Steve Rydz

2015 in review: the rise of the nodes

This year has been all about node for me. I mentioned at the start of the year that I’d like to learn it, and it looks like my wish came true.

Throughout the course of this year Luke and I have been building a series of mircroservices which cover our applications, authentication, and various other features from our admin tools.

We quickly became aware that we should put together a starter kit with the tools and libraries we were using on a regular basis, and we came up with BESK, short for back end starter kit. This includes common libraries such as express, handlebars, lodash, moment, mongoose and q by default. It also has a lot of boiler plate, such as our clever solution to routing, so starting a new project is as simple as cloning the repo and writing some code.

Working with node required an adjustment to how I thought about building apps, but once I understood the core concepts it wasn’t too hard to get started. In fact, I quite enjoyed knowing I wouldn’t have to worry about obscure browser bugs – if the app works, it works.

A few tips I’d give to someone new to node are:

  • Use nodemon when developing locally, that way you won’t have to restart your app every time you add a new module
  • Abstract as much of your code into reusable modules as possible
  • Use mongoose if you’re interacting with MongoDB
  • Use forever-monitor to keep your app running in production

I haven’t abandoned client-side JavaScript though. I’ve built my share of Backbone apps, spent a lot of time on working on an Ember app, and have also poked an Angular app a few times this year, as well as diving into React in my spare time (which seems to be the way forward).

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