Survey Says: How 267 Developers Use Node.js

Sam Guiliano
by (86posts) under Technology
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When a survey was completed earlier this year by 285 developers in 52 nations, 267 of them said they use Node.js. Let’s look at why it is used, who these developers are, and how their companies are benefiting.

  • Why do developers like this runtime environment?
  • Survey: Who are these developers and how are they benefiting?
  • One-click deployment of Node.js

Why do developers like this runtime environment?

Here are five main reasons why coders like Node.js:

  1. It allows you to code in a dynamic language at speeds that far outpace Perl, Python, and Ruby.
  2. It supports thousands of simultaneous connections without a major spike in resource consumption.
  3. JavaScript is well-designed for event loops.
  4. JavaScript is incredibly commonplace, possibly the most widely used development language.
  5. The way that Node.js creates consistency between Web server and browser is also essential. “Using JavaScript on a web server as well as the browser reduces the impedance mismatch between the two programming environments,” says postfuturist on Stack Overflow, “which can communicate data structures via JSON that work the same on both sides of the equation.”

Another major reason developers turn to Node.js is that there are many, many packages to choose from, all of them allowing installation with a single command, notes Leah Hunter of O’Reilly. Actually, the amount of packages is exploding:

  • September 2014 – 74,000
  • April 2015 – 132,000
  • September 2015 – 182,000

Survey: Who are these developers and how are they benefiting?

Now let’s look at the survey, which was created by Gabor Nagy of Node.js consultancy RisingStack.

Experience & Education

Most users of Node.js are in their late 20s or early 30s (25-34), but that certainly doesn’t mean that they are all rookies. In fact, one in three have been coding for over a decade. In terms of school, just under half of these 267 people had a bachelor’s degree.

Languages Over Last Year

The vast majority of respondents, about 240 of them in both cases, had used both JavaScript (Node.js) and Java during the last 12 months. Meanwhile, PHP was used by about 90 of the developers, followed by just under 50 for both Python and C# / .NET. In terms of tools used in conjunction with Node.js, the top three were Express, Mongo, and MySQL.

Job Satisfaction

Job satisfaction increases based on the amount of time that developers have been working with Node.js. More than half of people who said that they had been using it for 3 to 5 years reported they “love” their jobs, while less than 40% of those who had been using it for less than a year said the same.

“Obviously it doesn’t mean that you will automatically love your job if you use Node,” says Nagy, “but it can definitely increase your chances to get a better offer if you know a thing or two about it.”

Day-to-Day Work Lives

Nagy also looked at the typical day-to-day work lives of Node.js programmers. The top five activities currently making up 51 to 75% of developer time are as follows:

  1. Programming new features
  2. Working on bug fixes
  3. Learning additional processes/tools
  4. Improving quality/re-factoring

(This question also revealed that one in three developers surveyed telecommute.)

Industries Using Node.js

Nagy wanted to know what industries were benefiting from Node.js the most. The top eight were education, government, software products, Web services, healthcare, consulting, manufacturing, and finance.

Nagy specifically points out education for explanation since it’s a broad vertical. “[W]e are not talking about universities or colleges here,” he says. “Most of these companies are offering a SaaS platform with recurring billing or making money with direct sales in both B2B and B2C directions.”

Percent of Infrastructure Using Node.js

At this point, Node.js is still at the “dabbling” stage for many organizations. Nagy’s findings reveal that most organizations use it for less than 20% of their infrastructure. However, there aren’t a lot of companies that use it moderately: the second highest response was that it was used for more than 80% of the backend, suggesting that it is typically tested and then adopted system-wide.

Predominant Use

While Node.js has a wide variety of uses, the four main ones among this population are building REST APIs, building real-time services, creating microservices, and tooling.

Reasons for Using

Everyone always talks about speed and cost of any solution, but Nagy points out that, within reason, speed is the real deciding factor. The tope five reasons for using Node.js are:

  1. Performance
  2. General experimentation
  3. Relationship to JavaScript
  4. Updates released more regularly
  5. Long-term cost savings

“[P]erformance is in the first place for a reason,” says Nagy, because speed is simply the top priority when it comes to development. “When Google experimented with displaying a 30 search results instead of 10 with an extra 0.5 seconds loading time,” he recounts, “the site’s traffic dropped by 20%.”  Cloud Hosting is another way to greatly improve speed and efficiency.

One-Click Deployment of Node.js

Coders like Node.js for its incredible speed, both because performance is enhanced and because time-to-market is reduced.

At Atlantic.Net, we appreciate what a critical factor time is for developers.  That’s why we offer one-click application hosting of Node.js and the best in Cloud and VPS Hosting to further increase your efficiency and productivity.


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