Highlights from the 2017 State of JavaScript report

How is JavaScript used across industries?

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We have already discussed the overall results of the 2017 State of JavaScript report some months ago. But the data is so rich that analysis can go on forever! This time we have a quick look at some highlights concerning the usage of JavaScript across different industries.

The 2017 JavaScript Ecosystem survey was run from December 2017 to January 2018, conducted by npm in collaboration with the Node.JS Foundation and the JS Foundation and collected the answers of over 16,000 developers. Here we are taking a stroll through some interesting results in relation to the use of JavaScript by the different industries. We took a look at the analysis of the 2017 State of JavaScript report that was posted on the npm.js blog and we collected the most interesting highlights, for your eyes only!

Let’s dig in!

Money runs the world

The number one answer to the question “What industry do you work in?” was -surprise, surprise- “tech”! However, putting this fact aside, the data shows that the financial sector occupies the driver’s seat in JavaScript usage across various industries and on a number of topics.

On the other hand, the manufacturing sector seems to be the less… eager industry when it comes to JavaScript usage. More precisely, when it comes to the use of JavaScript tools, finance strikes first with 75% of the respondents reporting using tools compared to 51% of the manufacturing sector.

Interesting fact: When it comes to JavaScript tools finance uses more of everything while manufacturing uses less of everything.

SEE ALSO: JavaScript developers prefer React, want to ditch Angular & are attracted to Vue.js

Moving on to more specific tools, the usage of JavaScript frameworks varies greatly across industries. While Angular is relatively popular across all industries, it is definitely winning in popularity among developers in the financial sector. Entertainment seems to fancy React the most while Vue.js is most popular in the advertising and marketing industry.

In the manufacturing as well as the government sector jQuery is the number one choice, suggesting that these sectors are adopting technologies at a slower pace.

Interesting fact: To the question “How do you decide on a specific framework” big majorities (60-90%) in every industry reported things like support, features, and stability being of importance, with little variation.

When it comes to security, everyone is concerned about the security of the code they write (87-90%) and of the open source code they use (73-79%). Of course, developers in tech were more likely to be concerned with security issues but there weren’t any significant discrepancies on the matter across industries.

On the topic of attitudes toward testing across the industries, the results vary greatly. Once again, finance is the leading sector since it is most likely to make use of testing frameworks, contrary to the government and manufacturing sectors which are the industries most unlikely to be concerned with testing.

Interesting fact: Across every industry, the most popular testing framework choice was Mocha (50%), followed by Jasmine (33%) and Jest (19%).

What’s your other best?

Would you be surprised if I told you that participants of the JavaScript Ecosystem survey reported JavaScript as their number one choice? I guess not. The results, however, show that participants across different industries reported using a different primary language.

SEE ALSO: Traditional finance vs. FinTech equals Java vs. Python?

Java is the number one choice for the financial sector. And this comes as no surprise. Java has been the leading programming language in the financial services for almost 20 years.

Interesting fact: Golang was about 10% usage across all industries, Swift was 3-5%, and Rust about 3% except in manufacturing, where it hit 7%.

Python’s syntax, being the closest to the mathematical syntax, is also unsurprisingly the number one choice among developers in education. The fact that Python appears to be popular mostly among unemployed developers, represents an error in the design of the survey, as explained in the npm blog post.

All in all, JavaScript use across industries shows some interesting variations. Afterall,  everyone has their own needs and preferences.


Eirini-Eleni Papadopoulou
Eirini-Eleni Papadopoulou was the editor for Coming from an academic background in East Asian Studies, she decided that it was time to go back to her high-school hobby that was computer science and she dived into the development world. Other hobbies include esports and League of Legends, although she never managed to escape elo hell (yet), and she is a guest writer/analyst for competitive LoL at TGH.

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