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Which Node JS Version Should You Use?

January 24, 2023

NodeJS-version

It’s relatively easier for developers to work on different projects at the same time than constantly juggling between different versions of a technology stack, which is tedious and cumbersome.

NodeJS is an insanely popular JavaScript runtime that enables the development of web-based, scalable and highly interactive applications.

It has a non-blocking and event-driven architecture, which is ideal for building real-time, data-intensive, lightweight applications that run on bifurcated systems.

This blog will shed light on the different versions of NodeJS and which one you should use.

The brief about NodeJS

NodeJS was introduced in 2009 as a server-side platform. It has only been 12 years and has grown rapidly in popularity.

This software facilitates the development of networking tools and web-based servers using different modules and JavaScript.

 Also, it can manage a host of core functions and offers a plethora of modules that can assist in minimizing the complications when writing server applications with APIs.

NodeJS is massively supported by the Linux, macOS, and Windows operating systems.

Node Version Manager (NVM)

NVM is a tool that aids in efficiently handling different Node versions and offers a quick way to install Node.

Similar to Yarn or NPM, it also facilitates the management of Node packages; however, the Node version manager manages Node versions rather than packages.

It implies that you can install different Node versions on the machine and can further switch between them as required.

The significance of Node package manager

It’s no big deal for developers to work with version 12 of Node while doing a project that involves hosting and subsequently completing it.

While everything is working seamlessly, a feature may need upgrading in a few months.

To continue downloading, run yarn install or npm install. Node modules may result in errors in deprecated packages.

Also, sometimes a higher version of Node can be put to good use when a project needs an older version.

For instance, you can use an SPF solution or SPFx application that runs on Node LTS version 14 while working with other Node applications.

With Nvm, you can easily switch between different node versions. Every Node project has requirements for the version it supports.

NodeJS different versions

There’s an official website for NodeJS where you can find two different NodeJS versions, including the latest feature option and the one recommended for most users.

LTS Version

The LTS version stands for the Long-Time Support version, in which the software release is maintained for a longer period. Most users are advised to use the LTS version.

New versions of NodeJS involve enhanced performance, the latest features, and bug fixes.

The versions of NodeJS are represented with x, y, and z, where x is used to depict the significant or major changes and others are used to depict the minor changes.

An LTS version of NodeJS is an even-numbered NodeJS version.

The versions are used to execute the project and deploy it further into the production environment.

Furthermore, the LTS version highly emphasizes reliability and application stability at a larger scale.

It is worth noting that, in addition to the LTS version, there is another NodeJS version available on the NodeJS official website.

However, the current version is not for you. It is only for library authors who use NodeJS in their libraries. NodeJS is used by many applications, including React, Vue, Gulp, Webpack, Jest, and others.

That is, current odd-numbered versions, such as 13. x.x, are intended for library maintainers.

To ensure high compatibility when releasing any major, the library owners have six months to fix the changes in the tool.

However, after the expiration of six months, the odd version is no longer supported.

The even-numbered version has now entered the LTS line and will be used in production.

You can easily determine the NodeJS version and the working with the NodeJS LTS.

Current version

You’ll notice on the Node download page that there are two versions, the LTS, and the current

You would look forward to downloading the latest version of the software to use it. However, this version isn’t for the users but rather for the library authors.

NodeJS is innately used to create a wide range of applications. Node is now widely used not only by backend developers but also by frontend tool developers.

NodeJS is massively used by tons of tools that make it relatively simple to compile, involving Browserify, Webpack, and Gulp.

 It’s also used by front-end frameworks such as Angular, React, and Vue. In addition, testing frameworks such as Enzyme, Jest, and Mocha also make the best use of recent npm features in Node.

With every new release of Node, the library owners have around six months to make the tools compatible with new updates and features by instantly downloading them.

In a nutshell, the current odd-numbered Node JS versions such as 13. x.x, 15. x.x, 17. x.x, and more are aimed at tool maintainers.

The odd-numbered versions become unsupported after 6 months, so using them for development is pointless.

The even-numbered versions involve 12. x.x, 14. x.x and 16. x.x will enter the LTS, or long-term support, phase after the first six months have passed and library authors have had enough time to test and implement new features into their tools.

When you have access to an LTS version, you can be confident that all of your favorite NPM tools have been tested and are supported by this version of Node.

So, if you are developing a production application, you will receive support for at least the next two years. During this time, the LTS version guarantees that the software will be maintained and critical bugs will be fixed.

In essence, if you build a strong grasp on NodeJS 16 now, you will be easily able to deploy this version of a production app by 2024.

What features get better with NodeJS releases
What features get better with NodeJS releases?

What features get better with NodeJS releases?

The focus of new Node versions is on speed, stability, feature updates, and bug fixes.

Undeniably, NodeJS has become more powerful and better with the release of each new version.

For instance, if you look at Node version 10, you’ll notice that it’s twice as fast as version 6, causing developers to gravitate toward the most recent version.

Node must keep up with new features and improvements because it is built on other technologies such as the V8 engine and the ECMA script.

1. JavaScript features

As new JavaScript features emerge every year, it is critical to stay current with the language and incorporate them into the Node runtime.

Node JS does not support all of the most recent JS features. With each new node update, more and more new JavaScript features are added to the runtime environment.

2. V8 engine

V8 is the JavaScript engine used by Google Chrome, as well as the engine used to run code in the Node JS runtime.

