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State of JS 2020 Released: What Are The Trends In The JavaScript World?

The State of JS 2020 is here. Probably the largest survey of JavaScriot developers shows some astonishing trends: Angular seems to be losing its popularity significantly, but there are numerous newcomers among the top technologies in the report. Which JavaScript technologies are popular?

Progressive web apps are on the rise, Angular is losing popularity and Svelte is again one of the winners of the year: These are just some of the results of the large State of JS 2020, for which more than 23,000 JavaScript developers were surveyed. The survey has been carried out annually since 2016 and thus offers exciting insights into the changes in the JavaScript universe. For example, it can be seen that the proportion of developers who have already worked with Progressvive Web Apps has increased significantly from 48.2 percent in 2019 to 55.9 percent in 2020. Only 5.2 percent of those surveyed in 2020 had never heard of PWAs. WebAssembly is also better known than last year, but much less common. 10.5 percent of the participants in the State of JS 2020 have already worked with WASM; at least 73.9 percent have heard of it.

Frontend frameworks: Angular, React, Svelte and Vue

One of the most interesting questions in the JavaScript world is always that of the right front-end framework. Hardly anyone works without it; but which one should you choose? The new State of JS shows that React, Angular and Vue.js are still the three best-known options, but with 66 percent, Svelte can boast the highest interest among the respondents for the second time in a row in 2020. In second place in this category is Vue, followed by React. Fourth to seventh place (in that order) went to Preact, LitElement, Alpine.js and Stimulus, with the last three mentioned for the first time in the report and so far rarely used.

Angular is the second most used framework. At 56 percent, however, it is well behind the front runner React, which is or has already been used by 80 percent of those surveyed. An even greater difference between the two frameworks, however, shows the expressed interest of the respondents: Only 21 percent of the respondents indicated that they would like to learn Angular, while it was 56 percent for React. Part of this result can of course be explained by the fact that Angular is already very well known. However, if one also looks at the development of opinion since 2016, one suspects that the interest in Angular is actually no longer that great. In 2016, when Angular 2 was released, the ratio of positive to negative expressions of interest was still such that Angular was more on the side of the more popular technologies. Around 40 percent of those surveyed stated that they wanted to learn Angular; 13.6 percent already knew Angular and wanted to use it again. Also around 40 percent were not interested in Angular back then, but only 6.4 percent explicitly did not want to use it anymore. In 2020 the picture changed. 67.4 percent of the State of JS 2020 participants said they were not interested in Angular or did not want to use it again. Although this has given rise to a solid user base, Angular is clearly not a trending topic for the majority of the survey participants.

Backend frameworks: Meteor is losing

At the level of the backend frameworks, especially newer solutions are popular in the State of JS 2020. In the top 10 there is only one framework that has been included in the report since 2016 - and that is in a downward trend in terms of user interest. In 2016, 39 percent of those surveyed were interested in Meteor, in 2020 it will only be 24 percent, which puts Meteor in 10th place. With 72 percent, Next.js can unite the greatest interest this year, in third place in this category there is a newcomer with Fastify. Nest, Strapi and Nuxt also make it to the middle places in the users' interest as newcomers in the report. Around 50 percent each want to deal with these frameworks.

It is also exciting to look at the relationship between frequency of use and user satisfaction. Among the mobile and desktop frameworks, satisfaction is particularly high at Electron, for example, but it is only used by a third of the respondents. This gap between the two evaluation categories was worth a separate visualization for the makers of the report this year:

Source: https://2020.stateofjs.com/en-US/technologies/ - please click to enlarge

It shows that only a few technologies can have a high number of users and a high level of satisfaction (in the picture in the upper right corner). This category of technologies includes, for example, React, as well as webpack, TypeScript and Jest. Angular, on the other hand, does not enjoy such high levels of satisfaction, but it is widely used. Most of the tools and frameworks whose users are really enthusiastic can be found on the upper left-hand side of the diagram, which expresses a lower number of users: Svelte is shown there, just like Snowpack and Playwright, but some of the previously mentioned newcomers have also been sorted there . So far, Strapi has only rarely been used, but around 78 percent of users are satisfied with it.

JavaScript 2020: The Top Technologies

As every year, the creators of the report also presented awards: Testing Library achieved the highest level of satisfaction with 96.59 percent, and TypeScript recorded the greatest increase in users who want to use the technology mentioned again. If you look at which technologies the respondents still want to learn, GraphQL wins the race. IntelliJ IDEA was mentioned most frequently in free input fields.

JavaScript as an overall ecosystem received the strongest positive rating from respondents in the survey in 2018. At that time around 85 percent of those surveyed agreed with the statement that JavaScript is developing in the right direction overall; now it is around 80 percent. On the other hand, the proportion of respondents who enjoy developing JavaScript applications has increased slightly. In 2018 it was 86 percent, now it is a full 88.7 percent. That's good news!

The full report can be found on the State of JavaScript website.

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