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Before I start explaining WHY you really need NodeJS and NPM (Node Package Manager) on your machine NOW, lemme first share just why it’s a must, especially for a frontend developer like yourself.

Pain… explain(ed).

You see, I grew up in a world where CSS preprocessors were a myth. A great unknown. Nothing. Less… Sass… All these cool things didn’t exist. Everything we had at our disposal was plain CSS. Like this:

Yeeeeeyyy, that’s awesome! I could change the color of my text. Not so impressive once 2000s hit the door with a slam and wrecked their way into the web development world. Suddenly, websites required more. Oke, say I have a section (it was all divs back then) with an id of #hero and it had two areas that had to be 9to3 ratio and then different margins and padding and signup form and all that was to be ONLY for the specific #hero area? OK, game on:

Yeah. div#hero .right form #email is exactly what every developer loves to do. Then – SASS came in and everything was amazing… Your code could have looked like this now:

Much better, right? But we had to use pre-processor to use that, right? And how the heck can we do that?

Answer came to me when I found out about Gulp. Oh. My. God. I was instantly 10x faster on coding. Variables, mixins and all the cool stuff I always wanted to have when developing awesome looking web pages have opened another dimension for me in world of frontend development. NPM is the way to go! And lemme tour you down real quick how to install it, and you can check out my article on how to install Gulp in your project and start leveraging the awesomeness of today’s technologies, like Sass or Less.

Enter Node

First of all, if you’re on OS X or Windows,  the most painless method of installing NodeJS and & NPM is through their website.

node and npm home page

I recommend installing the LTS (long term support) version of Node, but if you feel bold to explore, go ahead and get the most recent (current) version. Keep in mind that having the LTS version pretty much guarantees that most of the packages are working.

Once you download the installer and run it, you’ll see that Node is checking out the space requirements… Which can take a few moments to complete.

Node Installer computing space requirements

Click next -> next -> next -> confirm and agree on terms -> next a few times, and installment will proceed. Windows might ask you to confirm and there you go. Node (and NPM alongside) should be ready to use on your computer.

You can go ahead and open up CMD or Terminal to check out if the installment was all good. To open CMD on Windows, press the windows key and start typing cmd, then click enter.

Check Node and NPM

You can type out those two commands to verify that Node and NPM are installed successfully! In the coming tutorials we’ll leverage the power of NPM and we’ll start to rock out hard at the modern frontend development!

Cheers, laddies!

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