11 Useful NPM Packages Every Web Developer Should Know

11 Useful NPM Packages Every Web Developer Should Know
October 23, 2023

Building web applications can be complex, but with the right tools, it becomes simpler. These tools, called packages, can do everything from cleaning up our code to protecting data.

In this article, we will explore some of the most useful NPM packages that every web developer should know. Let's get started!

1. lodash

Lodash is a versatile JavaScript utility library that provides functions to tackle common programming tasks. It follows a functional programming design that emphasizes immutable data and avoiding side effects. This makes lodash methods predictable and consistent across applications.

The main benefit of lodash is the modular architecture. Rather than providing one massive utility library, lodash is split into smaller modules that can be included independently.

This allows you to only include the specific helpers needed for your project to reduce bundle size. Useful modules include those for arrays, collections, numbers, objects, strings and more. Lodash methods are also optimized for performance with techniques like avoiding slower for loops.

Link: https://www.npmjs.com/package/lodash

2. Axios

The Axios library simplifies HTTP requests in browsers and Node.js with a promise-based API. It provides automatic transforms for request/response data like JSON stringification and parsing.

Other key features include interceptors, cancellation tokens, XSRF protection, timeouts and upload progress. With simple syntax like get() and post(), Axios makes sending requests seamless.

The promises interface works great with async/await for asynchronous code. Overall, Axios reduces boilerplate code and allows focusing on using request/response data rather than preparing it. The robust feature set works effortlessly across environments to make HTTP communication quick and easy in modern JavaScript.

Link: https://www.npmjs.com/package/axios

3. eslint

ESLint is an open-source JavaScript linting utility. Code linting is a type of static analysis designed to identify and report on problematic patterns found in code. ESLint helps developers write code following best practices and standards, and it's highly configurable to your specific needs.

Link: https://www.npmjs.com/package/eslint

4. prettier

Prettier is an opinionated code formatter that enforces a consistent code style by parsing your code and re-printing it with its own rules. It takes care of the formatting, allowing developers to focus on coding logic.

Link: https://www.npmjs.com/package/prettier

5. bcryptjs

Bcrypt.js is a library to help hash passwords. It's a password-hashing function designed to be computationally intensive to resist brute-force attacks. Bcrypt.js is useful when you need to securely store user passwords.

Link: https://www.npmjs.com/package/bcryptjs

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6. uuid

The 'uuid' library is used to create universally unique identifiers. It supports the generation of various types of UUIDs, such as time-based and random, which can be used for creating unique keys, identifiers, or any other case where unique strings are needed.

Link: https://www.npmjs.com/package/uuid

7. fs-extra

Fs-extra adds file system methods that aren't included in the native Node.js 'fs' module. It is a drop-in replacement for 'fs' and includes methods for copying directories, removing directories recursively, and more.

Link: https://www.npmjs.com/package/fs-extra

8. shelljs

ShellJS is a portable Unix shell commands for Node.js. It provides a way for developers to use Unix system commands within a Node.js application, helping in automating various system tasks.

Link: https://www.npmjs.com/package/shelljs

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9. Nodemon

Nodemon is a utility that monitors for any changes in your source code and automatically restarts your server. It's designed to speed up development in Node.js based applications.

Link: https://www.npmjs.com/package/nodemon

10. chalk

Chalk is a Node.js library that provides a simple and easy-to-use interface for applying styles, such as colors and background colors, to terminal strings. It helps to create more readable logs.

Link: https://www.npmjs.com/package/chalk

11. dotenv

Dotenv is a module that loads environment variables from a `.env` file into `process.env`. This helps in creating project-specific environment variables that shouldn't be shared with the public.

Link: https://www.npmjs.com/package/dotenv

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