10 years of Node with Tomas della Vedova

10 years of Node with Tomas della Vedova

In this conversation celebrating the 10 years of Node.js, Tomas della Vedova shares his thoughts on the most significant features and milestones of Node.js, where to find the ‘dark magic’ and why async iterators are a popular feature.

Before we delve into your world of software and code, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

I’m from a small town in Italy, and I’ve always been passionate about technology and design, and I enjoy listening to music all day long.  I graduated in Web and Multimedia technologies, and I started “playing” with computers around my 16 years. I’ve started coding around 7 years ago, and I’ve enjoyed it ever since.

Around 4 years ago, I started contributing to Open Source, and every day I try to give something back to the community that so much gave to me.

So firstly, can you tell us why the Node.js community important to you?

It enables me to do anything I want. I can experiment, build prototypes, or full products. Node.js’s flexibility is simply fantastic.

How long have you been working with Node.js and, in your opinion, what have been the most pivotal milestones in the project?

I’ve been working with Node.js since v0.11, but I started working ‘professionally’ with it around Node v4.  For sure the two most important events were the transition to io.js and back and the introduction of async await syntax.

To what do you attribute the sustained growth and usage of Node.js in the ecosystem?

Its simplicity and its huge community.

What do you see as the most popular features in the latest release lines of Node.js that will continue to drive further adoption?

The new async iterator above all. It makes stream handling very easy even for newcomers.

Node.js pushes developers to become more efficient in both aspects of development, front-end and back-end, improving productivity for enterprise teams. Are full-stack developers the future?

They may be not the future, but knowing a little of the ‘other world’ is critical.

Do you think there is some nostalgia in the community at large that will keep Node.js popular or do you see new generations of developers embracing it?

I think that also a new generation of devs will embrace it, as the flexibility is incredible. You can easily build a simple program or a complex system, all with the same tools.

Generally, overall downloads of all Node.js versions combined have continued to grow – by 40% year-over-year and more than 1 million times each day of 2018.  However, the growth in new contributors has slowed somewhat. Is this a cause for concern or just a signal of greater stability in the larger Node ecosystem?

I would say greater stability, but also because often people are afraid of contributing. The Node.js team is already doing an amazing job by helping people contribute. Another step we can do is to teach and help people understand what means to contribute and that everyone can do it.

Last year Forrester called out Node.js’s versatility, staying power and relevance: “It is moving beyond being simply an application platform, and beginning to be used for rapid experimentation with corporate data, application modernization, and IoT solutions.”  Is there potential for this versatility to continue to grow, opening new experimentations and opportunities?

Yes, I think so. Node.js and JavaScript have a massive community, and amazing ideas born every day!

Best Feature of the past 10 years?

Unpopular opinion: require. Its flexibility is incredible, it allows you to do any kind of “dark magic” and figure out smart solutions to a variety of problems. But also async iterators.

Best Reason to adopt in the enterprise?

Speed of development

Most Common pitfalls/programming mistakes to avoid?

Going full async/await before to learn callback style.

Best Node.js Performance tricks?

Fastify codebase contains some neat tricks!

Will you be joining the Node.js community at NodeConfEU 2019?  If you are, what are you most looking forward to?

Yes!  Looking forward to meeting people, and sharing with them the joy of working daily with Node.js!

Thank you for your time, Tomas!

10 years of Node with Ujjwal Sharma

10 years of Node with Ujjwal Sharma

In this episode of our Q&A series celebrating the 10th year of Node.js, we catch up with Ujjwal “Ryzokuken” Sharma as he shares his views on what he is most looking forward to in the future of Node.js and where he sees the new opportunities arising.

Ujjwal is a Node.js core collaborator, Electron maintainer, Google Summer of Code mentor and ex-student. An international speaker and a JavaScript/C++ developer, he has been working with the V8 team and the TC39 committee to help make JavaScript better, one commit at a time. He loves to talk about open source software, DevOps, JavaScript, Web Standards and the Open Web.

So firstly, can you tell us why is the Node.js community important to you?

I really like Node.js and working on Node core.

