By June 28, 2018

Specializing in Node.js/Full Stack Development

In this video we're going to talk about specializing in Node.js or Full Stack Development.

“Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform JavaScript runtime environment for developing a diverse variety of tools and applications. Although Node.js is not a JavaScript framework, many of its basic modules are written in JavaScript, and developers can write new modules in JavaScript. The runtime environment interprets JavaScript using Google's V8 JavaScript engine.” (Source:

Due to its importance, it is understandable that it has become sort of a popular tool for programmers and software developers. However, just as it happens with lots of other tools, learning it can be very difficult.

There are a lot of information right now on the internet and trying to learn everything can be almost impossible if you go through all the literature of the language. So, what do you do to specialize in Node.js/Full Stack Development? What strategy can you use to make it work for you?

Transcript of The Video

John Sonmez: Hey, what’s up, John Sonmez from Today we’re going to talk about one of the most popular topics especially today, specialization this time specializing in node.js/—no jay ass, about node.js/full stack development. You can tell when I’ve been recording too many videos when I say no jay ass. Although sometimes I do think it’s no jay ass with all the plugins and additions they add to it, modules. It becomes so complicated. It’s no longer simple.

This question is from Drew. He says, “In the last few years JavaScript has experienced a boom thanks to Node.js, or no jay ass if you prefer, angular, react, etc. What would be the best thing to do for someone who has just finished a boot camp in regards to learning JavaScript? How do I specialize in Node.js and in building full stack applications? Really looking forward to your answer. Thanks for your work. Sincerely yours, Andrew.”

He’s got a bit of data here about what he’s done. Here’s what I would say about specializing or learning JavaScript coming out of the boot camp is first of all, don’t just try and learn JavaScript. I’ve talked about this a lot. What you want to do is you want to do is pick a specific stack that you’re going to work on. I’m not even going to talk about specializing. If you want to know about specializing, watch my playlist on specializing, but we’re not even going to talk about specializing. We’re just going to talk about just a practical standpoint because you need to niche down smaller than what I’m going to tell you now.

If you’re trying to learn JavaScript don’t learn “JavaScript” learn the idiomatic way to write JavaScript applications using whatever stack, using a particular stack. For example, I’m not all up on the JavaScripts these days, but there’s a mean stack, right? There’s a few different stacks. There’s a stack that involves React.js and what I mean by stack is that you’ve got the bottom level technology like Node.js and you’ve got a database like MongoDB and you’ve got a frontend framework like Angular or React. You’ve got the full thing so that you can develop an application.

Pick some slice and don’t just learn JavaScript, learn how to develop with that slice. What you want to do—anytime you’re trying to learn something, and you want to learn something from a practical standpoint, from a practical application and the closer you are to practical application the more it’s going to stick with you, the easier it’s going to be to learn. When you learn things in the abstract, when you learn things that are kind of amorphous it’s very difficult for you to understand and to apply that when you actually need to apply. It’s better instead to figure out something, a direct application and start—in order to learn this most effectively actually build an application.

All the time I tell people you want to learn X so you can do Y. Know what your Y is, pick the Y out ahead of time. Build an application so that there’s a reason for you learning this, because anything that you learn and you don’t have a reason why you’re learning it, you don’t have a why, you’re very, very likely to forget because you’re not able to apply that knowledge directly. A lot of learning, a lot of the deep understanding that you get from learning comes from applying knowledge directly to the Y. Pick out your Y.

My advice to you, just to sum it up, a simple advice here for someone coming out of boot camp wanting to learn JavaScript: Pick a stack, a very specific stack. Find someone teaching that stack or books on that stack or examples of building applications with that stack specifically and then build some kind of application, build some kind of side project, build something using that stack and then keep on doing that. That’s going to get you up to speed as fast as possible. Then you can branch out and you can learn some more frameworks and you can learn some more things, but start with something so that you can hit the ground running. You’ll be able to get a job faster. You’ll be able to be effective faster. You’ll be able to apply and understand the knowledge faster and then you can expand out.

If you have a question for me, you can email me at I would love to answer your question. If you like this video, if you want to get more videos like this one, go ahead and click the subscribe button below. I do about 2 to 3 videos a day. You don’t have to watch them all, but you can if you like. All right, I’ll talk to you next time. Take care.

About the author

John Sonmez

John Sonmez is the founder of Simple Programmer and a life coach for software developers. He is the best selling author of the book "Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual."