Listening in to 21,000 voices

The State of JavaScript 2019: Developers love React and TypeScript

Sarah Schlothauer
© Shutterstock / Bibit Unggul (modified)

Time to wrap up the year and take a look at the JavaScript ecosystem. Roughly 11 million developers use JavaScript, and while it’s a tall order to track everyone down and ask them what they love about the language, the State of JavaScript 2019 surveyed over 21,000 JS devs about their favorite frameworks, tools, and features. See what came up on top this year.

The 2019 State of JavaScript report reveals the language’s top frameworks, user demographics, and more juicy data. Love it or hate it, JavaScript isn’t going anywhere. It is essential to modern development and has been the top programming language on GitHub since 2014.

As the year draws to a close, check up on the pulse of JS and see what’s hot in 2019 (and what will likely heat up through 2020).

All about arrow functions

JS doesn’t ever stand still; new features are always added, the ecosystem is always changing, and grammar evolves with new syntax. Most notably are JavaScript arrow functions (sometimes called ‘fat arrow’ functions), which were were introduced in ES6.

97.8% of devs use arrow functions. This marks the highest usage rate of any JS feature.

With this welcomed feature, devs can write functions with a shorter, more compact function syntax. All it takes is one arrow: =>.

SEE ALSO: Software development trends for 2020

React versus Angular

When it comes to front end frameworks and libraries, Angular and React are two of the biggest names.  Last year we saw a dip in satisfaction with Angular. This year, it continues its downward trend.

35.8% of devs have used Angular before but would not use it again. Comparatively, 21.9% used Angular and would use it again. (We will see what happens to these numbers in 2020, when Angular v9 final releases.)

React, on the other hand, measures more favorably. 71.7% of devs have used React and would use it again. This is a slight increase in satisfaction compared to previous years.

2019 shaped up to be a banner year for React. Earlier this year, npm conducted a survey which revealed that 63% of JS devs write React code.


A good year for React. Source.

Tools of the trade

What should JS devs add to their toolkit? Respondents were asked about miscellaneous tools they use to code and what invaluable resources they use.

  • Lodash and Moment.js: These two JS utility libraries are the two most commonly used by devs. Lodash provides help when working with arrays, numbers, objects, and strings; while Moment.js provides a library for displaying and manipulating dates.
  • VS Code: By a wide margin, VS Code clocked in as the most commonly used text editor. Visual Studio Code works with a long host of languages, including JavaScript and TypeScript.
  • Brave: While Chrome is the most used browser for development, an honorary mention this year goes to Brave. 836 devs wrote in that they primarily work in the Brave browser.
  • Webpack: Bundle your scripts, assets, and images with Webpack, the most used JS build tool.
  • Stack Overflow: It comes as no surprise, but Stack Overflow is where JS devs go when they need help with a tricky problem. Mozilla’s Developer Network/MDN receives an honorable mention as the number two most consulted resource.

Measuring TypeScript

TypeScript is a typed superset that compiles to pure JS. 2018 and 2019 were major years for TypeScript and its adoption.

In 2019, 89% of respondents said they are satisfied with TypeScript. It ranked the highest in satisfaction, interest, and awareness when compared to other languages that compile to JS (Elm, Rason, ClojureScript, and PureScript).

Who uses JavaScript?

A global developer report from SlashData revealed that over 11 million developers use JS (this includes languages that compile to JS, including TypeScript and CoffeeScript). While the State of JavaScript didn’t quite gather all 11 million, they polled 21,717 respondents.

What does the average JS developer look like?

SEE ALSO: Speed, Speed, Speed: JavaScript vs C++ vs WebAssembly

  • JS+ CSS = BFF: Overall, JS devs are also proficient with CSS. A full 90% of respondents said they have intermediate knowledge of CSS or better. 39.9% even consider themselves CSS experts and can create a front-end from scratch.
  • JavaScript rules the front end: The role of full stack developers is growing. Nearly half (48.3%) of respondents are full stack devs. 36.6% are front end developers, while only 3.4% call themselves back end devs.
  • Devs love Python: A quarter of multi-lingual JS developers also program in Python.
  • Gender ratio: 91.3% of respondents are male; 6% female; 0.8% non-binary, and 1.9% of respondents preferred not to answer. These numbers may not reflect the actual reality of developers, as this is just one survey. However, the gap between those numbers is notable. Refer to our women in tech series for some advice and inspiration from women in the field.

Browse the raw JSON data for yourself.

Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is the editor for She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey. She currently lives in Frankfurt, Germany with her husband and cat where she enjoys reading, writing, and medieval reenactment. She is also the editor for Conditio Humana, an online magazine about ethics, AI, and technology.

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