How long have you been working with Node.js and, in your opinion, what have been the most pivotal milestones in the project?

I’ve been contributing to Node.js core for around 1.5 years now. Regarding milestones, I really liked when Workers landed in core, really looking forward to three things: QUIC, WebCrypto and WASI.

To what do you attribute the sustained growth and usage of Node.js in the ecosystem?

The fact that Node.js core has a mission of being a nice working environment which is free from prejudice and harassment of any kind.

What do you believe are the most significant opportunities for Node.js over the next 3 years?

WASI, WASI, WASI. We gotta jump on this.

What do you see as the most popular features in the latest release lines of Node.js that will continue to drive further adoption?

Worker threads are pretty nifty.  Apart from that, the ecosystem is amazing and it ensures people stick around.

Node.js pushes developers to become more efficient in both aspects of development, front-end and back-end, improving productivity for enterprise teams. Are full-stack developers the future?

Isomorphic web apps FTW? Idk, I’m a compiler developer ?

Do you think there is some nostalgia in the community at large that will keep Node.js popular or do you see new generations of developers embracing it?

I see a ton of amazing new blood picking up the reigns, actually. Node.js enables people to do what they previously couldn’t using technologies they are familiar with.

Generally, overall downloads of all Node.js versions combined has continued to grow – by 40% year-over-year and more than 1 million times each day of 2018.  However, the growth in new contributors has slowed somewhat. Is this a cause for concern or just a signal of greater stability in the larger Node ecosystem?

The latter. Node.js is reaching a decent level of stability and most of the things that people would like to achieve with Node.js, they can more or less achieve already (looks at Electron).

Last year Forrester called out Node.js’s versatility, staying power and relevance: “It is moving beyond being simply an application platform, and beginning to be used for rapid experimentation with corporate data, application modernization, and IoT solutions.”  Is there potential for this versatility to continue to grow, opening new experimentations and opportunities?

Absolutely, I think the Blockchain space has embraced Node.js quite well, actually.

Best Feature of the past 10 years?

Workers

Best Reason to adopt in the enterprise?

Stability

Most Common pitfalls/programming mistakes to avoid?

Race conditions?

Best Node.js Performance tricks?

Monomorphism

Will you be joining the Node.js community at NodeConfEU 2019?  If you are, what are you most looking forward to?

Yes! Along with my talk “To ESM is human: The journeyman’s guide to modules in Node.js“, I love meeting all the amazing people!

Thank you for your time Ujjwal!

10 years of Node with Alex Korzhikov of ING Bank

10 years of Node with Alex Korzhikov of ING Bank

To mark the 10th anniversary of Node.js, we’re reflecting on how far it has come and where it is headed.  Here we speak with Alex Korzhikov to hear his views including how Node.js is particularly suited to front-end development. 

A Software engineer, team lead, instructor, mentor, and author of technical materials with 10 years of programming experience, Alex’s interests are in Web Components, JSON Schema, Algorithms, DevOps and Machine Learning.  

Why is the Node.js community important to you / your company?

I enjoy JavaScript and Node technologies since the first professional experience with them.  I am also experienced in Polymer, Angular, HTML, CSS, Git.

How long have you been working with Node.js and, in your opinion, what have been the most pivotal milestones in the project?

I’ve been deeply involved for around 4 years. I would consider Promises related API (promisify, etc) as being a key development.

To what do you attribute the sustained growth and usage of Node.js in the ecosystem?

JavaScript as a super flexible language. Node I/O and event loop design have also been instrumental.

What do you believe are the most significant opportunities for Node.js over the next 3 years?

Compete to the Deno project could become a huge growth goal of Node itself. However, it would be a tough one. Improving security paths should be an important part of Node future.

What do you see as the most popular features in the latest release lines of Node.js that will continue to drive further adoption?

EcmaScript Modules adoption

Node.js pushes developers to become more efficient in both aspects of development, front-end and back-end, improving productivity for enterprise teams. Are full-stack developers the future?

Yes and no. Focusing on FrontEnd, BackEnd or both worlds can have the perfect sense depending on the tasks and goals a person wants to achieve.

