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Node.js is a front-end and back-end JavaScript runtime environment that developers use to run JavaScript code outside a web browser. It's open-source and cross-platform, and it's based on the same engine that Google Chrome uses: the V8 JavaScript engine.

Developers work with Node.js to build scalable, high-performance and command-line JavaScript applications. The environment is scalable and can accommodate a great deal of traffic as it implements an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that efficiently manages many concurrent connections. When you're looking to develop a real-time app, like a chat app, online gaming platform, or streaming service, the kind of scalability that Node.js offers is essential.

Node.js is also flexible – it can run on multiple operating systems, so it doesn't matter whether a developer uses Windows, macOS, or Linux; they can still use it. And it's cost-effective as Node.js remains free and open-source. Both front-end and back-end developers can use Node.js, making it a valuable tool for the development team's productivity.

How to use Node.js effectively? Use it for what it's made for: building scalable, high-performance web applications that involve real-time data processing or handling large amounts of traffic. And take advantage of what the Node.js community has to offer, as it is not little. You have at your disposal a vast ecosystem of libraries, frameworks, and tools to enhance your productivity and code quality. You should also use Node.js's cross-platform functionalities if you want your applications to run on a variety of operating systems and environments.

As for the things you shouldn't do – do not use it for CPU-intensive tasks since it may decrease the performance and limit your app's scalability. You also should try not to neglect security. When you build a Node.js app, follow the best security practices and protect your product from attacks.

Node.js is a robust tool for both front-end and back-end developers. If you wish to build your web app with JavaScript, then Node.js should be your runtime environment of choice. Node.js apps are scalable and offer high performance.

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