Jerod Santo

7 insights from the State of JS 2019

Results are in for the 2019 State of JS survey1. I’ve been digging through charts to see what I can see. Here are 7 insights that jumped off the page to me.

1. TypeScript is winning developer hearts 💚

Travel back to 2016 and developer awareness of TypeScript was already at 97%, but interest was barely over the 50/50 mark. In 2019, every dev who took the survey knows what TypeScript is and a whopping 58.5% would use it again.

TypeScript experience
Only 7% of respondents who have used TypeScript would not use it again.

2. Adoption of Web Components is slow 🚦

The promise of Web Components is an attractive one, but not many of us are realizing that promise today. The idea of Web Components was first introduced back in 2011 (Polymer came in 2013). Here we are at the end of 2019 and less than 30% of survey takers have used the APIs.

Web Components Usage

What’s taking us so long? There’s been a lot of discussion around this topic over the years. Here is an excellent example of said discussion that is worth a read.

3. WebAssembly has not yet reached the masses 🌍

Everyone is talking about WASM, but very few of us are using it. Unlike Web Components, enthusiasm around WebAssembly is nearly universal (in my experience). It seems like many of us are just waiting for the technology to mature.

WebAssembly Usage
3/4 of respondents (and 100% of the people writing this caption) haven't used WASM.

Will 2020 be the year WASM finally reaches the masses?

4. Svelte is on the rise, but still obscure to many 📈

Svelte is definitely 2019’s “cool new framework on the block”. Maybe our January episode of The Changelog with Rich Harris had something to do with that? More likely, it was Svelte 3’s release in late April and the ensuing buzz that ginned up interest.

Front end framework ranking
67% interest, 75% awareness, 88% satisfaction

Of all the front-end frameworks, Svelte is highest in interest, but lowest in awareness. Not bad for its rookie year. For the uninitiated, Svelte sets itself apart from React/Vue/etc by doing the bulk of its work at build-time instead of run-time.

5. People have lost interest in Meteor 📉

Back in 2011 and 2012, developers talked about Meteor with the same fervor and passion that Svelte is now enjoying. Interest in Meteor waned over the years and it was recently sold so that the team behind it can focus on Apollo instead.

Back end framework ranking

👆 that picture only tells part of the story. Click through and switch to “interest” and you will see Meteor falling from first place in 2016 to seventh place this year.

6. Electron is still riding high, despite complaints 🤔

Complaining about Electron has become a favored pastime in the tech industry, and yet…

Mobile & desktop experience ranking
Put that in your RAM slot and smoke it 💨

Developer satisfaction with Electron is down from 93% to 86%, but overall sentiment is still higher than that of React Native, the 2nd place option.

What I think we may have here is a conflict between end-user experience and developer experience. This tug-of-war manifests itself oddly with us developers because we’re often pulling for both teams.

As an end-user, I wish there were less Electron apps because they (tend to) require much of my machine’s resources. But as a developer, I wish there were more Electron apps because they help us build things we couldn’t otherwise. Quite the predicament!

7. There are lot of great JavaScript podcasts 🎙

When we first started JS Party, there weren’t many listening options for developers interested in JavaScript, Node, and/or the web. The last few years we’ve seen a Cambrian explosion of related pods, even filling in smaller niches inside our niche. I love seeing this ecosystem fill out and level up like it has.

JavaScript podcasts

I truly believe that what we need as a community is more voices (literally, the ones that go in your ears) and conversations. The two best places for that to happen is on podcasts and at conferences.

  1. Support the team by buying an awesome t-shirt


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2019-12-20T12:02:41Z ago

It was quite surprising to still see Meteor backend framework option, and not to see NestJS. I think authors of “State of JS” should put a little more effort in research before publishing the survey.

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