Do you think there is some nostalgia in the community at large that will keep Node.js popular or do you see new generations of developers embracing it?

Feels like the first one, nostalgia.

Generally, overall downloads of all Node.js versions combined has continued to grow – by 40% year-over-year and more than 1 million times each day of 2018.  However, the growth in new contributors has slowed somewhat. Is this a cause for concern or just a signal of greater stability in the larger Node ecosystem?

This could be a cause for concern. However, that can be caused by the growth of other technologies. Node itself is nice and stable.

Last year Forrester called out Node.js’s versatility, staying power and relevance: “It is moving beyond being simply an application platform, and beginning to be used for rapid experimentation with corporate data, application modernization, and IoT solutions.”  Is there potential for this versatility to continue to grow, opening new experimentations and opportunities?

It needs a breath of fresh air. Maybe the adoption of WebAssembly modules could be a one. 

Best feature of the past 10 years?

Promises

Best reason to adopt in the enterprise?

FrontEnd related tasks are still great with Node

Most common pitfalls/programming mistakes to avoid?

Unreadable, smelly code

Best Node.js Performance tricks?

Debugger; “:)”

Will you be joining the Node.js community at NodeConfEU 2019?  If you are, what are you most looking forward to?

I will be conducting a workshop this year alongside my colleague Pavlik Kiselev, which will show you how to design and build best practice CLI tools using Typescript. We’ve already started to panic!

Thank you for your time, Alex!

 

10 years of Node with Gabriel Schulhof from Intel

10 years of Node with Gabriel Schulhof from Intel

This year we are celebrating the 10th year of Node.js which now ranks as the fourth most important open source project, according to the Battery Ventures Open Source Software Index. To mark the anniversary, we’re reflecting on how far it has come, explore the latest in Node.js developments and showcase its broader importance and impact on the economy. In our previous interview, we spoke with Gireesh Punathil of IBM which you can read here. 

In this post we speak with Gabriel Schulhof, a software engineer at Intel Corporation to hear his views on the importance of the community and its continuity and in finding the future collaborators to progress node.js to other computing environments. 

Before we delve into your world of software and code, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

I am a software engineer at Intel Corporation, a member of the Node.js N-API Working Group, and of the TSC.  I previously worked at Nokia developing Linux-based smartphones. I have been involved with Open Source projects for the past 16 years. At Nokia, I worked on start-up applications and their native frameworks. At Intel, I worked on jQuery Mobile and Node.js.

Why is the Node.js community important to you / your company?

Node.js has been one of the major driving force behind the current server-side computing landscape in major part due to the speed and ease with which it allows the development of production-quality applications. Where is the project going? What else can we accomplish with Node.js? To what other computing environments can we show that Node.js is well-suited? My curiosity about the answers to these questions keeps me involved with the project. These interests align well with those of my employer, who seeks to ensure that the applications so creatively constructed by the community will perform splendidly on the hardware we provide and that we can continue to provide hardware for the community, whichever direction the project chooses to take.

How long have you been working with Node.js and, in your opinion, what have been the most pivotal milestones in the project?

I have worked with Node.js for the past 5 years, becoming more and more deeply involved with the project in the process. Notable milestone from my perspective include the addition of N-API and of worker threads. Nonetheless, I would also like to emphasize that, from my perspective, the project has seen remarkable continuity. I believe that the steady stream of releases, the steady progression of major releases, and the steadfast community support for transitioning from one major release to the next has been a major strength of the project.

Do you think there is some nostalgia in the community at large that will keep Node.js popular or do you see new generations of developers embracing it?

We have examples of environments which are far older than Node.js and are still as relevant today as they were 20 years ago. Consider POSIX or Win32. At least two generations of developers have grown up around these two. Popularity in this sense stems from continued suitability, reliability, and performance. Node.js will remain popular with whichever generation is “at the helm” as long as it is able to remain the go-to toolkit for the majority of emerging applications.

Generally, overall downloads of all Node.js versions combined has continued to grow – by 40% year-over-year and more than 1 million times each day of 2018.  However, the growth in new contributors has slowed somewhat. Is this a cause for concern or just a signal of greater stability in the larger Node ecosystem?

