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World, meet BuiltinNode.com

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It’s with great excitement that we’re announcing the launch of our newest #builtin project: BuiltinNode.com.

We’ve been working on our website during the past couple of months and reaching out to fellow Noders, getting really interesting insights on the Node.js community around the world. Stay close, we’re going to share them all with you soon.

So what’s BuiltinNode about?

BuiltinNode is a young project with a great mission, which is promoting the success stories of Node.js & contributing to the growth of the global Node.js community. We’re quite excited to get things rolling – and what we really want to accomplish with our blog is to get YOU involved in the blogging process, as we would be honored to write about your startup’s milestones & your company’s achievements.

6 amazing startups & 1 company registered on BuiltinNode since our launch yesterday, May 12th.  Thanks guys for joining our pre-launch list! To learn more about them, just click the links below, since they’re really interesting projects:

  • Augur – Recognize Devices and the Consumers who own them
  • Brightin – Making great apps with Node, Ember and React.js
  • Cronj – Cronj provides custom enterprise software development.
  • Muscula – Monitor your website for JavaScript errors
  • Onscribe – An elegant way to use online content
  • Sourcey – Startup Developers and Consultants
  • Unloq – Authentication. Authorization. Growth

You are also invited to advertise your Node.js openings on our job board; our goal is to make it the “go-to” Node.js job board, so let’s do that together.

And have no doubt, we also have other ideas on the table. We’re periodically reviewing them in an agile way (yes, we like and use the agile methodology even in marketing and product management). Thanks to our new blog, we’ll keep you updated!

We are continuously working on improving our users’ experience with our website, so if you have any suggestions on how we could make your interaction with our site better, feel free to drop us a line anytime.

Greetz & keep you posted!

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Ridiculous job requirements

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A very amusing (and possibly frustrating) experience for a Node.js developer is browsing through node.js job posts and having a look at the job requirements with a mixture of amazement and disbelief. Node is very young and as such, some recruiters, or worse, companies get a bit confused on its history. Like the one above.

If we do just a little math we can determine that, given that Node.js was created in 2009, it’s literally impossible to have 9 years experience. Well, only if you manage to travel to the future, get a few more years of Node experience and the come back and apply for this job. But that might be a bit difficult.

Another option, as one reddit user puts it after a company asks for 10 years of Node experience is to code on two machines simultaneously, for double the experience.

Job requirements tend to become more and more ridiculous. Sometimes it seems like the recruiter or the employer doesn’t actually know what they want, or if they do, it’s not something very likely. Like job posts with the headline “Node.js developer” that carry on with ”Must also be proficient in: Java, PHP and Perl.”

There are plenty of Node.js positions available, if you do a quick search on any job site, you’ll find quite a few, but most of them are not just Node positions. There’s a dangerous trend going on, that comes either from ignorance or from a simple desire to have, not just full stack developers, but full everything developers. Programmers that know more than 5 languages, do front end and back end and are familiar with the latest frameworks. Every employer want to hire someone that is good in that respective field, but some want the sun and the moon at minimum wage as well.

That’s how you get a Junior Developer position with the following requirements;

  • has 4+ years experience

  • experienced in 5+ backend web languages/frameworks (eg PHP)

  • experience with UI/UX design and development (HTML/CSS/JS)

Responsibilities are really heavy in both frontend and backend development, including security, requirements analysis, some sysad stuff, etc

Some job postings are just funny, made by people that either don’t understand how programmers work (non technical people) or just want a stuffie job posting to look “serious”. Like whet a Reddit user got confused about a job posted that required expert knowledge in Ewok. After applying (and mentioning that he was an expert in that language) and getting hired he never heard anything about the Ewok language that he was supposed to know, and no surprise, he didn’t bring it up either.

What mind shattering job posts have you run into lately?

