Node.js is on the rise. The Technology is increasingly becoming popular among technology professionals as an application development platform and is starting to reach enterprise maturity.
In September, we partnered with PayPal, to host the first-ever NodeDay in India! It was an amazing occasion for us, bringing the Node.js Community from various organizations under one roof, to share insights and the latest trends and developments.
At Intuit, one of our goals is to be at the forefront of technology and be a company that uses emerging, new technologies to experiment and build amazing products, and the event is a strong reinforcement of this fact. I invited Rahul Goyal, Director of Engineering – TurboTax at Intuit, and the leader behind Node day to have a chat with me and share his takeaways from NodeDay Bangalore. Here’s what he had to say…
Share with us your experience with Node.js and how has it grown in importance with developers.
Rahul: The popularity of Node.js has exploded in the last few years and we had no challenges to start experimenting within our own Stack. Developers love Node because it is really easy to write in and iterate over. It’s architected to be scalable out of the box; developers can easily contribute back to the community and leverage new contributions of others at the same time.
What are the benefits/advantages of Node.js? How can enterprises leverage the technology?
Rahul: I think there are 3 paradigms that bring power to the Node stack.
1. Node is built around the paradigm of asynchronous non-blocking service calls and callbacks. This allows for massive speed and responsive applications
2. Node allows a two-way communication – from client to server and from server to client and uses the same stack on both sides
3. Node uses a single-threaded server, which has a very small resource usage footprint, allowing for massive scale
It’s important to acknowledge that it’s an easy stack to use with a very active community that keeps adding to the power through the powerful package manager (npm). Node is also a well-supported platform and almost every large technology company seems to be doing something with Node already.
Our challenges using node were really around taking it to our production stack. As you can imagine, our production stack is sacred and adding a new component to it requires a significant amount of due diligence. We needed to bring up the rest of the support organization to make Node supportable in our development cycle and also in production.
We have been using the technology in Intuit. How do you think it will help us accelerate our journey to the cloud?
Rahul: We have a not-so-unique challenge of upgrading our technology and get it ready for the next generation of innovations. The question is how we innovate in a technology stack that has been built over several years and powers our multi-billion dollar products.
Node is not the answer to all problems and has a place of its own, like all technologies, where it works best. One of the best things about using Node is the simplicity and ability to iterate quickly to get to the desired state. With Node, we could make some significant changes late in the game to adhere to new requirements and additional insights as we learn more about a certain set of compliance and user behavior.
Tell us why having something like ‘Node Day’ is important.
Rahul: The power of Node comes from the fact that it’s a community driven technology. There are literally thousands of contributions from the community, which can be used to accelerate your journey, either through re-using or through learning from what’s already out there. Also, it provides developers an easy way to contribute their work for greater reuse. There’s nothing more satisfying for an engineer.
The NodeDay in Bangalore brought together hundreds of Node enthusiasts in India to add to the collective power of Node. A thriving community in India can lead to greater speed of application, adoption and innovation.
What were your takeaways from the day? What’s our next step?
Rahul: As we announced the event, I was surprised to see the number of registrations with little publicity – to the point that we had to close the registrations due to a lack of physical capacity to host more people.
My second takeaway was the extent to which Node is being leveraged already in the Indian engineering community. The presentations were awesome and the questions from the audience showed the depth of understanding and keenness in the audience. Our speakers who came from Silicon Valley and have presented in various forums across US, were equally surprised at the knowledge level and insightful questions from the audience. I’m looking forward to the progress we make in the Node.js community in India and for Intuit to play a key role in hosting more events like this in the future.
What are your thoughts on Node.js? Feel free to share them in the comments below.
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