The Ongoing State Of JavaScript
Written by Ian Elliot   
Wednesday, 26 June 2024

The latest State of JavaScript Survey has just been published, bringing us a wealth of details about what parts of the JavaScript ecosystem and used, loved and wanted by developers.

State JS Banner

As we have covered this survey every year since 2017, the second year in which it was conducted, I spent some time searching for last year's coverage. Then I read Sacha Greif's introduction which points out that these are the 2023 survey results, despite being released six months into 2024!

So with that cleared up, what stands out this time around?

To a great extent it really is more of the same, but from fewer developers. Whereas in 2022 the survey received 39,472 responses, there were 23,540 respondents in 2023, of whom 91% primarily used JavaScript in a professional capacity and 12% used it as a student - a small overlap. On the other hand 37% primarily used it as a hobby.

One trend that had intensified was the prevalence of TypeScript. Last year I Programmer reported:

"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."

State JS TSvJS

This time around almost a third program in TypeScript all the time, almost three quarters use Typescript more than half the time and only 9% stick exclusively to JavaScript. The survey no longer tracks other flavors of JavaScript, such as Clojure or Elm, as it did in the early years as they are now a thing of the past.

Almost all respondents (98%) use JavaScript for Frontend Development, with two-thirds (69%) using it for Backend Development. Mobile apps proved more popular than desktop apps and its use for data visualization and for graphics and animation was fairly substantial:

State JS Use

With regard to other languages, respondents were again able to make multiple choices, revealing that 44% also program in Python, 31% in PHP and 27% in Java.  

State JS Other

Given the almost ubiquitous use for FrontEnd Development it is interesting to see how the competing Front End Frameworks are faring. The 2023 report sees a  new style of interactive chart that has information about how many developers use each library, the extent to which they know about them (Awareness), how much they want to try them (Interest), the extent to which they intend to stay with them (Retention), all of which are summed up in Positivity. The charts go back over all eight years of the survey and one point that stands out is that React has stayed on top both in terms of Usage,  which is shown in the upper chart here by value - i.e percentage of respondents, and Positivity, which is shown in the lower chart here by value:

State JS Time

React, used by over 80%, is head and shoulders ahead of the rest in terms of usage with Vue as the closest contender in 2023 when it was used by over 50% of users, its peak usage to date. In 2023 its usage share exceeded that of Angular which has seen its usage decline since 2018. However while Vue is back where it started in terms of positivity at #3, Angular is down from #2 in 2016 to #8 in 2013. Among new entrants to the chart, Svelte which appeared in 2019 has steadily gained users and has risen to #2 for Positivity and Solid, which only appeared in 2021 is already at #4 for Positivity. Despite low usage, hmtx, which made its debut in the 2023 survey, went straight to #5,  due to the high level of interest in it. 

The chart of API useage is also an eye-opener. Can it be that WebSocket has replaced Ajax? Are we really writing so many PWAs?

State JS API

As usual, the survey looks at what JavaScript developers feel is missing from the ecosystem. And as I've said before, static typing, is something you should be careful about wishing for. Use TypeScript if that is what you want and leave JavaScript as it is. Even so it's still the most requested feature with 57% of respondents wanting it. A Standard Library is a more sensible request. My vote would be for jQuery. You might think this wouldn't be widely supported in these revisionary times, but 22% of respondents to the survey still use it.

State JS Missing

There's a lot more to discover in the The State of JavaScript 2023 and if you want to take part in future survey you can sign up to be notified,

State JS SQ

 

 

More Information

The State of JavaScript 2023 

Related Articles 

JavaScript Devs Knowledge of Features (2022)

High Satisfaction Among JavaScript Developers (2022)

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, 26 June 2024 )