Here are some useful tutorials and services that we recommend for the competition.


Installation & Package Management

  1. How to install node & npm
  2. Managing dependencies with npm

Web Frameworks

  1. Writing a web app with Express
  2. Creating a RESTful API with hapi
  3. restify and DTrace for performant web services
  4. Full stack web development with Geddy

Debugging & Error Handling

  1. Debugging with Node Inspector
  2. Error tracking with

Data Persistence

  1. Storing users and data in Apigee
  2. Introduction to MongoDB
  3. Persisting data with MongoDB & Mongoose
  4. Advanced MongoDB: storing files using GridFS
  5. Advanced MongoDB: geospatial indexes

Libraries and Utilities

  1. Using Socket.IO for real-time messaging
  2. Implementing OAuth login with Passport
  3. Cross-platform graphics with Bonsai
  4. Sending email with Nodemailer


We have a fantastic list of service sponsors this year. These APIs, tools, and services are allowed and encouraged to be used during the competition this weekend.

Joyent Manta

Separate from the official Joyent-sponsored NKO ubuntu instance, Joyent is also offering up to $130 worth* of access to Manta. If you haven’t heard of Manta yet, it’s Joyent’s object store with built in map/reduce. In other words "upload your data, then crunch on it in-place".

Some examples of how you can use Manta:

  • Upload your server logs, do some clickstream analysis.
  • Upload photos, resize, feature extract them "in place".
  • Upload db dumps, do some data analytics, produce some graphs.


GoInstant is a JavaScript API for adding realtime, collaborative experiences into any web or mobile app. They provide a full stack solution, including client-side widgets, low latency pub/sub messaging, and a hierarchical data store. They make it easier and faster to build realtime, multi-user apps. 

There’s a quick getting started tutorial available. It’s free to use, you can signup here. If you use GoInstant during Node Knockout, you’ll be considered for an extra prize!

Amazon Web Services 

Amazon Web Services (AWS) delivers a set of services that together form a reliable, scalable, and inexpensive computing platform in the cloud. AWS is offering $100 in free AWS credits to every team.

Please note all of your project’s executable code assets still need to be hosted on Joyent during the competition for auditing purposes.


Auth0 is a cloud identity service for quickly and securely adding social and enterprise authentication, user management and auditing functionality to your web and mobile apps. With just a few lines of code you can accept users logged in with more than 10 different social identity providers: GitHub, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, LiveID, 37Signals, Fitbit, and many others. The same API allows you to connect with popular enterprise systems such as Google Apps, Office 365, Active Directory, LDAP and SAML based identity providers. It ships with great extensibility features based on simple to develop JavaScript extensions.   Sign up for a free developer account here.


myBalsamiq is the cloud-based version of Mockups, the rapid wireframing software that combines the comfort and simplicity of paper sketching with the power of a digital tool. myBalsamiq makes Mockups more powerful for teams with features for remote collaborative design including versioning and branching, web-accessible low-fi prototypes, project access levels, SSL, RSS, and email integration.

Balsamiq can be used for digital wireframing of your NKO entry beforehand. Just please no digital assets, and post screenshots of all your wireframes to your team resources page at the end of the competition.


Cloudant database as a service (DBaaS) is the first data management platform to leverage the availability, elasticity, and reach of the cloud to create a global data delivery network (DDN) that enables applications to scale larger and remain available to users wherever they are. Sign up here


Concurix is a real-time visual profiler, Node.js debuggger, and offers production snapshot debugging. They’re offering unlimited usage of analysis tools for participants during and after the competition. Sign up for an account here. You can find a detailed tutorial on how to use it is here


Firebase is a real-time backend for building collaborative, modern applications. By replacing the traditional request / response model with a data synchronization approach, developers can get apps up and running in minutes. Apps built with Firebase can be written entirely with client-side code, scale automatically, and update across clients in real-time. Sign up for a free developer account here.


Lunacloud is a cloud infrastructure and cloud platform provider. It provides Cloud Server (compute per hour), Cloud Storage (storage per GB with S3 API), Cloud Appliance (including a pre-built Cloud Node.js), Cloud Mongo (MongoDB as a Service) and Cloud Jelastic (Java, PHP and Ruby cloud hosting platform) services.

