Top 5 Companies Developing in Node.js and Why

Daniil Kopilevych
Daniil Kopilevych
Marketing Manager
Apr 11, 2018 6 min read
Technology
Technology Apr 11, 2018 6 min read

Since the initial release of Node.js in 2009, this environment has definitely carved its niche in the enterprises. Business giants are using it for their websites and applications, and prove that the hype about Node.js is not a fluke. And, more and more companies are joining the league on their ways to top-notch products. Node.js is definitely winning a marathon now.

Let’s get to the list of the big players who use Node.js for their products. But, before we ring the curtain up, let us first look at the biggest strengths of Node.js.

Is it really a game changer?

Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform runtime environment, written in JavaScript, the most popular programming language in the world. It is created for building fast and scalable network applications. Node.js has been a real blessing for giants like Uber and Netflix, since its launch, thanks to the numerous benefits it provides:

  • Extremely comfortable to work with
  • High scalability
  • Executing the code on the server side (on their computers or straight in a browser)
  • Quicker development cycles
  • Lightning fast speed of processing
  • Thriving open-source community

If you are going to launch a new product, here is a list of 7 benefits Node.js provides for startups.

Alright, let’s now get to the list of the biggest companies that used Node.js in production and see what the reason was behind choosing it.

Famous apps built with Node.js you surely know and use:

1. PayPal

PayPal is one of the world’s largest and the most trusted services for paying, sending money and accepting payments. The platform allows its users to interact with each other virtually, without involving debit or credit card disclosure. For November 2017, PayPal has over 200 million active accounts.

Interestingly, Node.js was not the go-to technology for Paypal from the very start. According to @paypaleng, their initial concern was the segmented teams: those who code separately for a browser (using HTML, CSS and JavaScript), and those who code for server applications (using Java). Thus, the boundary between the browser and the server was the primary blocker.

The solution was to use JavaScript for writing both browser and server applications, and, therefore, uniting their engineering specialties into one team.

“Like many others, we slipped Node.js in the door as a prototyping platform. Also like many others, it proved extremely proficient and we decided to give it a go on production,”
said
Jeff Harrel, Senior Director of Payments Products and Engineering at PayPal.

Image source: PayPal

Benefits of Node.js for PayPal:

  • Node.js app for PayPal was built 2 times faster with fewer people working on it, as compared to the previous Java based app
  • Doubled request per second
  • 35% decrease in the average response time for the same page
  • 33% fewer lines of code
  • 40% fewer files

2. Uber

Uber is a global transportation company, headquartered in San Francisco, CA. The company is doubling in size every 6 months, operates in 6 continents, 68 countries, 633 cities worldwide. Since its launch in 2012, Uber has become one of the most recognized alternatives to a traditional taxi. Therefore, Uber needs a platform that will keep running no matter what.

Their app connects driver-partners and riders, thus, it has to process enormous amount of information at a fast-growing scale. Uber chose Node.js to build its massive matching system due to its ability to keep up with the pace of Uber’s huge business needs and enhanced data processing capabilities.

“Node.js is particularly well-suited to writing systems that have all their state in memory,” said Kris Kowal, Software Engineer at Uber. “They do not have to externalize the concerns of a distributed system. As a consequence, the systems can be more available, and they can respond more quickly to requests by eliminating the reading/writing and the serialization of state into a database.”

Image source: Uber

Benefits of Node.js for Uber:

  • Quick and reliable processing of extreme amount of data
  • Elimination of errors without the need to restart
  • Quick deployment of the new code
  • Strong open source community that constantly develops new solutions

3. LinkedIn

Despite the fact that many consider LinkedIn as old-fashioned and outdated, it is still the most popular business-oriented social network and a convenient tool for successful employment. LinkedIn has 467 million users from over 200 countries. In 2016 Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26 billion.

LinkedIn decided to replace their synchronous Ruby on Rails mobile app, in which clients used to make several calls for a single page, with an asynchronous evented system. Therefore, they made up their mind on Node.js due to its scalability and performance efficiency. And, Node.js satisfied their expectations.

Image source: LinkedIn

“Writing code in Node.js also encourages you to think in certain ways. Node provides an evented system with a single process which executes multiple requests. It has no concept of thread-locals forcing you to make your code stateless and modular. Although Node has added support for domains; it is mostly untested for high qps services.” said Deepank Gupta, Senior Software Engineer at LinkedIn.

Benefits of Node.js for LinkedIn:

  • 10x reduction in the number of machines for service hosting
  • Servers cut from 30 to 3
  • Doubled traffic capacity
  • Much better performance and lowered memory overhead
  • New mobile app is up to 20x faster in some scenarios
  • Front-end and back-end mobile teams combined into a single unit
  • Enough headroom remains to handle 10x current levels of resource utilization

4. Ebay

eBay is one of the world’s largest marketplaces, offering consumer-to-consumer and business-to consumer internet sales services. It has 183 million active users, and operates in 37 countries.

The main problems the giant faced were scalability and huge traffic. eBay engineers considered different solutions to tackle these technical challenges, and, after tough internal debates, finally chose Node.js.

“We had two primary requirements for the project. First was to make the application as real time as possible–i.e., maintain live connections with the server. Second was to orchestrate a huge number of eBay-specific services that display information on the page–i.e., handle I/O-bound operations. Now we had our Node.js web service running in various stable environments. This whole deployment setup was quicker and simpler than we had expected.” said Senthil Padmanabhan, Principal Web Engineer at eBay.

Image source: Ebay

Benefits of Node.js for eBay:

  • Speed and simplicity
  • Seamless and easy deployment
  • Single threading
  • Meeting the main requirement: “Automate the process, build once, and deploy everywhere”

5. Netflix

Netflix is the world’s biggest provider of streaming media and video-on-demand, including movies and television series. The service is available in more than 190 countries. In 2013, Netflix expanded into film and television production and online distribution, as well as production of their own original programming. In the third quarter of 2017, Netflix had over 109 million streaming subscribers worldwide.

Netflix had a stable and full-featured application, and they wanted to make it modular and lightweight, reduce complexities, and power user interfaces specifically, while at the same time leverage their existing infrastructure. That is why they decided to shift the whole user interface to Node.js. Node.js runtime has proved to be so efficient, so the Netflix team is even moving data access layers to it.

“Node was a really attractive option for us, because it aligned well with the skills of the UI engineers,” said Kim Trott, Director of User Interface Engineering at Netflix.

Image source: Netflix

Benefits of Node.js for Netflix:

  • Startup time of the new application reduced by 70%
  • Streamlined development
  • Cut build times
  • Increased level of customization for each user

Set your product up for the future with Node.js

If you are tempted by these amazing success stories, it’s high time for you to adopt Node.js for your next product.
Among the reasons that will convince you further are:

  • High performance and scalability
  • Versatility
  • Fast development process
  • Proxy server ability
  • Efficient use of the code
  • Removed need for different languages
  • Non-blocking I/O paradigm
  • Unified database queries (JSON format)
  • Smooth implementation of changes
  • Incredible speed of processing
  • Data streaming (HTTP requests and responses as a single event)
  • Fast and easy testing of new features
  • Possibilty to build front-end and back-end of an app
  • The app and the server are always connected
  • The app can handle increasing number of connections
  • Possibilities of giant open-source community and NPM repository (over 60.000 modules)