Dec 20, 2019

In with the new, out with the old

2019 State of JavaScript Survey

The recently released 2019 State of JavaScript Survey breaks down the JavaScript ecosystem to reveal what technologies are gaining popularity—and which tools are losing their fame.

A few key takeaways:

TypeScript is solid. With the highest satisfaction rate of any JavaScript flavor at 89%, TypeScript continues to gain ground in the development world over Elm, ClojureScript, and PureScript.

In 2016, only 20.8% of developers had ever used TypeScript and hoped to use it again. In 2019, that number has nearly tripled to 58.5% of developers. GitHub’s State of the Octoverse confirms that trend, revealing that TypeScript usage grew 161% over the last year.

For Microsoft, the creator and maintainer of TypeScript, the language’s rapid growth gives them unprecedented involvement in the entire software supply chain, from code to code editors to code repositories.

Frontend frameworks are fickle. React continues to dominate the frontend world with an 89% satisfaction rate among developers. Svelte, an underdog that barely registered on last year's survey, jumped to the top with an 88% developer satisfaction ranking.

For every growing framework, another framework struggles. Since last year, VueJS has dropped from first to third in developer satisfaction. Angular continues to plummet, falling to an all-time low at 38%. Ember, too, hit a new low at 31%.

Welcome the newcomers. A few new technologies are gaining attention. GraphQL, a query language developed at Facebook that helps developers make descriptive data requests in their APIs, is widely enjoyed by developers, earning a 95% satisfaction rating. Moreover, nearly 51% of developers said they were interested in learning how to use GraphQL.

Gatsby, a static site generator that integrates GraphQL, made a strong debut among web frameworks, snagging an 88% developer satisfaction rating.

VS Code is mopping up the competition. Roughly 57% of developers use VS Code. WebStorm is a distant second, used by only 14% of developers.

Even Vim (13%), a text editor with a steep learning curve that was first released in 1991, beat out Sublime Text (10%) and Atom (6%).

What does this all mean for the JavaScript ecosystem? High tool churn is accelerating JavaScript innovation. Despite many tools falling out of favor with developers, JavaScript is a quickly evolving language with a uniquely rich ecosystem of new and inventive technologies.

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