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Insight into JS trends

JavaScript ecosystem survey concludes React is the most popular framework

Sarah Schlothauer
javascript
© Shutterstock /  Mountains Hunter

The “Enterprise JavaScript in 2019” survey by npm reveals some trends for the JavaScript community. This year, respondents report that they want to learn WebAssembly, they are concerned about open source code security, and much more. Find out the key takeaways and see what’s expected for the years ahead.

How does the JavaScript community fare in 2019? Results from npm’s annual JavaScript ecosystem survey reveal developers’ use cases, methodologies, and opinions about the programming language. The important takeaways divulge several noteworthy trends and changes from previous years.

JavaScript’s usage and popularity continues, as evident in the TIOBE Index and the Pluralsight 2018 Tech Index. Despite its controversial love/hate relationship (66.8% of respondents in the StackOverflow 2019 survey loved JS, whereas 33.2% dreaded it), the language and its community remain widespread. According to npm’s survey, the language claims 11 million users and still “growing fast”.

This year, the survey received over 30,000 respondents, more than doubling the amount from last year. Respondents from a total of 194 countries answered 54 (optional) questions. (See further information about the methodology here.)

Leading JavaScript tech

2019’s results show that it’s a banner year for React.

63% of respondents report that they write React code. (In addition, 15% of respondents do not currently use React, but are considering it. 21% of respondents do not use React and are not considering it.) Of the 57% who write React code, 49% primarily write it. The results from npm claim that React is “more than twice as popular as the next-biggest framework, Angular”.

(Compare these results to Ionic’s 2018 survey which crowned Angular as the most used JS framework for development work. However, this may because of React’s more common use in the enterprise, as mentioned by a report from CloudAcademy in March 2019.)

SEE ALSO: How to implement bootstrap template in ReactJS

Serverless and containers are leading methods for deploying JavaScript.

56% of respondents deploy JS with containers (such as Kubernetes), while 33% are using a serverless technique. Most developers answered that they use multiple methods for deployment, however container tech was the most popular single method.

Future plans

TypeScript also gains some ground in the community, with 62% of npm users reporting that they write TypeScript. 15% of users do not write TypeScript themselves, but use third-party libraries that use TypeScript (such as Angular).

As far as what to consider next, GraphQL and WebAssembly is on the radar. 49% of respondents are considering using GraphQL, despite only 7% of respondents frequently using it.

When asked if they have heard of WebAssembly, 54% of respondents said that they are interesting in using WebAssembly, compared to only 3% who are using it. From this data, npm suggests it foreshadows “a very strong sign for WebAssembly’s adoption in 2019 and beyond”. Since WASM is still a fairly recent tech, time will tell how its mainstream adoption plays out.

Open source challenges

According to the survey results, 83% of developers are concerned about the security of open source code. This is up from last year’s results of 77%.

In order to secure this code, most developers (76%) use code review. This year, nearly half of respondents use automatic code scanning tools. 23% of respondents do not use any method to ensure code security.

SEE ALSO: Eclipse IoT survey 2019: IoT development continues to expand

Meanwhile, the report also found that licensing is a major decision factor in what packages developers use.

A huge 58% of npm users said that the license of a package impacts their decision to use it, indicating that the compliance issue is of concern to a much greater portion of our user base than we expected…55% of developers who care about licensing are prohibited from using certain licenses by their companies.

Unrecognized licenses and code without a license were the two most common licenses that developers were preventing from using. GPL and AGPL also provoked some concern, with a respective 43% and 34% of developers unable to use packages under these licenses.

As for future surveys, npm states that they will be sending up follow-ups to a number of respondents in specific groups to learn more.

Author
Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is an assistant editor for JAXenter.com. She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University and is currently enrolled at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany where she is working on her Masters. She lives in Frankfurt with her husband and cat.

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