The Node Summit, which focuses on Node.js for two days in late January, is packed with attendees, both of the suit-wearing and code-crunching variety. This first-ever conference on Node.js is bringing together these two sides of the Node.js coin for the first time.

Node.js is the combination of a server-side JavaScript container and an event-driven programming model. Developers build small components in JavaScript, then use them together to build services, which can include both client- and server-side JavaScript code. Because it favors JavaScript, Node.js developers have been heavily focused on building everything from scratch: the Web server, message queue, database; everything is being rewritten in JavaScript for Node.js usage.

Typically, most audiences with laptops open during conference talks are just Facebooking, checking work e-mail or IMing their friends. At even the geekiest of conferences, the most complex tasks you’ll see on audience screens is the IRC back-channel. At Node Summit, everyone except for the suits is coding. One attendee explained by asking a question of the initial talks: “Where’s the code?”

But a focus on the emerging market space and the emerging enterprise experiments with Node.js are understandable in a community that’s already been having monthly meet-ups around the world. They’ve had to: Node.js has thus far been all about rewriting the entire server-side of application architecture in JavaScript.

Ryan Dahl initially created the project as a way to bring the event-driven programming model to the Web. His initial forays into the world of server-side JavaScript were bolstered by the release of Google’s V8 JavaScript engine, creating a perfect-storm environment for server-side JavaScript to finally take off.

Enterprises move to adopt
Baz Khuti, CTO and vice president of engineering at Avocent Products and Services (a division of Emerson Network Power), said that he’s pushing Node.js inside his company’s offices around the world. He sees it as the future.

“We have deployed it to our universal management gateway, and we’re globally training our developers on it,” he said. “I just got back from India where I trained 200 developers, and took them through what Node is, what it means. I want our developers imagining what this technology could mean, and spread that word around our 72 divisions at Emerson.”

But Khuti also said that Node.js is still lacking in some areas, mainly the lack of community and enterprise interaction. And this is precisely the topic that Node Summit focused on: bringing enterprises and the Node community together.