As someone looking to get into backend development, you might find yourself wondering whether you should choose Django or Node as your framework. In this article, we discuss the pros and cons of each. Both have been around for a while and have lots of support available on the internet with the backings of huge communities. However, they’re each suited to slightly different purposes, and this article will help you decide what’s right for you.
What is back-end development?
Before you understand Node.js vs. Django you first need to understand the difference between front-end vs. back-end programming.
In short, back-end development languages handle the ‘behind-the-scenes’ functionality of various applications – be they websites, mobile apps, desktop software, etc. Back-end code that connects the web to a database, manages user connections, and powers the web application itself. Back-end development works together with the front-end to deliver the final product to the end user.
The backend of an application is responsible for things like intensive calculations, business logic, database interactions, and performance.
Most of the code that is required to make an application work will be done on the backend. The back-end code is run on the server, as opposed to the client. This makes the applications more secure and allows for data validation in a manner that isn’t possible with frontend code.
What is Node?
Node was created in 2009 by developer Ryan Dahl, and has been continuously maintained by Node.js foundation. Node.js is known for its high performance and great availability of libraries (although this is sometimes considered a downside by some – since it’s sometimes hard to choose one out of dozens of libraries for a particular task).
What is NPM?
Node has a really popular package manager (What’s that? A package manager is a collection of software tools that makes your life easier. A package manager helps you install, upgrade, configure, and remove libraries of code). Node’s package manager is called “npm” (Node Package Manager).
However, the concept of asynchronous programming is often difficult to work with for beginners. What’s asynchronous programming? In short, asynchronous programming is a means of programming in which code runs separately from the main application while seamlessly alerting the main applications of its completion, failure, and progress.
Finally, Node.js code is not great for CPU intensive apps due to its single thread restriction (wherein commands are processed one at a time).
What is Django?
Django is a Python-based free and open-source web framework, which follows the model-template-view (MTV) architectural pattern. What the hell does that mean? In short, its primary goal is to ease the creation of complex, database-driven websites. It’s a process for making website creation easy, maintainable, and scalable. Django emphasizes reusability and “pluggability” of components, less code, low coupling, and rapid development. It was created in 2005 by developers Adrian Holovaty and Simon Willison.
Django is also often favored because it’s written in Python, and people love Python. Pinterest, Instagram, and Zapier are just a few of the many companies using Django.
One thing to consider is that Django is enormous! Django might not be the best option for small-scale apps. If you’re already using Python and just getting started with a smaller application you’ll likely want to use Flask instead of Django.