async/await freed us from callback hell, but people have started abusing it — leading to the birth of async/await hell.
In this article, I will try to explain what async/await hell is, and I’ll also share some tips to escape it.
What is async/await hell
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The Lambda programming model for Node.js 8.10 now supports defining a function handler using the async/await pattern.
Asynchronous or non-blocking calls are an inherent and important part of applications, as user and human interfaces are asynchronous by nature. If you decide to have a coffee with a friend, you usually order the coffee then start or continue a conversation with your friend while the coffee is getting ready. You don’t wait for the coffee to be ready before you start talking. These activities are asynchronous, because you can start one and then move to the next without waiting for completion. Otherwise, you’d delay (or block) the start of the next activity.
Asynchronous calls used to be handled in Node.js using callbacks. That presented problems when they were nested within other callbacks in multiple levels, making the code difficult to maintain and understand.
Promises were implemented to try to solve issues caused by “callback hell.” They allow asynchronous operations to call their own methods and handle what happens when a call is successful or when it fails. As your requirements become more complicated, even promises become harder to work with and may still end up complicating your code.
Async/await is the new way of handling asynchronous operations in Node.js, and makes for simpler, easier, and cleaner code for non-blocking calls. It still uses promises but a callback is returned directly from the asynchronous function, just as if it were a synchronous blocking function.
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