LunaCloud is offering 200 EUR (approximately 260 USD) in service credits to all Node Knockout contestants, free of any charge or commitment, to use with any Lunacloud services. That’s a lot more than 96 GB RAM + 8 CPU + 2 TB DISK space for 3 full days, for free! Create your account here. Then send an email to [email protected] for the account to be activated. You not only have a huge amount of free resources to use during this year’s Node Knockout hackathon but it also leaves you with a lot more to use after it!

Lunacloud provides a compute API and storage API (S3 compatible). For more info check out the blog post here


HTTP Caching (EdgeCaching) allows you to handle any amount of traffic directly from the edge. MaxCDN’s advanced hardware and always-on provisioning make a fast and cost-effective solution to handle your traffic.

For free access, please fill out the form here: 


Modulus is a Node.js hosting platform that gives you the tools to quickly and easily launch and scale your Node.js applications. Along with tools to get you up and running in minutes you also receive in depth analytics on your application and how it’s performing. Plus MongoDB hosting available right along side of your application to give you one home for your complete stack. Get started for free by creating an account and launching your first project. You can read over the Getting Started guide or just download the CLI. Use promo code ’NKO4’ for an extra month of free service when you sign up here.


Blazing-fast, SSD-Backed MongoDB Hosting. MongoHQ is offering a $100 service credit code for all participants. 


MongoLab is a fully-managed MongoDB-as-a-Service featuring highly-available MongoDB databases, automated backups, web-based tools, 24/7 monitoring, and expert support. Sign up here for a free sandbox account.

New Relic

NewRelic allows developers to get immediate code-level visibility and build faster, more reliable web and mobile applications.  Their promo code "NODEKO" which can be sent to all the participants for Node Knockout. It’s good for 30 days of Pro version of New Relic. is the ridiculously easy way to get your idea online. In less than a minute, we’ll set you up with: A .CO domain, Google Apps for Business set up immediately on the domain (including automatic GMail setup of [email protected]), a starter web page, and dead simple DNS management to point your domain to third party services/hosting. 

Participants in NodeKnockout can use the code POPKNOCKOUT5 to get $5 off the service to get your idea online this weekend -- get started here.


PubNub is the world’s only global real-time network. They make it easy to build, deploy and scale real-time apps for any device. PubNub provides all of the key building blocks for real-time apps, including Data Push - so you can push data to global audiences on any device using persistent socket connections. Presence - so you can detect when users enter/leave your app and whether machines are online. And Storage & Playback - so you can store real-time data streams for future retrieval and playback. Use the Worlds Fastest and Largest Global Real-time Network for your hackathon for free! Check out the getting started guide.


Pusher is a hosted API for quickly, easily and securely adding scalable realtime functionality to web and mobile apps. They believe that your developer time is best spent making awesome features, not creating infrastructure. Use Pusher to build features such as notifications, activity streams, chat, data visualisations, Social TV experiences and multiplayer games. Sign up for the free Sandbox account.

Integrate 80+ OAuth providers in minutes. Sign up here.


Rollbar collects and analyzes errors so you can find and fix them faster. Sign up for a free trial. lets you send your analytics data to any service you’d like, without having to integrate each one individually. With the click of a button, you can start sending data to any of our 50+ integrations using a single, clean API. 

To get started, head over to, sign up, and drop their javascript on the page. For the purists out there, there’s also a server-side node module so that you can still use all those juicy --harmony features. You’ll be up and running before you can say `process.nextTick`.


Sentry is a modern take on error logging. It’s a highly context-aware, multi-language, and open source platform for drilling into your exceptions. Sign up for a free trial.


Twilio allows you to programmatically make and receive phone calls and send and receive text messages using its API. They’re offering $30 of free credit to every NKO team.


If you’re doing anything with audio or video in your application, Zencoder is here to make things easier. They provide a simple API for transcoding files or live streams, and are giving free transcoding minutes to all participants. Learn more here.


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Thank you to our Platinum Sponsors