I do not believe it is a cause for concern. New collaborators emerge naturally as the user community pushes the boundaries of Node.js’ applicability. As existing collaborators, our responsibility is to recognize those who would be collaborators and to support them on their journey.

Best feature of the past 10 years?

Native addons

Best reason to adopt in the enterprise?

Fast development

Most common pitfalls/programming mistakes to avoid?

Do not assume a property of an object is present ?

Best Node.js Performance tricks?

Use ArrayBuffers to communicate with native addons.

Thanks so much for your time Gabriel!

 

10 years of Node with Gireesh Punathil of IBM

10 years of Node with Gireesh Punathil of IBM

This year we are celebrating the 10th year of Node.js which now ranks as the fourth most important open source project, according to the Battery Ventures Open Source Software Index.  To mark the anniversary, we’re reflecting on how far it has come, explore the latest in Node.js developments and showcase its broader importance and impact on the economy.

Here we speak with Gireesh Punathil, Node.js TSC member, collaborator, Node.js customer support engineer and Architect, to hear his views on the importance of the Node.js community and timely support in its future as a performance driver.

Why is the Node.js community important to you / your company?

Community is critical to support internal and external Node.js user base; healthy community helps improved adoption.

How long have you been working with Node.js and, in your opinion, what have been the most pivotal milestones in the project?

I’ve been working with Node.js for 6 years. The signficant milestones along the way have been the Foundation, corporate funding, open governance, the active members of the community and the continuous evolution towards cutting edge feature implementation

To what do you attribute the sustained growth and usage of Node.js in the ecosystem?

A vibrant, active and open community and a great set of people involved.

What do you believe are the most significant opportunities for Node.js over the next 3 years?

  • To raise and sustain as the no. #1 runtime for the Cloud.
  • Fine-grained diagnostic capabilities.
  • Healthy and ever-decreasing (issue / pr) backlog.

Global adoption of Node.js in DevOps remains relatively low right now according to the 2018 Node.js User Survey.  Where is the development focus in your own organisation?

  • Cloud integration
  • Cloud services
  • Web backend

What do you see as the most popular features in the latest release lines of Node.js that will continue to drive further adoption?

  • Worker threads
  • Diagnostic tools

Do you think there is some nostalgia in the community at large that will keep Node.js popular or do you see new generations of developers embracing it?

Definitely new generations are embracing it. Beyond nostalgia, very low entry barrier seems to be the mantra for its main attraction.

Generally, overall downloads of all Node.js versions combined have continued to grow – by 40% year-over-year and more than 1 million times each day of 2018.  However,  the growth of new contributors has slowed somewhat.  Is this a cause for concern or just a signal of greater stability in the larger Node ecosystem?

It is not a cause of worry, but we can learn from that. For example, direct and meaningful relationship with users should be an important thing to do to tap new requirements and ensure continued success. Also, timely support can differentiate Node.js from other open source communities.

Last year Forrester called out Node.js’s versatility, staying power and relevance: “It is moving beyond being simply an application platform, and beginning to be used for rapid experimentation with corporate data, application modernization, and IoT solutions.”  Is there potential for this versatility to continue to grow, opening new experimentations and opportunities?

Yes, definitely. Basic principles of generic runtime, small core, compatibility constraints etc. should be of high importance though.

Best feature of the past 10 years?

  • Libuv
  • Streams
  • Worker threads
  • npm
  • Diagnostic tools

Best reason to adopt in the enterprise?

  • Developer productivity
  • npm
  • Performance
  • Cloud
  • Vibrant community

Most common pitfalls/programming mistakes to avoid?

  • Unnecessary usage of synchronous operations
  • Unnecessary usage of native addons
  • Careless consumption of npm modules
  • Careless selection of Node.js for wrong workloads
  • Depending on un-exported Node.js internals

Best Node.js Performance tricks?

Proper usage of async I/O

Will you be joining the Node.js community at NodeConf EU 2019?  If you are, what are you most looking forward to?

Yes, I will be there and will be speaking about the latest features in the pipeline, and to hear stories from real users.