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Node University

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Node.js University is a new and exciting project brought to you by Azat Mardan. If you’re not familiar with the name, here’s a quick bio on him. Azat is a technology fellow at Capitol One and JavaScript and Node.js author. He wrote Practical node.js, React Quickly, Full Stack JavaScript, Pro Express.js etc. We covered Capitol One’s involvement in Node.js in a recent article. Even though they are are a bank, their investments and dedication to technology and node.js in particular is something to appreciate.

Azat Mardan is a pretty well known figure in the Node community, he held several workshops and courses in conferences like Node Interactive and ForwardJS. He also teaches at NodeProgram.com and is a mentor at nodeSchool.io. Node University is his new project, a free education platform focused on Video Tutorials for the JavaScript ecosystem, about topics such as: Node, Express, JavaScript, ECMAScript, Mongoose, React, Webpack, npm, MongoDB, HTTP/2, OAuth, HTML5 and others as well. As an experienced developer and a skilled teacher it’s no surprise to see him behind a concept like Node University.

Video tutorials and courses are very popular right now, it’s an easy to consume teaching medium, a very practical way to teach coding and development in general. This is not something new, there are plenty of similar platforms out there, like Udemy, but these are a bit more generalistic. There’s also Youtube videos available of course and many other, but variety isn’t necessarily all good, as it can be hard to find the right video that brings value to you. It can also be difficult to find a trustworthy source/teacher on certain topics so covering so many relevant and current topics in one place by reputable individuals is something useful for the development community.  That’s what the Node University represents, an open source platform for video courses.

Right now there are only a few available courses, as the platform was just recently launched, both free and premium. You can check it out here.

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BuiltinNode Company

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Cars.com is a leading online destination that helps car shoppers and owners navigate every turn of car ownership. A pioneer in automotive classifieds, the company has evolved into one of the largest digital automotive platforms, connecting consumers with local dealers across the country anytime, anywhere. Through trusted expert content, on-the-lot mobile app features, millions of new and used vehicle listings, a comprehensive set of research tools and the largest database of consumer reviews in the industry, Cars.com helps shoppers buy, sell and service their vehicles.

Cars.com companies include DealerRater, Auto.com, PickupTrucks.comtm and NewCars.com(r). The company was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Chicago. It is owned by TEGNA, Inc.

Haven’t started building in Node.js yet?

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Well, you should! Here’s why:

Firstly, because it’s cool, and we mean it! If you want to come across as a trendy, up to date programmer, you should be able to create a working system on any up-and-coming platform, basically because every other fellow computer geek such as yourself will. And you don’t want be the one who never gets the small talk during lunch break, the one that is constantly interrupting for further explanations and clarification. You don’t want to be that guy, you hate that guy. And if this wasn’t a good enough reason, we’ve got a few more compelling arguments as to why node.js should be the go-to platform for your web development projects.

It’s pretty popular and easy to learn

One of the main traits that should entice you to build in node, is the fact that it isn’t that hard to learn, and you probably already have, yet don’t know it. If you are already familiar with JavaScript, there really isn’t that much learning effort.

It makes real-time apps a piece of cake

You can finally kiss writing sockets and protocols goodbye and say hello to real-time, two-way connections, because multi-user is Node-event-loop’s cup of tea. Therefore, the server is no longer the sole data pusher, where the client is able to initiate communication just as easily, allowing both parties to exchange data freely.

It doesn’t block your code

Yes, if you haven’t wrapped your head around it just yet, we’ll raise you this one: Node is utterly event driven, which basically means most of the code is run based on callbacks, so the application becomes available for further requests instead of pausing or sleeping.

It’s got a welcoming community

Like any other popular platform or product, node.js has built around itself a great, influencing community, contributing on a daily basis to its enlargement and development from the very core. And a great community, namely means a bunch of smart people, available for constant help, support and shared opportunities.

With these and plenty other amazing features, Node.js has made a quite a name for itself in the web development world and has been gaining adherents with every passing day.

So if you’ve made it this far, welcome to the future of web development! You’re gonna love it!

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SConfig – A CDN for your configuration files, built in Node

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Today we’re going to talk about a very cool product made in Node.js, called SConfig.

