State of JavaScript 2020 report reveals shakeup among popular frameworks

by Joseph K. Clark

The latest State of JavaScript report reveals that while React and Vue are still the most popular JavaScript frameworks, Svelte is starting to establish itself as a top contender for the top spot. 

Svelte has a user base that is 89% satisfied with it. Sixty-six percent of survey respondents were interested in using it, while only 15% currently use it, which is a significant increase from 2019 when only 8% of respondents used Svelte. React was used by 80% of respondents this year, Angular by 56%, and Vue.js by 49%.  

According to the report, the JavaScript frameworks Angular and Ember have seen significant dropoffs in satisfaction over the years. In 2016, 68% of developers were satisfied with Angular, dropping to 41% in 2018, 38% in 2019, and then back up to 42% in 2020. Similarly, in 2016, 47% of respondents were satisfied with Ember, decreasing to 30% in 2019 and 27% in 2020. 

report reveals shakeup

Despite satisfaction dropping off, it hasn’t seemed to affect usage just yet. 56% of respondents used Angular, and 11% used Ember, which was consistent with the numbers from the past few years for both languages. 

For the language overall, most respondents (80.6%) agree that JavaScript is moving in the right direction. 4.1% disagreed that the language was moving in the right direction, and 15.3% stated they were neutral. 

There was more of a split between those who believe building JavaScript apps is overly complex right now and those who don’t. 39% said that it was challenging, 26.2% were neutral, and 24.4% disagreed.

JavaScript developers overwhelmingly enjoy building apps using the language. 42.8% strongly agreed that they enjoyed building apps with JavaScript, 45.9% agreed, and 3.5% disagreed. In addition, a majority of developers (68.7%) wished JavaScript was their primary programming language. 

“Since ancient times, philosophers have pondered the Paradox of JavaScript: on the one hand, you can’t wait for exciting new language features and libraries that promise to make your developer experience so much better. But at the same time, you crave stability and simplicity so you can finally get things done without having to spend half your time browsing through complex GitHub issues threads and outdated Stack Overflow questions. So which is it? Do we want the new shiny or the old reliable? More than ever, 2020 shows that we won’t settle for anything less than both. The good news is that the JavaScript community has risen up to the challenge, which promises an exciting 2021,” the report stated.

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