My main question is whether it makes sense to begin with node.js as a complete server-side newb. Is JS/node.js a good choice to start server-side web-programming from scratch?
I do lots of frontend work, namely HTML, CSS and basic JS. I even wanted to start with Rails but always had the feeling that not knowing what is going on behind the curtains makes me completely uncertain about the framework - it was just too much "convention over configuration".
My hope is to learn JS in general and dive into node.js right after that. I don't know, however, if this is a good approach for a person without any server-side experience. When looking at existing node.js topics and discussions, the used terminology seems to require lots of knowledge about how servers work in general.