Node.js Interview Preparation Guide
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Node.js frequently Asked Questions by expert members with experience in Node.js. These questions and answers will help you strengthen your technical skills, prepare for the new job test and quickly revise the concepts

15 Node.js Questions and Answers:

1 :: What is Node.js?

Node.js is a software platform for scalable server-side and networking applications. Node.js applications are written in JavaScript, and can be run within the Node.js runtime on Mac OS X, Windows and Linux with no changes.
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2 :: Explain Node.js Architecture?

There are four building blocks that constitute Node.js. First, Node.js encapsulates libuv to handle asynchronous events and Google’s V8 to provide a run-time for JavaScript. Libuv is what abstracts away all of the underlying network and file system functionality on both Windows and POSIX-based systems like Linux, Mac OS X and Unix. The core functionality of Node.js, modules like Assert, HTTP, Crypto, etc., reside in a core library written in JavaScript. The Node.js bindings, written in C++, provide the glue connecting these technologies to each other and to the operating system.
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3 :: What tools and IDEs are used for Node.js?

IDEs (editor, debugger, linter)

► Atom (free open-source)
► Nodeclipse Enide Studio (free open-source, Eclipse-based)
► JetBrains WebStorm (commercial)
► JetBrains IntelliJ IDEA (commercial)
► Microsoft Visual Studio with TypeScript
► NoFlo – flow-based programming environment integrated with GNOME APIs
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4 :: How to get started with Node.js?

First, learn the core concepts of Node.js:

You'll want to understand the asynchronous coding style that Node encourages.

Async != concurrent. Understand Node's event loop!

Node uses CommonJS-style require() for code loading; it's probably a bit different from what you're used to.

Familiarize yourself with Node's standard library.

Then, you're going to want to see what the community has to offer:

The gold standard for Node package management is NPM.

It is a command line tool for managing your project's dependencies.

Make sure you understand how Node and NPM interact with your project via the node_modules folder and package.json.

NPM is also a registry of pretty much every Node package out there

Finally, you're going to want to know what some of the more popular packages are for various tasks:

Useful Tools for Every Project:

Underscore contains just about every core utility method you want.
CoffeeScript makes JavaScript considerably more bearable, while also keeping you out of trouble!
Caveat: A large portion of the community frowns upon it. If you are writing a library, you should consider regular JavaScript, to benefit from wider collaboration.

Unit Testing:

Mocha is a popular test framework.
Vows is a fantastic take on asynchronous testing, albeit somewhat stale.
Expresso is a more traditional unit testing framework.
node-unit is another relatively traditional unit testing framework.

Web Frameworks:

Express is by far the most popular framework.
Meteor bundles together jQuery, Handlebars, Node.js, websockets, mongoDB, and DDP and promotes convention over configuration without being a Rails clone.
Tower is an abstraction of top of Express that aims to be a Rails clone.
Geddy is another take on web frameworks.
RailwayJS is a Ruby-on-Rails inspired MVC web framework.
SailsJS is a realtime MVC web framework.
Sleek.js is a simple web framework, built upon express.js.
Hapi is a configuration-centric framework with built-in support for input validation, caching, authentication, etc.
Koa Koa is a new web framework designed by the team behind Express, which aims to be a smaller, more expressive, and more robust foundation for web applications and APIs.

Web Framework Tools:

Jade is the HAML/Slim of the Node world
EJS is a more traditional templating language.
Don't forget about Underscore's template method!

Networking:

Connect is the Rack or WSGI of the Node world.
Request is a very popular HTTP request library.
socket.io is handy for building WebSocket servers.

Command Line Interaction:

Optimist makes argument parsing a joy.
Commander is another popular argument parser.
Colors makes your CLI output pretty.
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5 :: Tell me what is the purpose of Node.js module.exports and how do you use it?

module.exports is the object that's actually returned as the result of a require call.

The exports variable is initially set to that same object (i.e. it's a shorthand "alias"), so in the module code you would usually write something like this:

var myFunc1 = function() { ... };
var myFunc2 = function() { ... };
exports.myFunc1 = myFunc1;
exports.myFunc2 = myFunc2;

to export (or "expose") the internally scoped functions myFunc1 and myFunc2.

And in the calling code you would use:

var m = require('mymodule');
m.myFunc1();

where the last line shows how the result of require is (usually) just a plain object whose properties may be accessed.
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6 :: Is Node.js on multi-core machines?

Yes, Node.js is one-thread-per-process. This is a very deliberate design decision and eliminates the need to deal with locking semantics. If you don't agree with this, you probably don't yet realize just how insanely hard it is to debug multi-threaded code. For a deeper explanation of the Node.js process model and why it works this way (and why it will NEVER support multiple threads), read my other post.
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7 :: Tell me how to decide when to use Node.js?

You did a great job of summarizing what's awesome about Node.js. My feeling is that Node.js is especially suited for applications where you'd like to maintain a persistent connection from the browser back to the server. Using a technique known as "long-polling", you can write an application that sends updates to the user in real time. Doing long polling on many of the web's giants, like Ruby on Rails or Django, would create immense load on the server, because each active client eats up one server process. This situation amounts to a tarpit attack. When you use something like Node.js, the server has no need of maintaining separate threads for each open connection.
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8 :: Can we use jQuery with Node.js?

No. It's going to be quite a big effort to port a browser environment to node.

Another approach, that I'm currently investigating for unit testing, is to create "Mock" version of jQuery that provides callbacks whenever a selector is called.

This way you could unit test your jQuery plugins without actually having a DOM. You'll still have to test in real browsers to see if your code works in the wild, but if you discover browser specific issues, you can easily "mock" those in your unit tests as well.

I'll push something to github.com/felixge once it's ready to show.
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9 :: How to extract POST data in node.js?

If you use Express (High performance, high class web development for Node.js), you can do this:

HTML:

<form method="post" action="/">
<input type="text" name="user[name]">
<input type="text" name="user[email]">
<input type="submit" value="Submit">
</form>

Javascript:

app.use(express.bodyParser();

app.post('/', function(request, response){

console.log(request.body.user.name);
console.log(request.body.user.email);

});
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10 :: Tell me how to make an HTTP POST request in node.js?

This gets a lot easier if you use the request library.

var request = require('request');

request.post(
'http://www.abcsite.com/formpage',
{ form: { key: 'value' } },
function (error, response, body) {
if (!error && response.statusCode == 200) {
console.log(body)
}
}
);

Aside from providing a nice syntax it makes json requests easy, handles oauth signing (for twitter, etc.), can do multi-part forms (e.g. for uploading files) and streaming.
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