Node.js Foundation Survey Shows Strong Enterprise Developer Adoption

A new Node.js Foundation survey shows full stack demand for Node.js, along with developers using it with containers and for IoT development.

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The Node.js Foundation, a consortium of organizations fostering the development of the Node.js platform, today announced the results of its first Node.js User Survey Report.

Node.js is an event-driven server-side JavaScript development environment based on Google's V8 JavaScript engine. Mikeal Rogers, community manager for the Node.js Foundation, said there are more than 3.5 million Node.js users. And with an annual growth rate of 100 percent, Node.js is emerging as a universal platform used for Web applications, the Internet of things (IoT) and the enterprise, he said.

The foundation interacts regularly with Node.js developers but decided to conduct a survey to take a more definite pulse of what developers are doing with Node, Rogers said.

"We're always looking at what people are doing with Node and how we can help them as a foundation," Rogers told eWEEK. "We do a lot with metrics. But we found that the metrics weren't enough, so we built out this survey and had over 1,700 responses. Every time we pull up new data, we end up invalidating some of our old assumptions."

Indeed, the user survey report features insights on emerging trends in the Node.js community, including microservices architectures, real-time Web applications and IoT.

The report paints a detailed picture of the technologies that are being used, in particular, with Node.js in production and language preferences (current and future) for front-end, back-end and IoT developers.

Among the key findings of the survey is that Node.js has begun to take off in the enterprise. Indeed, Node.js being increasingly used in enterprises such as PayPal, Go Daddy, Capital One and Intel. The foundation survey results showed that more than 45 percent of respondents said they are already using the Node.js Long Term Support release (v4), which is targeted at medium to large enterprise users who require stability and high performance. Of those who haven't upgraded, 80 percent report definite plans to upgrade to v4, with half of respondents planning to do so this year. In addition, the survey showed there is strong interest in enterprise tooling among 34 percent of technology leaders.

"Node has always been very efficient—really fast startup time, good on memory usage, a lot of I/O and throughput on very little resources in a single CPU," Rogers said. "As Docker and microservices and these stacks are built out, they're cutting up machines more and more into smaller chunks and it's very important that you're very, very efficient. So we've been a good technology choice and very competitive in that environment. So it was really no surprise when we saw enterprises start adopting this new stack—like two-speed development and microservices, Node was one of the things that they went for."

Moreover, enterprises are beginning to see the value of "full stack" Node.js development.

"One of the things we found is that Node really is this more universal platform," Rogers said. "We kind of redefined front-end development and, of course, we're very good for back-end development. So there's the full stack that we've always maintained. But now the definition of full stack is expanding and starting to include not only mobile and Web front ends and back ends, but also these new API tiers and basically connected devices in IoT.

The popularity of real-time, social networking and interactive game applications is advancing this new stack among developers, Rogers said. The MEAN—MongoDB, Express, AngularJS and Node.js—stack can handle the number of concurrent connections and the scalability required by these applications. The MEAN stack also enables developers to more efficiently do both front-end and back-end development.

"The MEAN stack has been around for a long time; it's been a buzzword out there for quite a while, but the popularity of it and the market share is tremendous," Rogers said. "We did not expect to see this much of it because our community is so broad. But Express is showing 80 to 90 percent market share in this kind of thing. So the MEAN stack is still very much a dominant force in Node development." The survey showed that 83 percent of Node.js developers are also using Express.