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5 Reasons to Use JavaScript in Server-Side Programming

The author of this article is EPAM Senior Software Engineer Dhananjay Janarthanan.

Introduction

When considering JavaScript, many people think of it as a programming language primarily dedicated to improving the interactivity and dynamic features of modern web pages. JavaScript has, however, made progress over time, expanding its competencies far beyond the browser and into server-side programming.

In this article, I examine the use of JavaScript on the server-side, its edge over other alternatives, and some widely adopted frameworks and technologies in JavaScript that make it all possible.

Reasons for using JavaScript on server-side

Traditionally, server-side programming languages like PHP, Ruby, Python, and Java have been the preferred options for developing stable backend systems. JavaScript's pervasiveness and resourcefulness, however, have inspired software developers to choose it for server-side programming as well.

Here are 5 arguments in favor of using JavaScript on the server:

  • Full stack development: Software Engineers can now use JavaScript for both user interface design and back-end development, making it effortless to create great web applications.

  • Simplified codebase: Using the same programming language on both sides of the application can result in codebase integration and easier upkeep, since software engineers do not have to alternate between multiple different programming languages and standards.

  • Rich ecosystem: JavaScript offers a comprehensive ecosystem of frameworks, tools, and libraries, which can be used on the server side as well, reducing development time and labor.

  • Asynchronous programming: JavaScript's non-blocking, event-driven nature is designed for handling I/O-heavy activities efficiently, making it a preferred alternative for developing high-performance server applications.

  • Scalability: Server-side JavaScript can be used to develop highly scalable applications, thanks to frameworks like Node.js, which are built to handle many simultaneous connections efficiently.

Advantages of server-side JavaScript

  • Speed: JavaScript is known for its high performance, and Node.js uses this clout on the server side, emerging as a top choice for developing fast and responsive applications.

  • Efficiency: Using the same programming language across the entire stack eliminates the necessity for context switching. This leads to improved development efficiency and a much shorter learning path.

  • Real-time capabilities: Server-side JavaScript succeeds at developing real-time applications, such as messaging apps and online gaming apps, thanks to its event-driven architecture.

  • Community and ecosystem: The vast JavaScript community provides many resources, tools, and libraries, that help in development and problem-solving.

  • Scalability: JavaScript frameworks, such as Node.js, are designed to handle a large number of simultaneous connections, making JavaScript the preferred language for creating applications that require high scalability.

Conclusion

Since its creation, server-side JavaScript has significantly evolved, transforming into a powerful and multitasking alternative for creating web applications and APIs. Whether you're a full-stack developer working to streamline your workflow or a tech enthusiast anxious to examine new horizons in web development, server-side JavaScript is a strong choice. With tools like Node.js, Express.js, and MongoDB, JavaScript's influence has extended far beyond the browser, and its offering in server-side programming is limitless.

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