“Computer science education cannot make anybody an expert programmer any more than studying brushes and pigment can make somebody an expert painter.”
- Eric S. Raymond -
The Node.js distributed development project, governed by the Node.js Foundation, is facilitated by the Linux Foundation's Collaborative Projects program.
Corporate users of Node.js software include IBM, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Netflix, PayPal, Rakuten, SAP, Voxer and Yahoo!.
Dahl was inspired to create Node.js after seeing a file upload progress bar on Flickr. The browser did not know how much of the file had been uploaded and had to query the Web server. Dahl desired an easier way.
Dahl criticized the limited possibilities of the most popular web server in 2009, Apache HTTP Server, to handle a lot of concurrent connections (up to 10,000 and more) and the most common way of creating code (sequential programming), when code either blocked the entire process or implied multiple execution stacks in the case of simultaneous connections.
In January 2010, a package manager was introduced for the Node.js environment called npm. The package manager makes it easier for programmers to publish and share source code of Node.js libraries and is designed to simplify installation, updating, and uninstallation of libraries.
In June 2011, Microsoft and Joyent implemented a native Windows version of Node.js. The first Node.js build supporting Windows was released in July 2011.
In January 2012, Dahl stepped aside, promoting coworker and npm creator Isaac Schlueter to manage the project. In January 2014, Schlueter announced that Timothy J. Fontaine would lead the project.
In February 2015, the intent to form a neutral Node.js Foundation was announced. By June 2015, the Node.js and io.js communities voted to work together under the Node.js Foundation.
In September 2015, Node.js v0.12 and io.js v3.3 were merged back together into Node v4.0. This brought V8 ES6 features into Node.js, and a long-term support release cycle. As of 2016, the io.js website recommends that developers switch back to Node.js and that no further releases of io.js are planned due to the merger.