Introduction to NestJS: A Beginner's Guide

Introduction to NestJS: A Beginner's Guide

A Comprehensive Guide to Getting Started with NestJS

In the world of Node.js frameworks, NestJS stands out as a powerful and efficient solution for building scalable and maintainable server-side applications. Inspired by Angular, NestJS leverages TypeScript to provide a robust and flexible platform for developing modern web applications. This beginner's guide will introduce you to NestJS, highlighting its key features, benefits, and providing a step-by-step guide to getting started with your first NestJS project.

What is NestJS?

NestJS is an open-source, progressive Node.js framework that is designed for building efficient, reliable, and scalable server-side applications. Built with TypeScript, it leverages the power of modern JavaScript along with object-oriented programming, functional programming, and functional reactive programming paradigms.

Key Features of NestJS

  1. TypeScript Support: Fully written in TypeScript, providing strong typing and advanced features for building robust applications.

  2. Modular Architecture: Encourages the use of a modular structure, making it easy to manage and scale large applications.

  3. Dependency Injection: Built-in dependency injection for improved code structure and testability.

  4. Extensibility: Easily integrates with other libraries and frameworks like Express, Fastify, and more.

  5. Testability: Provides tools and patterns to write effective unit and integration tests.

Benefits of Using NestJS

  1. Scalability: Modular architecture allows for easy scaling of applications as they grow.

  2. Maintainability: Strong typing and a clear structure improve code maintainability.

  3. Developer Productivity: Rich CLI and tools boost developer productivity.

  4. Performance: Optimized for high performance with minimal overhead.

  5. Community and Ecosystem: Active community and a rich ecosystem of plugins and modules.

Getting Started with NestJS

Step 1: Installing NestJS CLI

To create a new NestJS project, you'll first need to install the NestJS Command Line Interface (CLI). Open your terminal and run the following command:

npm install -g @nestjs/cli

Step 2: Creating a New Project

Once the CLI is installed, you can create a new NestJS project by running:

nest new project-name

Replace project-name with your desired project name. The CLI will prompt you to choose a package manager (npm or yarn). Choose your preferred package manager and the CLI will scaffold a new NestJS project for you.

Step 3: Exploring the Project Structure

After creating the project, navigate into the project directory:

cd project-name

You'll find a structured directory with the following key components:

  • src/: Contains the source code of your application.

  • main.ts: The entry point of the application.

  • app.module.ts: The root module of the application.

  • app.controller.ts: A sample controller.

  • app.service.ts: A sample service.

Step 4: Running the Application

To start the application, run the following command:

npm run start

Open your browser and navigate to http://localhost:3000. You should see a "Hello World!" message, indicating that your NestJS application is running successfully.

Step 5: Creating Your First Module

NestJS applications are organized into modules. To create a new module, use the NestJS CLI:

nest generate module cats

This command will generate a new module named CatsModule and add it to the app.module.ts file.

Step 6: Creating a Controller and Service

Next, create a controller and service for the CatsModule:

nest generate controller cats
nest generate service cats

The CLI will generate the necessary files and update the CatsModule accordingly.

Step 7: Implementing the Controller

Open src/cats/cats.controller.ts and implement basic CRUD operations:

import { Controller, Get, Post, Body, Param } from '@nestjs/common';
import { CatsService } from './cats.service';
import { CreateCatDto } from './create-cat.dto';

export class CatsController {
  constructor(private readonly catsService: CatsService) {}

  async create(@Body() createCatDto: CreateCatDto) {

  async findAll() {
    return this.catsService.findAll();

  async findOne(@Param('id') id: string) {
    return this.catsService.findOne(id);

Step 8: Implementing the Service

Open src/cats/cats.service.ts and implement the service methods:

import { Injectable } from '@nestjs/common';
import { CreateCatDto } from './create-cat.dto';
import { Cat } from './cat.interface';

export class CatsService {
  private readonly cats: Cat[] = [];

  create(cat: CreateCatDto) {

  findAll(): Cat[] {
    return this.cats;

  findOne(id: string): Cat {
    return this.cats.find(cat => === id);

Step 9: Creating DTO and Interface

Create a data transfer object (DTO) and an interface for cats:

// src/cats/create-cat.dto.ts
export class CreateCatDto {
  id: string;
  name: string;
  age: number;
  breed: string;

// src/cats/cat.interface.ts
export interface Cat {
  id: string;
  name: string;
  age: number;
  breed: string;

Step 10: Testing Your Application

To test the new endpoints, use a tool like Postman or cURL. You can create, retrieve, and manage cat records through the /cats endpoint.

NestJS is a powerful framework that brings the best of both worlds: the scalability and maintainability of a modular architecture and the power and flexibility of TypeScript. By following this beginner's guide, you can get started with NestJS and begin building scalable, efficient, and maintainable server-side applications. As you dive deeper into NestJS, you'll discover a rich ecosystem of tools and libraries that will help you develop even more sophisticated applications.