Whether you are interested in Node.js or not there is a really excellent beginner “book” here.  What makes the tutorial/book so interesting, and valuable, is that you end up building a web server.  Granted, Node.js is doing all of the serving of the pages but the tutorial walks you through the request/response lifecycle. It feels like you are coding “close to the metal” of the server machine, and it’s all done using familiar javascript.

You get started with the ubiquitous Hello World example and work your way up to a router, request handlers, and everything else that goes into a website.  The steps are small and each one is explained quite well.  You don’t need to know javascript to do the tutorial, but it helps if you have used it a bit.

I haven’t done much coding with PHP so if you come from a PHP background, the tutorial may be old news.  However If you come from a Ruby on Rails background the tutorial really helps to tie together a lot of what we are doing in the config/routes file and how the MVC pattern works. At the very least, regardless of your background, it’s a great introduction to Node.js.

It’s like a lot of things: You don’t need to understand how it works in order to get by.  But if you understand how it works, you can use it better.  This tutorial does an excellent job showing you how a web server works.  And you get to learn Node.js in the process, what could be better!

Here is the link to the book again:


One thought on “Build-a-server

  1. Great find! I hadn’t heard of yet but it seems like a perfect follow-on to where they guide the student through a year’s worth of very easy to learn javascript programming tutorials. My 10 year old son is working through those lessons now and very much enjoying it.

    Thanks for the post 🙂

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