As the title goes, it’s a CDN for configuration data and files that allows you to keep, manage and access them all in one place. SConfig is a Node.js client for sconfig.io encrypted configuration storage. It’s a practical service that secures your applications easily. Basically, it’s an awesome, scalable and secure way to protect your config files. You can define as many applications as you want, or any number of versions. They’re easy to access through an API call from the servers. It uses strong multi-factor authentication (from UNLOQ) and AES-256 encryption to protect your data.

SConfig uses the Thorin.js framework created by UNLOQ, we talked about them in a previous article. It’s built from the bottom up in JavaScript, front and back end. If you read about Thorin.js you know it’s a modular framework, and SConfig is built using some of the Thorin modules. It’s all made in Node.js, which is pretty amazing.

Here’s how it works:

You can check out the full presentation of SConfig here, and see their Github account here.

SConfig is a product meant for developers, meant to make accessing files easier and safer. It’s destined for small devops teams and large departments. To be able to use the service you have to download the UNLOQ app and create an account. The token that you received on the app will be used to login securely.  The entire relationship between the device (the app), the browser and the servers is dealt with encryption keys and tokens, making the data stored in your account private. File content encryption is done in the browser and the servers only get encrypted data, having no clue what it is. It uses zero knowledge proof to make sure all your data is private, even to SConfig.

Give it a try, it’s free for up to 5 applications.

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How the Node.js Foundation works

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Every Node developer is familiar with the Node.js Foundation, but not everybody know how it works and what are its actual activities. We’re going to shed some light on these issues.

The Foundation is on a mission to enable the adoption of Node.js on a large scale and accelerate its development. As the name entails, it doesn’t have any commercial implication, it’s not a company that markets or sales a product, it’s a foundation with an open governance model, driven by the community. The Node.js Foundation is the steward of Node.js, helping it grow and evolve on a long term basis.

You can get in depth information about the Governance, By-Laws, Trademark Guidelines and other in the Foundation section of their website.

So, who’s in charge?

The Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors composed of representatives from the corporate members. There are three tiers of corporate members, platinum, gold and silver. Each tier has a presence in the board, as follows: every platinum member gets one seat on the board, for every 3 gold members there is an election to choose a representative and for every 10 silver members the same thing happens again. If you check out the membership right now you’ll see a lot of big names there, companies that adopted Node early on and are heavily based on it. Besides the corporate members there is also on the board a representative of the Technical Steering Committee and one elected by the individual membership class.

This brings us to the individual membership issues. You can also be a part of the Node.js Foundation. The membership costs 100 $ per year, or 25 $ for students. If you are an active contributor to the Node.js projectsor in any of its sub-projects you are eligible for free membership.

The board at this time is composed of:

  • Chairperson: Danese Cooper, distinguished member of technical staff – open source at PayPal.

  • Vice-Chairperson: Scott Hammond, chief executive officer at Joyent.

  • TSC Director: Rod Vagg, chief node officer at NodeSource.

  • Gold-level Director: Charlie Robbins, director of engineering at GoDaddy.com.

  • Silver-level Director: Brian McCallister, chief technology officer of platforms at Groupon.

  • Director: Todd Moore, vice president of open technology at IBM.

  • Director: Colleen Evans, principal program manager at Microsoft.

  • Director: Rich Sharples, senior director of product management at Red Hat.

  • Director: Imad Sousou, vice president and general manager at Intel.

  • Director: Ashley Williams, individual membership director.

  • Director: Feross Aboukhadijeh, individual membership director.

By checking out the Node.js board you can get a good glimpse of what companies are actively involved in node.js (a great piece of information if you’re job hunting)

Besides the Board, there is also a Technical Steering Committee that has a representative on the board. The TSC sets the technical direction of Node and handles everything related to the technical development (releases, standards, repo hosting etc)

The Node.js Foundation may seem to some like some sort of mysterious entity, but actually it’s made from the ground up from node people. No matter the company, no matter the brand, there are all developers interested in node.js, caring and growing it. Just think of it as a parent taking care of a child (the child being Node), only it’s not just one parent, there’s dozens, hundreds and more. Anybody can be a contributor to the node.js project, individuals can be nominated as collaborators by TSC members and if the nomination is approved, that person gets the actual invitation to become a node.js contributor. You can dive in the contributing process here if you’re interested to find out more.

