Every builder has a set of inputs, tools, and techniques to simplify the process. When making a house, a contractor doesn’t start off with fresh cut timber logs on the empty plot of land and just their bare hands. They start off with many prefabricated parts and tools like drywall, plaster, hammers, nails and even a blueprint.

Node is an Open Source project and platform that provides a software engineer with tools to build applications using the JavaScript programming language. Using Node, an engineer can make a website, a content management system, a cloud based image uploading tool, basically anything that can be done with software, can be done in Node using JavaScript.

Node is most popular to build web servers, pieces of software that respond to HTTP requests and drive websites. It’s particularly suited for something called “real time” applications. That’s applications that need to have data updated constantly, like the feed of everything that Tim Cook is saying at the next iPhone release event or a dashboard that displays all of the immediate ups and downs of the stock market.

One of Node’s special features is the ease with which it allows is users to share code and functionality. Using Node’s built in “node package manager” or npm, it is very easy for one engineer to create a tool that can very quickly and easily be shared by other members of their team or by anyone in the world.