JavaScript programming language: Developers reveal their favourite features, frameworks and tools

JavaScript developer survey shows key trends of 2019.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Over 20,000 developers have shared what are their favorite JavaScript features, front-end frameworks and back-end frameworks in a new survey.

The figures come from the fourth State of JavaScript survey, which included responses from 21,717 developers around the world. On the flavors front - languages that compile to JavaScript - most developers were satisfied with Microsoft-backed open-source JavaScript superset, TypeScript, followed by Reason, Elm, ClosureScript, and PureScript. But TypeScript also came out on top when ranking developers' interest as well as awareness. 

Some 58% of developers reported having used TypeScript and that they would use it again, compared to less than 5% for all other flavors of JavaScript.

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The favorite front-end JavaScript framework was React, closely followed by Svelte on the satisfaction rating. 

Svelte, which promises a "radical new approach to building user interfaces", was the top framework that developers were interested in learning. However, only three-quarters of developers were aware of it, compared to React, Angular, and Vue.js, which all developers at least know exists. 

Angular has fallen out of favor with JavaScript developers during the past few years, with a satisfaction rating of just 38% compared to 68% in 2016. About 40% of developers who used Angular didn't want to continue doing so, according to Stack Overflow's 2019 survey.   

The top "data layer" for managing data in apps was GraphQL, followed by Apollo, Redux, MobX and Relay. 

Express dominates back-end JavaScript frameworks, flowed by Next.js, Next, and Gatsby.  

Most JavaScript developers report earning a decent income, with 30.6% claiming to earn between $50,000 to $100,000 a year, while 20% reported earning between $100,000 and $200,000 per year.

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The survey population was made up of 91.3% people who identified as male versus just 6% who identified as female.  

About 80% of developers agreed with the statement that "JavaScript is moving in the right direction", but the percentage who strongly agreed has declined from 52% in 2018 to just 20% this year. 

On the other hand, the proportion of developers who strongly agreed with the statement that building JavaScript apps is "overly complex right now" has declined from 30% in 2016 to just 10.5% today.

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