With new V8 engine updates, it is critical to bring the same level of code execution to Node JS. As a result, the Node team will incorporate new versions of V8 into the Node JS runtime.

Key aspects

Although you should use the most recent LTS version of the Node JS runtime, you will frequently come across old Node versions in apps or used in old tutorials.

The following are the key aspects of Node versions:

1. Async Await

Node 8 introduced Async Await. You can use the special keywords async and await in functions to make them wait for promises.

 It’s a more straightforward way to use promises in your JS code.

Node 10 now has a promisified fs module, where fs enables reading and writing to the file system as a node module.

Earlier, the developers had to use callbacks to interact with the file system module, but in Node 10, they have the option of promiscuous FS.

2. ES6

The ability to use the modern ES6 version is perhaps the most important update for a JavaScript developer.

Node 6 includes the new ECMAScript 6, which represents a significant improvement over JavaScript.

In today’s web development, not being able to code in ES6 is considered baseless. So, if you come across a Node tutorial, make sure it’s version 6 or higher.

If you’ve used both React and Node, you’ll notice that in Node, you use the required method to include a module, whereas, in React, you use import.

This is because Node JS is still lagging in terms of implementing the most recent JavaScript features.

Node 12 introduced the experimental use of import and export modules. By the time you use Node 14, you will be able to use them without any hassle.

How to hire the right NodeJS developers?

Responsibilities

To ensure that you hire a NodeJS developer who is a good fit, the developer must be well-versed in NodeJS-based services.

A qualified and skilled NodeJS developer will know how to exchange data in a more synchronized and consistent manner.

The following are the full responsibilities and required skills for a NodeJS developer:

All server-side network elements must be deployed and managed. Ensure optimal front-end response time and central database performance.

Collaborate with front-end developers to integrate components. Build a UI for users and backend services.

The ability to write reusable, testable, and efficient code is necessary to develop robot applications.

Implement appropriate safety protocols, data security measures, and storage     solutions.

Execute tests to correct flaws and provide technical support. Database schemas are included in report operations.

Hire-Nodejs-Developer
Hire Nodejs Developer

Improve processes and technologies by providing advice, making recommendations, and carrying them out. Be updated with the latest developments in NodeJS and technology.

Besides, a NodeJS developer should understand how the technology works in general and in various scenarios.

1. Adept at NodeJS

A developer should have a minimum of 3–4 years of experience in NodeJS and have also worked on a few prominent NodeJS projects.

 It will be the cherry on top of the selected NodeJS developer who has made a significant contribution to the NodeJS community regarding patches and bug fixes.

Their active participation and contributions to NodeJS projects demonstrate a thorough understanding of NodeJS internals, as well as a strong interest in bespoke software and web application development.

2.  Decent knowledge of front-end technologies

When end users use an application, they see what is known as “front-end development.” In addition, the developer must be well-versed in the development and front-end architecture, such as CSS and HTML5.

3. Strong expertise in NodeJS frameworks

Frameworks are critical to NodeJS because they extend the features of NodeJS. There are numerous NodeJS frameworks to choose from. Hence, the NodeJS developer team you hire must be familiar with all of them.

Express is considered the most popular and likable framework by NodeJS developers. Hence, it’s the basic framework with which every NodeJS developer should be acquainted.

Derby, Sinatra, Meteor, Keystone.js, StrongLoop, and Rails are some prominent examples of full-stack MVC frameworks.

4. Asynchronous programming

NodeJS is a non-blocking, asynchronous programming technology, which means that request processing time is significantly reduced.

The combined use of two or more functions enables developers to become more efficient and productive.

However, because asynchronous programming is still in its early stages, there are some nuances that every developer should be aware of.

Developers will be unable to proceed unless they fully comprehend the workarounds.

5. Well-Versed with API and RESTFUL API

Every NodeJS developer should be able to deduce and apply existing API codes to projects.

Having a thorough understanding of creating custom Restful APIs necessitates dealing with interactions across multiple applications.

6. Familiar with authorization, data protection, and user authentication

A NodeJS developer should be familiar with user authentication and authorization across multiple servers, systems aiding the development of extremely secure online apps.

In today’s digital age, security has also become a more complicated issue. Data protection solutions minimize the risk of data theft, security breaches, and hacking.

7. Data schema and adequate problem solving skills

Database management is the most important skill for developing successful applications because it describes and aids business operations through integration into a single system.

It’s essential and is used by NodeJS developers to develop applications that can effectively be used for any business operation.

Error management is a critical component of developing dependable software and applications.

 NodeJS developers must understand when to crash, log an error, continue, and try again.

Any NodeJS developer should be able to solve basic problems such as troubleshooting and syntax manipulation.

8. Write code efficient

To be readable, code must be object-oriented. Some web developers and programmers write code that only they understand, making it difficult for the team’s other developers to understand and update or change their work.

Make sure the NodeJS developer you’re hiring follows industry best practices to ensure consistency of work and can effectively write the codes.

If they’re not, it may hamper the overall team productivity and eventually the project’s success. Who would desire that?

FAQ

What are the different versions NodeJS?

LTS Version
Current Version

What features get better with NodeJS releases?


The focus of new Node versions is on speed, stability, feature updates, and bug fixes.
1. JavaScript features
2. V8 engine

Conclusion

NodeJS has different types of users, such as the library authors, the open source contributors, and the regular developers.

Hence, it has two different versions on its official website. However, the recent version of LTS is a safe bet for Node. It’s wise to make the best use of it!

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