The State Of JavaScript: Front-End Frameworks

A few preliminary results

Sacha Greif
Aug 25, 2016 · 4 min read

I’ve been very impressed with the success of my State Of JavaScript survey so far. After barely three days, the survey already has over 3000 responses. So I thought it’d be interesting to see what preliminary insights we can extract from that data.

I say “preliminary” because I‘m hoping a lot more developers end up filling out the survey. Not so much to get a bigger-sized sample, but to get a more representative one. After all, these kind of survey tend to reach a population of early adopters first, and that can easily skew the results.

Incidentally, this is also why I didn’t try to advertise the survey to Discover Meteor readers. If I had, Meteor might very well ended up as number one in all categories!

So with this in mind, let’s see what the data tells us!

The Contenders

Obviously this list is not complete, but I decided from the start to try and keep the survey’s length down even at the cost of being less exhaustive.

I did also provide an “other” option asking people to provide any additional frameworks I might’ve missed (more on that later).

For each framework, people could pick one of the following answers:

  • I’ve never heard of it
  • I’ve heard of it, and would like to learn it
  • I’ve heard of it, and am not interested
  • I’ve used it before, and would use it again
  • I’ve used it before, and would not use it again

Awareness

No need for a complex chart here, awareness was above 97% for every option except Vue, which had “only” 77%.

It will be interesting to see if these results change as more people take the survey, but for now at least it seems clear that apart from newcomer Vue, front-end frameworks don’t really suffer from lack of awareness.

Interest

As expected, React takes the lead. It certainly seems like everybody and their dog wants to learn React these days (on that subject I recommend the excellent React for Beginners class, and you can get $10 off with coupon code METEOR).

The surprise for me was Vue. Not as many people might’ve heard about it, but those who have must’ve heard good things, because it’s even more popular than Angular 2.

And speaking of Angular, few people want to learn version one anymore. But I didn’t expect Ember’s percentage to be equally low. Maybe a sign that the trend is going towards lighter-weight, single-purpose libraries?

Satisfaction

This would seem to confirm that React and Vue are not all hype: they genuinely provide good developer experiences.

You’ll notice I didn’t ask how many people were actually using each framework. Part of it is because I wanted to cut down the survey’s length, but it’s also because I’m not sure how useful raw usage stats would be.

For example, I’m willing to bet Angular’s market share is still huge, but would that be reason enough to pick it for your next project, especially knowing that 56% of Angular developers wouldn’t want to use it again?

Other Frameworks

As you can see, many people mentioned Aurelia, which took me by surprise as I know very little about it.

Quite a few people also mentioned either Meteor (or Blaze, Meteor’s built-in front-end framework), which I had left out of the front-end section since it was already included in the “Full Stack” part of the survey.

Knockout seems to still be relatively popular despite its age, as is Cycle, which I’m also pretty unfamiliar with. And I seem to remember Polymer getting a lot of hype when it came out, but it was mentioned fairly rarely.

Other observations: the Riot people generally seemed pretty positive about it (“Riot.js — Absolutely will use it again”), and Mithril’s complex spelling might be the reason it’s not higher up in the rankings.

Also there’s apparently a thing called Choo now? Protip: if you want to anticipate 2030’s hottest baby name trends, look at JavaScript frameworks!

Conclusions

Based on the current data, I think it’s safe to say that you can’t really go wrong with React, since it’s extremely widespread and has an above-90% satisfaction percentage. And although currently much smaller, Vue also seems like a good bet.

Finally, these results only represent a tiny fraction of the data I accumulated, so stay tuned for more observations and insights coming very soon!

Help Spread the Word

So please help spread the word if you can by sharing, emailing, or retweeting. It’ll be worth it!

Update: part 2 of the preliminary results is now available:

Sacha Greif

Written by

Designer/developer from Paris, now living in Osaka. Creator of Sidebar, VulcanJS, and co-author of Discover Meteor.