JavaScript Devs Knowledge of Features
Wednesday, 01 March 2023

Each new release of ECMAScript introduces new features. How quickly are they adopted? Do JavaScript developers even know about them all? The State of JavaScript 2022 reports suggests a high degree of awareness but not so much their adoption. 

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We have already taken one look at The State of JavaScript 2022 the seventh edition of the annual survey conducted by Sacha Greif. In 2022 the survey received 39,472 responses and provides lots of insights into the JavaScript ecosystem. Last time in High Satisfaction Among JavaScript Developers we reported on how JavaScript is used and for what purposes as well as on the the high level of satisfaction with the language among its users, with 75.3% claiming to be Happy or Very Happy, which can be considered a good result for such a prevalent programming language. One finding that stood out in particular is that TypeScript is now the predominant flavour of JavaScript with 28% of "JavaScript" developers using TypeScript 100% of the time compared to only 11.1% who never use it.

As in previous years, the survey probed into developers awareness of recently introduced JavaScript features and the extent to which they use them, reporting the results using an interactive graphic introduced in the 2019 version of the survey.  The bigger the circle the more respondents are aware of it and the bigger the proportion that is bright the greater the usage. Clicking on a circle provides more details:

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On the whole JavaScript developers seem to be know about the selected features, even though some of them are barely used, and this is reflected in the fact that the peak in the Knowledge Score which provides the answer to "Out of all the features mentioned in the survey, how many did you know about?" is between 60% and 70% and 63% of respondents were aware of over half the features:

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To identify JavaScript's pain points, respondents were asked to select the three aspects of JavaScript that they most struggle with giving this result:

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Personally I am surprised that async code is such a small problem. In most other languages it is a big problem. Is it that async/await has solved everything? Or is it that async is so embedded in that language that JavaScript programmers just don't notice that they are working with.

They were also asked to pick the top three features they would like to able to use to indicate JavaScript's missing features:

jsmissing

I am always slightly depressed whenever a JavaScript programmer puts static typing at the top of the list of things that they want. For me it means that the great static typing bandwagon has sucessfully brainwashed the programmer. I think you need to be careful what you wish for - JavaScript has been type free for so long such a change would make it something else.

Mind you I have to agree with "Standard Library". This used to be jQuery before the fashionistas declared it old hat because CSS had selectors - this just misses the point of what jQuery offers. A standard library maintained as part of the language in a "batteries included" style like Python has would make programming safer and easier. But I know we could never agree on such a mythical beast.

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  • Mike James, I Programmer's founder and editor in chief is also a prolific author. One of his favorites is JavaScript Jems: The Amazing Parts, which takes an in-depth look at some idiosyncratic features of JavaScript.

 

More Information

The State of JavaScript 2022 

Related Articles 

High Satisfaction Among JavaScript Developers

The State Of JavaScript 2021

How Is JavaScript Doing? (2020)

JavaScript Still Worth A Survey (2019)

Survey Reveals JavaScript Trends (2018)

JavaScript Ecosystem Under Scrutiny (2017)

JavaScript Turns 25

 

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 01 March 2023 )