10 Essential Ruby on Rails
Interview Questions*

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What is an error-first callback?

Error-first callbacks are used to pass errors and data as well. You have to pass the error as the first parameter, and it has to be checked to see if something went wrong. Additional arguments are used to pass data.

fs.readFile(filePath, function(err, data) { 
    if (err) { 
    // handle the error, the return is important here 
    // so execution stops here return 
    // use the data object 

What is the difference between global installation of dependencies and local installation of dependencies?

Global installation of dependencies are stored in /npm directory. While local installation of dependencies is stored in the local mode. Here local mode refers to the package installation in node_modules directory lying in the folder where Node application is present.

Globally deployed packages cannot be imported using require() in Node application directly. On the other hand locally deployed packages are accessible via require().

To install a Node project globally -g flag is used.

C:\Nodejs_WorkSpace>npm install express ?g 

To install a Node project locally, the syntax is:

C:\Nodejs_WorkSpace>npm install express

Can You Create HTTP Server In Nodejs, Explain The Code Used For It?

Yes, we can create HTTP Server in Node.js. We can use the <http-server> command to do so.

Following is the sample code.

var http = require('http');

var requestListener = function (request, response) {

response.writeHead(200, {'Content-Type': 'text/plain'});

response.end('Welcome Viewers\n');


var server = http.createServer(requestListener);

server.listen(8080); // The port where you want to start with.

What is npm? What is the main functionality of npm?

npm stands for Node Package Manager. Following are the two main functionalities of npm:

  • Online repositories for node.js packages/modules which are searchable on search.nodejs.org

  • Command line utility to install packages, do version management and dependency management of Node.js packages.

Why is Node.js Single-threaded?

Node.js is single-threaded for async processing. By doing async processing on a single-thread under typical web loads, more performance and scalability can be achieved as opposed to the typical thread-based implementation.

What is callback hell in Node.js?

Callback hell is the result of heavily nested callbacks that make the code not only unreadable but also difficult to maintain.

For example:

query("SELECT clientId FROM clients WHERE clientName='picanteverde';", function(id){

query("SELECT * FROM transactions WHERE clientId=" + id, function(transactions){


query("UPDATE transactions SET value = " + (transac.value*0.1) + " WHERE id=" + transac.id, function(error){










What does it mean “non-blocking” in node.js?

In node.js “non-blocking” means that its IO is non-blocking. Node uses “libuv” to handle its IO in a platform-agnostic way. On windows, it uses completion ports for unix it uses epoll or kqueue etc. So, it makes a non-blocking request and upon a request, it queues it within the event loop which call the JavaScript ‘callback’ on the main JavaScript thread.

What is ‘Callback’ in node.js?

Callback function is used in node.js to deal with multiple requests made to the server. Like if you have a large file which is going to take a long time for a server to read and if you don’t want a server to get engage in reading that large file while dealing with other requests, call back function is used. Call back function allows the server to deal with pending request first and call a function when it is finished.

What is difference between synchronous and asynchronous method of fs module?

Every method in fs module have synchronous as well as asynchronous form. Asynchronous methods takes a last parameter as completion function callback and first parameter of the callback function is error. It is preferred to use asynchronous method instead of synchronous method as former never block the program execution where the latter one does.

What is typically the first argument passed to a Node.js callback handler?

Node.js core modules, as well as most of the community-published ones, follow a pattern whereby the first argument to any callback handler is an optional error object. If there is no error, the argument will be null or undefined.

A typical callback handler could therefore perform error handling as follows:

function callback(err, results) {

// usually we'll check for the error before handling results

if(err) {

// handle error somehow and return


// no error, perform standard callback handling


How does Node.js support multi-processor platforms, and does it fully utilize all processor resources?

Since Node.js is by default a single thread application, it will run on a single processor core and will not take full advantage of multiple core resources. However, Node.js provides support for deployment on multiple-core systems, to take greater advantage of the hardware. The Cluster module is one of the core Node.js modules and it allows running multiple Node.js worker processes that will share the same port.

What is the preferred method of resolving unhandled exceptions in Node.js?

Unhandled exceptions in Node.js can be caught at the Process level by attaching a handler for uncaughtException event.

process.on('uncaughtException', function(err) {

console.log('Caught exception: ' + err);


However, uncaughtException is a very crude mechanism for exception handling and may be removed from Node.js in the future. An exception that has bubbled all the way up to the Process level means that your application, and Node.js may be in an undefined state, and the only sensible approach would be to restart everything.

The preferred way is to add another layer between your application and the Node.js process which is called the domain.

Domains provide a way to handle multiple different I/O operations as a single group. So, by having your application, or part of it, running in a separate domain, you can safely handle exceptions at the domain level, before they reach the Process level.

How does Node.js handle child threads?

Node.js, in its essence, is a single thread process. It does not expose child threads and thread management methods to the developer. Technically, Node.js does spawn child threads for certain tasks such as asynchronous I/O, but these run behind the scenes and do not execute any application JavaScript code, nor block the main event loop.

If threading support is desired in a Node.js application, there are tools available to enable it, such as the ChildProcess module.

What are Promises?

Promises are a concurrency primitive, first described in the 80s. Now they are part of most modern programming languages to make your life easier. Promises can help you better handle async operations. An example can be the following snippet, which after 100ms prints out the result string to the standard output. Also, note the catch, which can be used for error handling. Promises are chainable.

new Promise((resolve, reject) => {

   setTimeout(() => {


   }, 100)




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