Thank you for your time Gireesh!

 

What to expect at NodeConf EU 2019

What to expect at NodeConf EU 2019

NodeConf EU, the annual conference for the Node.js community and the longest-running of its kind in Europe, is now in its 8th year.  Since the event began, Node.js has gone from being relatively unknown to being adopted by global brands such as PayPal, Walmart, Bloomberg, Google and Telus, who have recognised the commercial benefits of using it in their transformation projects.  It has also become very attractive to developers wanting to work in a new technology where potential is powerful. NodeConf EU provides a growing platform for these communities – visionaries, industry leaders and Node.js experts – to come together every year to collaborate and discuss the latest developments in Node.js in a positive learning environment.  So what’s in store for this year’s conference?

10 years of Node.js

This year celebrates 10 years of Node.js so we will be marking the milestone with an extra-special NodeConfEU line up of talks, workshops, activities and surprises. Limited edition t-shirts and stickers will be much-coveted items and this year’s hackable digital badge is a major departure with some groundbreaking new features to be announced at the opening!  All attendees can take part in a fun workshop where they’ll learn how to hack their own badge in some surprising ways. No experience necessary!

We’ve some great guest interviews lined up before, during and after the conference to look back on how far Node.js has come and explore the latest in Node.js developments.  We’ll be chatting to some of the most notable individuals across the Node.js community to hear their reflections on and aspirations for Node.js and to hear their views on its importance and impact on the community and the wider economy.  You can check out our latest interview here.

From Serverless to IoT to Security in Node.js

An exciting mix of over 30 speakers from companies such as Google, IBM, Github, Elastic, Telus and ING Bank have been hand-picked based on their contribution and level of innovation within the Node.js community.  They will offer talks and workshops on topics from Kubernetes to microservices and diagnostics, from Javascript & IoT to Machine Learning and cloud architectures.

For instance, keen open source advocates will be anticipating the stage arrival of Jan Lehnardt, organizer of JsConf EU and CEO of neighbourhood.ie, who will be speaking on how serverless originated from CouchDB and how emergent trends accumulate in unexpected ways.  We’re also delighted to welcome C J Silverio, ex-CTO of npm who will speak about Entropic, a new package manager for the JavaScript community, while Benedikt Meuer Technical Lead at Google will be sharing his stories from working on V8, the JavaScript engine that powers both Node.js and Chrome.

Shelley Vohr, a software engineer at GitHub, will explain how Electron works beneath its surface veneer and the tools that have enabled the project to flourish.  Liran Tal, a developer advocate at Snyk and member of the Node.js foundation Security working group, will be sharing his expertise on how to create a more secure ecosystem for Node.js and JavaScript.

These are just some of the speakers to look forward to.  The rest of the line-up can be viewed here.

Drones, Carnival Games and Coding Challenges

Beyond the talks and workshops, we’ve got a great line up of activities and entertainment over the 4 days with plenty of opportunities for fun and networking with other like-minded individuals from across 26 countries.  A hacker’s lounge, code and learn workshop and some drone activity from our sponsor, Skycatch are some of the tech highlights. For those who want some downtime, there will be an opportunity to learn the traditional Irish bodhrán musical instrument, listen to live music from indie legend Jerry Fish, take part in carnival games and escape room challenges and soak up some cultural highlights with a visit to Kilkenny City.

Network, network, network

NodeConfEU provides attendees with the opportunity to learn, ask questions, share knowledge, problem-solve, network and have fun.  The activities at NodeConf EU are a key part of its success. We encourage guests to meet fellow Node practitioners and discuss the interesting talks of the day.  NodeConf EU shortens the gap between key community members and conference attendees, enabling the community to grow. Take the opportunity to ask questions and exchange ideas!

If you’d like to attend NodeConfEU, you can secure your 3-day all-inclusive tickets here.  If you’re interested in sponsoring, we’ve got a number of packages remaining – you can sponsor the special edition t-shirt, the hackable digital badge, the carnival night or take our last Gold package to secure the last remaining workshop slot.  More details on what’s available can found here or by emailing events@nearform.com