Thursday, February 26, 2015

Node.js for home grown utility applications

JavaScript has grown in popularity in leaps in bounds over the past few years.  It terms of a software engineers marketability it can be very valuable depending on which libraries and frameworks you have experience with.  People are doing some amazing stuff with Node.js but unless you are at shop using it you won't get the chance to use it professionally, right? Wrong! In a past life all utility programs were done as DOS batch programs, in another a Java executable jars, and in another Linux shell scripts but now I have been introduced to using Node.js for that and I really like it.  Using Node.js for your utility program not only gives you a chance to start using it in your organization but it also gives you the expand your tool set so you can choose which method of creating utility applications will work the best.

Most recently I helped develop a Node.js utility program to do performance testing.  We were were calling a CoffeeScript library developed to access our Spring based RESTful API.  There are many tools available to do performance scripting but we wanted to do something customized and we already had the CoffeeScript interface available to us.

I have also used Node.js to do things like file transformations, and the creation of wiki formatted documents based upon a YAML api definition file.

Node.js is just another hammer to solve your problems with.  Consider using it if even just for the case of introducing your organization to it.

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