The Lack of NodeJS Tutorials That Don't Rely On ExpressJS

This summer I started learning about servers (and code in general) for the first time. I downloaded Node and began trying to build a bare-bones back-end that would connect to a MongoDB database and let me build a project that I could use to apply to Hack Reactor. The trick is, I wanted to build it without a framework.

For people new to this whole thing (which includes my self a month or two ago) I'll explain what a framework is. A framework is a code structure that you start out with and build projects on instead of literally writing everything from scratch yourself. The way apps are structured often falls into one of a few patterns, and a framework will wire up a basic outline of that pattern for you, as well as give you some added functionality that makes continuing to build on that pattern easier.

The major frameworks for Node are Express, Backbone, Angular, Meteor, and Ember. Express is one of the more popular ones used to get beginners up and running, I've haven't used it yet myself, but I have seen enough to know that most of the resources teaching beginners about Node assume they are also using Express.

But that's not a good thing. If you skip to frameworks, you miss learning exactly how Node apps are structured. I'm still learning that myself, but I'm going to put some links here for resources I found helpful and devote future blog posts to my own efforts to learn Node without a framework.


The Node Beginner's Book by Manuel Kiessling This is a e-book that you will have to pay $5-10 for (I know! I didn't want to do that either. But I was desperate and this book was totally worth it. There are a few pages you can check out for free on the website, too.) His follow-up, the Node Craftsman Book, was not as helpful for me.

Learn All The Nodes This is a series of video tutorials that has some free ones then others you'll have to pay for. Looks like a lot of them are free though.  This is a new resource -- I don't think it was fully up and running even a few months ago when I needed it, but now that I am looking at it again it looks pretty nice. Their second video about setting up a simple app looks handy.

I've written one post in this vein: Example of HTTP Request to MongoDB Database Without ExpressJS.

More resources to come...maybe from me!

Written on December 24, 2015