Case Studies From The Conference
NodeSummit offered several case studies that were demonstrative of the power that Node provides to some of the world’s largest enterprises and organizations.
With this switch, Walmart has managed to significantly reduce their time to market while enabling their entire development team to understand, and develop for, their entire stack. While no specifics were provided on the time savings, it was clear that this speed was one of the primary drivers for Walmart’s increasing investment in Node. Where before they needed dedicated front end, back end, mobile, and devops developers, they now are able to have each member of their team work on any of those positions.
More excitingly, for those geeks among us at least, was a talk by Collin Estes discussing NASA’s move to a Node enterprise architecture. Yes — that’s the same NASA who’s responsible for sending people to the moon and creating Tang. NASA has wholeheartedly embraced Node for it’s flexibility in creating microservices that can scale to support the future of space travel. While Node is not used in mission-critical systems (yet), it is being used “to build the present and future systems supporting spaceship operations and development.”
- Windows and OS X Desktop Applications — Using Electron companies including Slack, Microsoft (Visual Studio Code), and WordPress.com have used this Node toolset to create native applications.
- iPhone and Android Applications — React Native now provides native-quality experiences for significant portions of Facebook’s mobile applications in addition to those of companies like CBS Sports, Vogue, and apparently Walmart in the near future.
Why Node Matters
- It’s perfect for microservices — Microservices have taken the software development world by storm for their ability to scale only those parts of an application that are needed, allow large teams to work in parallel, and eliminate unwieldy monolithic applications. While other languages are capable of creating microservices, few offer the same combination of development speed, low memory usage, and scalability of Node. Additionally, the Node community has wholeheartedly embraced microservices — in the process creating some of the industry’s best tooling for creating, deploying, and maintaining this powerful pattern.
- It’s lightweight and scalable — Node empowers rapid development without sacrificing performance or security. It’s fairly easy to learn, doesn’t require a lot of the boilerplate associated with some of the more traditional “Enterprise” languages, and it’s excellent open source culture means that there are a huge number of powerful libraries to speed up development
- Performance — Node’s major innovation, its single threaded nature and non-blocking event-driven I/O, not only makes it easier for developers to work on and reason about, but it also results in some pretty impressive performance gains. In one famous example from PayPal, moving their mobile servers from Rails to Node resulted in going from 30 servers to just 3 and performance that was up to 20x faster. Other major companies, including PayPal and Netflix have reported significant, though admittedly not nearly as extreme, performance benefits.
In its several years in existence, Node has made a significant impact on a number of small and large companies — and it’s only getting started. With ever increasing investment, Samsung just bought major Node backer/contributor Joyent for 1.2 Billion, I expect Node to continue to mature and expand its enterprise capabilities.
If your organization or side project is on the fence about Node, now is the time to get started. Head over to nodejs.org, download Node, and start exploring. Of course, should you need help with things like establishing best practices, handling security, building for scale, setting up a cloud infrastructure, and creating an awesome application, you can always reach out to Deciphered Creation for help.