Sunday, July 31, 2011

LinkedIn Intern Hackday 2011 and Node.js

Yesterday I had the best birthday ever being part of the LinkedIn Intern Hackday.

First a little background of this this event:

Sponsored by LinkedIn, put together by Adam Nash and Jim Brikman.

Any intern in the Silicon Valley is invited. Just form a small group, come to LinkedIn Mountain View headquarters, and pull an all-nighter hacking up some awesomeness. From all the projects, we would pick top three in the likes of American Idol.

Interestingly, Node.js was a popular technology stack being used.


The momentum behind this technology is getting stronger and stronger. I see this trend continuing from the following aspects:

Pervasiveness of JavaScript:

JavaScript has become the de-facto programming language on the client-side. It fulfilled the void of writing complex programs in the browser where Java Applets failed.

As JavaScript matures, I see it become more and more pervasive on the server-side. Having a consistent language stack between client and server is desirable. With support for CommonJS by companies like Google, it does seem possible JavaScript being a strong contender in the server-side landscape.

Cloud Computing:

Cloud computing is here, where the cost of running a service on the cloud is measured by usage. Therefore squeezing every ounce to power from your machine instance is highly desirable. The philosophy of Node.js for asynchronous event handling makes a lot of sense in this environment. Because every bit of CPU starvation is costly, now measurable by $.


The tech trend is often set by the younger generation. The projects in this intern hackday collectively is a good sample of what the next generation of wiz's and geeks are going to work on. Node.js set a tone.


I spent sometime learning about Node.js and find although it is still very young, but its potential impact is going to be significant. I see someday it become a serious competition for Ruby/Rails and/or Python/Django.

I see server-side Java being pushed more towards the backend and eventually finding room in custom backends like NOSQL/Search systems.

I am picking up a JavaScript book and it is going to be exciting!

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