Universal — aka Angular Server Rendering — Survey Results

When I first came across the Angular Universal project, it was there just near the official Angular repo in github. I was wondering back then what could this project be, I mean I hadn’t heard about anything like “universal apps” from the core team, yet! But then I watched the talk given by Jeff Whelpley (@whelpley) and Patrick Stapleton (@gdi2290) at AngularU (watch the video here), and this had convinced me to give it a try. So I decided to fork the project, and start hacking around. I have to admit that going into the project and understanding how things work was kind of complicated at the beginning because there were few documentation. Thankfully, Patrick was there to guide me, and I ended up getting things set up and most importantly I was ready to contribute.

After few contributions, mainly around the build system, I thought I could do my duty as an AngularJS GDE and spread the word about this project. So I started giving talks at my local meetups specially dedicated to Universal (view the slides here). I then decided to run a survey so I can gather feedbacks from the developers community and share them with the Angular Universal team.

This blog post presents the results of this survey…

Disclaimer

I must say that these results were addressed for a small group of developers, mainly those who attended my talks. The results may or may not reflect the opinion of every angular developer. So take it for what it’s worth!


Analysing the results

Developer's experience with Angular 1.x

My first concern was to know the background and type of developers who are interested in Angular Universal or server rendering.

Experience with Angular 1.x

I was happy to see that most of the developers have some serious experience in developing angular apps. But not to forget to mention those who have little experience, this proves their potential interest in Angular Universal.

It is also good to mention that most of them are also using the latests versions of Angular 1.x, 1.3 and higher. Hopefully all of them are planning to stay up to date with the 1.x branch. This could mean that they could (hypothetically) migrate to 1.5, 1.6…and end up in the 2.x branch, so they could benefit of server rendering!

Angular 1.x versions

Developer’s experience with Angular 2.x

Talking about Angular, I was curious about knowing if those developers had some experience with Angular 2.x in any fashion; whether they have developed a toy app or simply know the concepts in theory (probably they watched a video or read an article). Unfortunately, a few people have really hacked with Angular 2.x. Having some basic knowledge of Angular 2.x development may help one to start easily and quickly with angular universal development.

Experience with Angular 2.x

Developers interested in trying Angular Universal project

The following questions were direct one. I was willing to know if those developers are interested in giving Angular Universal a try. This was a tough one, because in one hand, more than a half of the surveyed developers are curious and ok to try Angular Universal. And in the other hand, almost half of them, are not quite sure. This is probably because the project is young and we didn’t communicate too much about it. So people do not know if this is a serious project or not (this is only my guess). We need to communicate more about the potential of this project. Hopefully, Jeff and Patrick are doing an amazing work. I am trying to do so!

People willing to give Universal a try

Of course, when you ask those developers if they are willing to use Universal in production, most of them are not quite sure. They need more proof that this is working and bring many benefits, such as improving performance, better SEO and most of all an enhanced user experience.

People willing to use Universal in production

Server rendering technologies

One of the most exciting things about Angular Universal is that it aims to support multiple server technologies. The idea here is to allow other server technologies, other than Node.js, to render an Angular application server side.

From the results, we can clearly see that Node.js is the most wanted server side rendering, which seems obvious since Node.js can run JavaScript applications. If we step out of Node.js world, we can notice three other most wanted technologies which are : PHP, Java and ASP.net technologies. This is of course no surprise, those are the most used server-side technologies followed by Python, Ruby and Go. And finally, Coldfusion and Clojure.

Server-side technologies interest

Final word

I would like to thank all of the angular developers who participated in this survey. Thank you for your precious feedbacks. This will help the Angular Universal team to work hard and bring this project to life so you can write universal apps with Angular.

Thanks also to Jeff and Patrick for their work and contribution to the Angular community.

Oh! Don’t forget that the Angular Universal project needs your help. Send us some PRs and open issues for feedback or concerns ;)