JavaScript, the king of popularity

The software industry is constantly evolving. Many languages that were at the forefront a few years ago seem obsolete or have become completely redundant at present.

There is a wide range of options available for developers when it comes to functional, object-oriented and scripting languages but it seems that JavaScript is still the king. Here a proof of it.

GitHub Octoverse

As a web developer who deals daily with JS I will try to clarify why I think this language is so successful.

It’s pretty much everywhere

I would venture to say that JavaScript is the digital equivalent of the English language in the sense that it is globally recognized. You see it everywhere; you’re just not aware of it, but there it is. JavaScript is present in every platform imaginable — browsers, mobile and desktop applications, IoT devices, and more!

Fashions move the masses and in the end, if the big companies bet on a technology they get the rest of humanity to follow in their footsteps. I’m sure that if companies like Apple, Google or Facebook opted for Cobol, they would end up getting this old language resurrected from their grave. (I am still surprised when I read that there are banks that are programmed in this primitive language — Of course, I am sure that the one who continues programming in Cobol is right now swimming among gold coins).

Literal example of a COBOL developer

It’s noob-friendly

Even those who have never ventured into programming can be a JavaScript ninja. Its syntax is so straightforward and easily digestible that it can be picked up by beginners in no time.

Whenever I talk to non-programmer friends interested in the world, I’m usually asked what would be the best language to start with. And although it’s a difficult question to answer, I usually choose to recommend JavaScript. I think that to obtain the basic principles is a very good option.

Unlike other languages, JavaScript has a quick feedback loop. Since it’s built on the browser, you can run your code and get results instantaneously. That way, you can learn and improve so much faster.

It’s Open Source

Yeah, now that OpenSource is so fashionable, yes, JavaScript is also open source.

And one of the great advantages of Open Source projects is the great community behind them. This point could be linked to the previous because you can find any problem solver in Google or StackOverflow for sort out your problem. Or if you newbie you can quickly ask any question.

Full-stack development

Although I have never really liked the use that is given in general to the term Full-Stack (to me, a Full-Stack Developer is someone with familiarity in each layer, if not mastery in many and a genuine interest in all software technology) it is true that JavaScript can be used in many different ways.

From 2009 and on, after the Node.js release, “JavaScript everywhere” paradigm has become a reality. This server-side JavaScript framework allows to unify web application development around a single programming language, rather than rely on a different language for writing server-side code.

Now, it seems that, if you program the front-end with JavaScript and the back-end in PHP you’re a bit of a jerk.

Moreover, here I leave a link with a list of JavaScript libraries according to Wikipedia. In the time it takes to blink, there is a new framework.

In a nutshell

The reasons are many. JavaScript is popular because it’s the king of the web and the queen of the mobile, it successfully competes with the server-side languages, it has great support from the industry leaders and is loved by millions of developers.