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Which is better for backend web development: Node.js or Django?

Thursday, 23 November 2017

/ by xclusivefx Channels
I have professional experience in both, though I just recently started Django development about 2 months ago. A more analogous case to Django would be ExpressJS, since both are web frameworks. NodeJS is a runtime environment that allows you to run javascript on the backend, so the comparison in language would be python vs Javascript/Node.
I’ll break it down by language:
Scalability
Both kind of suck in this category. Python and Javascript are a massive pain to maintain and refactor. It’s best to split up your codebase into as small of apps as possible, each with a specific functionality. NodeJS probably wins in this category because the apps are substantially smaller and more modular.
Performance
NodeJS’s runtime is naturally much faster than Python’s. Both can be considered extremely fast when you consider the fact that Python can very seamlessly integrate C/C++ code when necessary using the Cython compiler. This is not always a good choice or even an option in some python codebases, but most of the time it’s at least a solid path.
Package/Library Support
Both are really damn good at this in my experience. NodeJS’ packages are much less consistent and requires more thought before use. That being said, installing and integrating packages in either one will give you a new perspective on modern day programming and web development. You realize you can do stuff in a safer, faster, more reliable way in a fraction of development time by using someone else’s pre-made library or package to do the heavy lifting for you. Python still has the major edge as it’s more mature (and so are its users).
Now I’ll compare Django to common JS frameworks:
Learning curve
Django was a beast for me to learn even after lots of python and web development experience. The model/queryset system is funky and even the concepts of apps inside of your project can be confusing from a project architecture point of view. Express is much simpler and can be learned basically overnight. You can tell it was much more well thought out in regards to leveraging the runtime/language behaviors rather than fighting it. Koa and Sails are also very simple and leave it up to the programmer to plan things out.
Speed of development
I don’t have enough experience building websites with JS to give too strong an opinion on this, but from what I’ve seen, Express is going to be much quicker while you’re learning but Django is great for reusing parts of your projects in new projects. Both Express and Django are designed to be extremely fast to develop in, but that is completely dependent on the framework.

Node.js is comparatively new to the game, so a lot of time you'll be breaking new ground with it. It's not a bad thing though, Node.js has learnt from the mistakes of other languages (including Django, .NET, PHP ,Java), and had little legacy crud. Node.js will probably have a bit of an edge where you have a lot of small connections. If you're using a lot of Ajax on your pages, and doing a lot of asynchronous calls per page, or using web sockets or similar long connections, Node.js will work better.
So I would suggest to opt for NodeJS. Node.js is an environment built on top of JavaScript
While they are both meant for server-side programming and they are intended to accomplish the same things, Node.js is the way to go.
Here’s why:
  1. Node is faster.
  2. Node’s package manager (npm) is more extensive.
  3. Node’s use isn’t limited to a webserver. See Meteor.
  4. Node makes non-blocking I/O seemless. I promise.
  5. Node + React = Beautiful.
Node.js is a revolutionary technology, making it a hot skill to possess for the immediate and near future of modern web application development. Node.js ensures high performance and better responsive features for website from server side to front-end. This has led to Node.js developers being in high demand by the industry which has surpassed all major web development frameworks present in the market like PHP, .NET, Django, etc. This rise and trend can be seen from graph below and here
So I would suggest to opt for Node.js rather than Django.
There are so many options available online to start your learning. But if you are looking to start your career in this particular domain then I would say you can go for below mentioned platforms:
  • e-books and books can be a good way to learn anything new but it would lack the interaction and learning experience.
  • Youtube is also used by many to acquire new skills and learn new things. But the interaction is one-way and there would be no motivation to learn without any benefit.
  • MOOCs like edWisor.com , Udacity , Udemy , etc but you should opt for one where you may learn new skills as well as practice as per industry standard and create something which may actually get one a job which is one thrive for.

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