Get an overview of the chapter and some basic concepts.

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Why node.js?

Some principles and design patterns literally define the developer experience with the Node.js platform and its ecosystem. The most peculiar one is probably its asynchronous nature, which makes heavy use of asynchronous constructs such as callbacks and promises. In this introductory chapter, we’ll explore where Node.js gets its asynchronous behavior from. This is not just good-to-know theoretical information; knowing how Node.js works at its core will give us a strong foundation for understanding the reasoning behind more complex topics and patterns that we’ll cover later in the course.

Another important aspect that characterizes Node.js is its philosophy. Approaching Node.js is, in fact, far more than simply learning a new technology; it’s also embracing a culture and a community. We’ll see how this greatly influences the way we design our applications and components, and the way they interact with those created by the community.

In this chapter, we’ll learn about the following:

• The Node.js philosophy or the “Node way.”

• The reactor pattern—the mechanism at the heart of the Node.js asynchronous event-driven architecture.

• What it means to run JavaScript on the server compared to the browser.