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Node.js Interactive Europe. Will you attend?

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Node.js Interactive Europe is the place to be this September, an exciting event for all Node lovers.  It will have various workshops, tech talks and community discussions that will tell us all about the future development of Node.js and JavaScript.

Node.js Interactive will take place between September 15-18th in Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

You can register here.

Node.js is rapidly rising through the ranks, emerging as a universal platform. The Node,js Interactive Europe event brings together developers, community contributors, creating a perfect opportunity for discussion, to provide insights about the development of Node.js and what the future may hold.

“We’ve hand-selected a range of presenters and content that will showcase the future of Node.js and how pervasive it has become in the market through both a community and enterprise lens”

Mikeal Rogers, community manager of Node.js Foundation

This is the conference to be for every noder, but not just that, as the talks will focus on node.js and corresponding technologies.

The keynote includes:

  • Ashley Williams, Node.js Foundation community board chair, founder of NodeTogether, and developer community and content manager at npm

  • Doug Wilson, Express lead maintainer

  • James Snell, IBM engineer and Node.js Foundation TSC member

  • Kat Marchán, CLI engineer at npm

  • Mikeal Rogers, community manager at the Node.js Foundation

The Node.js Interactive Europe event will debate the new definition of the full stack, as they put it themselves –  “The new full stack is a combination of everything from the browser to a toaster.” The event brings together companies and open source projects to discuss this concept in the following fields:

  • Cloud and Back End

  • Data and Artificial Intelligence

  • Debugging, Tracing & Tooling

  • IoT (Including Node.js being embedded into IoT devices)

  • Node.js Core

  • Security and Performance

This edition of Node.js Interactive will also feature workshops, diversity scholarships, longer session and childcare (per community demands).

Here’s a quick sample on what can you look forward to:

Cloud and Back End

  • Node.js and Containers go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly from Ross Kukulinski of NodeSource

  • Building the Node.js Global Distribution Network from Guillermo Rauch creator of Socket.io

  • SWIMming in the microservices Ocean from Luca Maraschi of Sporti and nearForm

Diagnosing, Debugging, and DevOps

  • Instrumentation and Tracing in Node.js from Thomas Watson of Opbeat

  • The Cost of Logging from Matteo Collina of nearForm

Machine Learning, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence

  • Taking on Genetically Evolving Cellular Automata with JavaScript from Irina Shestak of Small Media Foundation

  • From Pterodactyls and Cactus to Artificial Intelligence from Ivan Seidel of Tenda Digital

Node.js Core

  • Keeping the Node.js Community Infrastructure Humming: An Update from the Build Workgroup from Michael Dawson of IBM

  • Creating Native Addons – General Principles from Gabriel Schulhof of Intel

  • The CITGM Diaries from Myles Borins of IBM

Security

  • FIPS Comes to Node.js from Stefan Budeanu of IBM

  • Take Data Validation Seriously from Paul Milham of WildWorks

IoT

  • Node.js on Hardware: Where We Are, Where We’re Going, and How We’ll Get There from Kassandra Perch of NodeBots

  • Why did the robot cross the road? Computer vision, robots and mobile games from Pawel Szymczykowski of Wedgies

  • The Future is Now: How to Realize your New Potential as a Cyborg from Emily Rose of Salesforce

Node.js Everywhere

  • Bitcoin, Blockchain and Node from Portia Burton of The Atlantic

  • Node.js and the African Market from Ogatcha Prudence of Pilby

  • The Radical Modularity from Aria Stewart of npm

Workshops

  • Build a real-time multiplayer chess game with Socket.io from David Washington of Microsoft

  • Isomorphic JavaScript with React + Express from Azat Mardan of Capital One

Source: Node.js Foundation

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Node.js build tools – how about npm?

