduction to Node.js, along with links to dig in further with a tutorial or course.

Node.js is, in a nutshell, just JavaScript run outside the browser. JavaScript was originally intended to run in the browser and dates back to 1995. Its focus was to bring dynamic behavior to static web pages, created with HTML, CSS, and other media files.

Almost 15 years later, Node.js entered the scene as a way to run JavaScript outside the browser, on the server side. That means Node could be used to write command-line scripts or even power the entire back-end of an application.

One of the coolest things about Node is that it introduces this idea of JavaScript everywhere, which means you could essentially write an entire web application using almost exclusively JavaScript.

Quickly after Node was created, the need for a package manager was realized, and NPM was created. Today NPM is used to manage JavaScript packages for both front-end uses (web browser code/) and back-end (Node.js code/).

While there's so much more to explore with Node, I'll stop here. If you want to keep digging in with Node, check out the links in the references section below.


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