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npm Announces 2019 Predictions for JavaScript
[December 06, 2018]

npm Announces 2019 Predictions for JavaScript

npm, Inc., which runs the world's largest software registry and maintains the 'npm' software development tool, today announced JavaScript predictions for 2019 and beyond, informed by the company's report, This Year in JavaScript.

It can be difficult to predict how an ecosystem as large, varied and dynamic as JavaScript will evolve, but npm, Inc. Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Laurie Voss predicts the following in 2019:

  1. Developers will abandon one of their current tools. Frameworks and tools don't last in JavaScript. The average framework has peak popularity of three to five years, followed by years of slow decline as organizations maintain legacy applications but move to newer frameworks for new work. Developers should be prepared to learn new frameworks, and not hold on to current tools too tightly.
  2. React will continue to be the dominant framework. While 60% market share for a web framework is unheard of, this is partly because React isn't a full framework; it's part of one. This fact allows it to flexibly cover more use cases. If a developer is building a web app in 2019, React will lend a big advanage in terms of tutorials, advice and bug fixes.
  3. Developers will need to learn GraphQL. It might be too early to put GraphQL into production, especially if an organization's API is already done, but 2019 is the year to get up to speed on the concepts of GraphQL. There's a good chance developers will be using them in new projects later in 2019 and beyond.
  4. A developer within each organization will introduce TypeScript. An npm, Inc. survey of over 16,000 members of its developer community discovered an adoption rate of over 50% for Microsoft (News - Alert), Inc.'s programming language, a rate that implies that TypeScript has grown to become more than just a tool for enthusiasts. Real people are getting real value out of the extra safety provided by type-checking. In particular, members of larger teams should seriously consider adopting TypeScript in projects in 2019.

npm's report, due to be updated in the first quarter of 2019, was compiled in partnership with the JS Foundation and the Node.js Foundation. It reveals that JavaScript is the world's most popular programming language. While 93% of respondents use the language to write code for the web, a still-substantial 70% say they write JavaScript that runs on servers such as Node.js.

Other key takeaways include:

  • Security concerns: For many developers, npm has simply become the way to build websites. The survey revealed that 77% of respondents said they were concerned about the quality and security of the open source libraries they use, while 52% said the tools currently available were inadequate.
  • Demographics: In the npm community, 25% of developers have been using JavaScript for less than two years, while 51% have been using npm for less than two years-a side effect of the community doubling in size during that time. Nearly 70% of npm users mostly taught themselves JavaScript, while 22% learned on the job.
  • React/GraphQL growth continues: React continues to dominate the web scene. Over 60% of survey respondents say they use React, although growth in 2018 has been slower than in 2017. Meanwhile, GraphQL adoption numbers continue to explode, driven by the popular client library Apollo.
  • Transpiler popularity: Babel is the transpiler choice for 65% of npm users, given its versatility outside the React ecosystem. Surprisingly, nearly 50% of developers reported using TypeScript, the type-checked JavaScript variant from Microsoft.

About npm, Inc.

npm, Inc., founded in Oakland, California, in 2014 by Isaac Z. Schlueter and Laurie Voss, maintains the npm package manager for JavaScript and hosts the world's largest software registry. Created in 2009 as an open-source package manager for Node.js, npm has been embraced by millions of developers worldwide for client- and server-side applications as diverse as IoT, mobile development, financial services and aerospace. More than 150,000 companies, including BBC, Coinbase, eBay (News - Alert), Electronic Arts, Nvidia and Slack, rely on npm's products and services to reduce developer friction and build amazing things.

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