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The JavaScript community is renowned for its vast arsenal of tools to use for, well, for just about anything. This applies also to node.js, there are a plethora of tools that can make your life easier while coding and make you better at it.

Build tools are a crucial factor in creating an app or project, they are important even for running simple test suites. As we said before, the JavaScript ecosystem (that includes Node) is very rich in tools and various forms of “helping hands”. There are a few build tools that are so famous that they’re even integrated in some IDE’s. Worth mentioning in this regard are : WebPack, Brunch or Grunt and Gulp.

The boys in the big leagues are Grunt and Gulp with about half a million downloads a week. Hugely popular and used extensively. They do their job, solving the problem at hand with a few ups and downs. We must mention that using these tools and choosing the right tool depends a lot on your project and your needs. Gulp it’s pretty easy to learn and is very popular because of its flexibility, Grunt is a very good task runner with hundreds of plugins at your disposal.

Although both of them are pretty good build tools, they don’t solve every issue, but their popularity shows that they do work and have a pretty good appeal in the community. But there is another option, a simpler one.

Npm. Yes, this npm. You can use npm as a build tool. Although it may seem like an odd thing to do, it’s a perfectly valid build tool and more than that, it’s a very good build tool. It can actually do everything that Grunt and Gulp can do, but in a more elegant manner, with less maintenance needed. I’m sure there is a lot of resistance and comparisons, a lot of “it’s not meant to be used like that” but if it works for you and your projects, why does it matter?

Npm is an amazing tool, a core tool for the whole Node.js community, most people use it on a daily basis, so why not use it as a build tools as well? Npm grows every day, as new features are being developed and added, but besides the package manager role, npm also has a pretty amazing subset of functionalities for running tasks. You can check out a small tutorial on how to use npm as a built tool here in a blog post by Keith Cirkel.

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Samsung buys Joyent, original Node.js custodian

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Joyent is one of the few veteran companies with experience in the cloud computing field. The San Francisco based company was started in 2004 and pioneered public and hybrid cloud computing. Joyent created leading products and services, bringing innovation to another level through Triton, and Manta solutions. Besides this, and the reason why we’re writing this article, Joyent was the parent that nurtured Node.js not just into a popular programming language, but as a standard for web, mobile and IoT architectures.

Node.js was born and raised at Joyent, that’s its childhood home. Joyent is still one of the largest users of Node, the original corporate steward that guided and built Node into what it is today. Joyent is the place where the most Node experience exists, they’ve been running Node.js in production for almost 6 years, they have the experience and the production practices to create efficient and revolutionary Node solutions. And now they’re owned by Samsung.

Corporate acquisitions in most cases imply change, but, in this situation, the bought company gets to keep its structure and organizational aspects, while the new owner will be in charge of the big decisions. Joyent will be an independent subsidiary of Samsung, they will continue to operate and function as a separate entity, but as we said, an entity owned by Samsung. How will Joyent change? And more importantly for us, what will happen to the years and years of work put into Node.js at Joyent?

This acquisition could mean trouble for Node’s evolution and progress, but, thankfully last year Joyent (and not just) took the right steps to give Node a home to grow, develop and build further. The Node.js Foundation was created as a third party, an independent non-profit entity that will supervise the evolution and progress of Node.js. As such, Node.js went into the custody of the Node.js Foundation, a consortium led by the Node community and backed by the industry, IBM, Microsoft, Paypal, Fidelity, based on open governance. The Foundation was created also to heal the split between Joyent and IO.js, but that’s another story.

Node is safe in it’s new home, but Joyent is still a huge part of it’s life and future. This is a company that grew Node and that uses and develops Node on so many different levels. The Samsung acquisition may leave them with full independence when it comes to Node, or it may not, we’ll have to just wait and see. In any regard, Joyent will forever be a part of the Node story and we’ll just have to wait and see how Samsung will use it to compete in the cloud services arena.

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