Software frameworks have been around for a long time - minimizing the number of lines of code developers need to write, offering complex and sophisticated functionality right out of the box and making it easier to deploy Apps to servers. Many of these frameworks today revolve around programming languages and paradigms that have been around for a while - Ruby on Rails for Ruby, Django for Python, Drupal for PHP and the list goes on. Recently, however, web development underwent a paradigm shift with the introduction of Node.JS.
Express.JS is a minimalist framework that allows developers to create their own web servers using Node.JS. This means Express does not restrict you to follow a specific paradigm dictated by its documentation such as Angular or Rails. This flexibility enables the ability to create plugins that can easily be distributed to other developers. Express.JS can be installed using the Node Package Manager or NPM and provides a robust set of features that developers use to create RESTful API applications. Express comes with features such as routing and middleware right out of the box and makes it considerably easier to deploy production-ready servers.
Because of both routing and middleware being ready out of the box, Express has become a popular framework among Node.JS developers. Routing makes it easier to make URL based queries to REST APIs that would normally be more difficult without a framework. Additionally, middleware enables functionality in a streamlined way to allow servers to be created with seemingly built-in error handling with just one line of code. Middleware can enable the ability to parse JSON text, handle cookies, and parse the body of a request which would otherwise be difficult with native Node.JS. Several third-party plugins have also been created to allow OAuth functionality very easily.
Express.JS has almost 8 years of iteration it has been through and keeps improving. Its code base is open source with numerous developers contributing to it and other modules that may be created for it. Many companies have also started using Node.JS heavily in their development processes such as Oracle, Intel, PayPal, and Intuit. This growing popularity of Node.JS precedes years of continued adoption of it for developing web applications. With that adoption comes a need for a web framework like Express.JS which will continue to expand its functionality and third party plugins.
Programming Languages and Resources for Web Developers
JS coding is well suited for those interested in pursuing a career in web design and development; however, other options are mobile App design and development, system admin and software engineering. It is advisable to consult with an IT career counselor to understand what career options best fits your skills. For instance, if you want to be a software engineer, learning HTML and CSS might not fit the bill. Here is an excellent article for learning more on coding and technology career roadmap. Once you know what career path you wish to pursue, you can make a plan on what, when, and how to learn. There are lots of online resources for learning coding and technology in general. For teenagers and high school students, High School Technology Services offers variety of hands-on training. For adults and professionals, Coding Bootcamps and DC Web Makers Companies offer basic to advance project-based programming and technology classes.