The Emergence of JavaScript and Node.js

Although REST APIs have been getting extremely popular over the last 15 years, so are Node.js and JavaScript.

At the annual JSConf EU 2009 in Berlin, Germany, young 28 year old Ryan Dauh would introduce Node.js to the world, a run-time environment that would enable developers to write JavaScript code on the server. This meant that the language was no longer bound to just the browser, but would enable developers to create command line tools, backend server-side driven web applications, and even programmable robots. Little did we know just how much of an impact 'this' (Pun intended hehe...) would have on the future generations of developers, companies, and the rest of the world.

Then in January 2010, Isaac Z. Schlueter, Rebecca Turner, Kat Marchán, and a couple of other developers released npm, a package manager that would resemble tools like Maven and Ant in the Java community and RubyGems in the Ruby community. This gave JavaScript developers the ability to not only create modules more easily, but the ability to distribute them to the open source world for other developers to use.

In only 10 years after the initial inception, we would see the big enterprises like Netflix, Paypal, and Uber all adopt Node.js into their technology stacks. We would also see the emergence of Node.js in the startup world where it would be every startup CEO’s wish list is to hire a "Fullstack JavaScript Developer” who could work in both the frontend and backend.

At his point, Node.js has (almost) become a replacement of server-side languages like PHP, Java, C#, and many more. Many young and aspiring developers all flock to JavaScript due to its "learn once, write everywhere" mentality. Almost all coding bootcamps have taken languages like Ruby out of their fullstack curriculum and replaced them with JavaScript and Node.js. Many college and university students no longer want to learn languages like Java and C++ because the job market is no longer saturated with only those types of jobs. Most jobs nowadays are web-based, and even for pure backend developers, one has to eventually touch JavaScript at one point or another.

Furthermore, with the rise of frameworks like Electron and React Native, even desktop and mobile have been conquered by JavaScript. Nowadays, it would be entirely possible (and efficient) to write a full backend API, a web frontend, a mobile app, and a desktop application all in JavaScript.

Any application that can be written in JavaScript, will eventually be written in JavaScript.

-Jeff Atwood, Co-founder of Stack Overflow

But with such a fast and evolving language came a massive amount of responsibility with which JavaScript developers needed to face in the community. It came to a point where we were no longer simply bound to using simple jQuery to perform animations in the browser. It has come to a point that JavaScript the language has caught up with the likes of Java and C# in the enterprise, but the developers who originally came from that non-traditional background have been lagging behind in learning about design patterns, software architecture, and traditional object-oriented concepts and methodologies.

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