JavaScript Scene
Tech Survey Results

Summer 2015

This summer, JavaScript Scene conducted a JavaScript tech survey via social media over the course of a few days. Just under 800 people participated. Respondents are all engaged in JavaScript discussions on social media including Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Most of the respondents came from Twitter. As promised, here are the results:

React is Rising

Almost half (45%) currently use Angular, and more than half (66%) are interested in React. There are fewer people interested in Angular than using Angular, and that may spell a pending decline in Angular use.

Angular currently dominates the front end component library landscape, but judging by these results, React seems poised to give Angular a run for its money in the coming months.

Notable “other” responses for the library interest question include Polymer, RxJS, Koa, and Immutable.js.

Goodbye SPAs, Hello Universal (aka Isomorphic) JavaScript

Important Note: In the time since this survey was conducted, a well-received blog post suggested that we change the name “Isomorphic JavaScript” to “Universal JavaScript”.
I agree, and I’ve already changed the name of my book on the topic to “Learn JavaScript Universal App Development with Node, ES6, & React”. Likewise, the “Isomorphic Express Boilerplate” is now the “Universal React Boilerplate”.

About three quarters (76%) are interested in isomorphic JavaScript, meaning they want to share more code across the stack. The latest trend has been to render on both the server and the client side, in contrast to the original server-only rendering from the early days of the web, and the more recent client-only rendering of the Single Page App (SPA). We may be witnessing the end of the SPA era as more people adopt Node for their web server tiers.

ES6 Has Arrived

The ES6 specification is the new JavaScript standard. As Babel use spreads, more people are beginning to use ES6 in production today, transpiling many new features to code that runs in current browsers.

About half of respondents (48%) report using ES6. Many are using ES6 only on the front-end, but nearly 30% report using it with Node as well. Expect ES6 use with Node to grow as more people embrace universal JavaScript.

ES6 Modules Embraced

We asked participants which ES6 features they’re most interested in.

Respondents seem pleased that ES6 finally brings a canonical module implementation to JavaScript, and show strong appreciation for arrow functions and generators. Class didn’t fair as well as expected, but that’s probably selection bias (I’ve been a vocal critic of the `class` implementation).

The Takeaways

The future looks bright for ES6, Node, and React. Any tech that tries to compete directly with any of them will have an uphill battle. ES6 adoption has happened much more quickly than we imagined it would, and that’s a good thing for everybody.

This survey was conducted prior to the announcement of WebAssembly, a new binary format and compile target for browsers. In the next survey, we’ll include questions about wasm, as well as Polymer, RxJS, Koa, and Immutable.js.

Thank you for participating. We’re excited to hear from you again, soon!

Eric Elliott is the author of “Programming JavaScript Applications” (O’Reilly), and “Learn JavaScript Universal App Development with Node, ES6, & React”. He has contributed to software experiences for Adobe Systems, Zumba Fitness,The Wall Street Journal, ESPN, BBC, and top recording artists including Usher, Frank Ocean, Metallica, and many more.

He spends most of his time in the San Francisco Bay Area with the most beautiful woman in the world.