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What will be top Javascript frameworks in 2020?

Can anyone clarify my doubts on what will be top Javascript frameworks in 2020?

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Posted 4 months ago


According to stackoverflow’s developer survey 2020, JavaScript is the most commonly used language for the 8th year straight with 67.7% people opting for it.

The major reason for its popularity is the fact that JavaScript is versatile and can be used for both frontend and backend development as well as for testing websites or web applications as well.

While googling ‘JavaScript framework’, you’ll come across various JavaScript frameworks, each with their own advantages and usage. With so many choices for the JavaScript framework for frontend, backend development, or even testing it’s difficult to choose the right framework for your requirements.

It can be really hard to find the perfect framework for your requirements. In this article on the best JavaScript framework for 2020, with the help of StateOfJS 2019, I’ve come up with a list of best JavaScript frameworks for frontend, backend, and for testing which might help you on this.

Front End JavaScript framework

JavaScript has been widely used for front end development. Popular frameworks such as React and Angular have been widely used as front end javascript frameworks for quite some time. Here are the best front end frameworks as per StateofJS 2019 report.

1. React JS

The first place in our best JavaScript framework for 2020 rankings in the front-end category belongs to React JS. React JS is an open-source front end JavaScript library (not a full-fledged framework) that was created by a team of Facebook developers led by Jordan Walke back in 2011 and became open source in June 2013.

React introduced a component-based, functional, and declarative programming style for creating interactive user interfaces for mainly single-page web applications. React delivers blazing-fast rendering by making use of ‘Virtual DOM’ that renders only those components that have changed instead of rendering the whole page.

React has consistently topped popularity charts across the board for front end JavaScript framework, be it Stack overflow Developer Survey or the State OF JS Survey. React has consistently won the crown as the favorite front end JavaScript framework.

React Usage Statistics 2020

  • React was chosen as the #1 front end JavaScript framework in State Of JS 2019 survey of JavaScript developers around the world for the 4th consecutive year! React has polled at 1st place since 2016 ahead of mainstream rivals Vue and Angular as the best JavaScript framework.
  • 71.7% of JavaScript devs are currently using React whereas an additional 12% have shown a keen interest to learn it in future as per State Of JS 2019 survey. This marks an impressive jump of almost 8% from previous year where the active user figure stood at 64%.

Pros of using React

  1. Reusable components – React’s component-based approach helps developers to import or reuse UI components without breaking a sweat insteading of coding them from scratch.
  2. Easy integration – React allows easy integration with other front-end and back-end framework like the popular PHP framework Laravel to work in tandem without a hitch.

Cons of using React

  1. Although JSX is a simpler syntax that is easier to read and comprehend, it might present an additional learning barrier to new developers.
  2. Many developers might feel that React has a much steeper curve and bloated complexity when compared to key rival framework Vue JS or any other frontend JavaScript framework.

2. Vue Js

The 2nd place in our best JavaScript framework of 2020 rankings in the front-end category goes to Vue JS. Vue JS is an open-source lightweight front end JavaScript framework used to build creative user interfaces

Vue was first launched in 2014 by Evan You, a developer working for Google who took inspiration from Angular to deliver a simple lightweight and efficient alternative in the form of Vue JS. Although Vue JS has adopted most of its features from React JS and Angular JS

Likewise Vue JS offers high flexibility – not only can it function as an end-to-end full-fledged framework like Angular but also a view layer with state management like React. Thus, the principle key advantage of Vue is its simpler, uncomplicated, unrestrictive and progressive nature that adapts to developer’s needs.

Vue Usage Statistics 2020

  • Vue was placed at #2 in Front End JavaScript Framework rankings in State Of JS 2019 survey by developers for the 2nd consecutive year beating Angular. Vue was ranked at 3rd in 2017 and 5th in 2016.
  • 40.5% of JavaScript devs are currently using Vue and pledge to keep using it while 34.5% have shown keen interest to use it in future (2nd highest % after Svelte) as per State Of JS 2019 survey. This marks an impressive jump of almost 12% in current users from previous year where the figure stood at 28.8%.

Pros of using Vue

  1. Simplicity – The strongest ace that Vue JS has in its corner is its stupendous simplicity. Any React or Angular Developer can pick up Vue JS in a heartbeat without breaking a sweat. Structure of Vue JS is simple and enables you to code more with type less syntax. Vue JS uses a single file component system which means that for any given component, HTML, CSS and JavaScript all reside in a single file.
  2. Built in MVC – Vue JS has an inbuilt MVC that enables quick and easy configuration unlike React JS.

Cons of using Vue

  1. Small community of contributors – Vue JS does not enjoy the backing of a giant like Facebook or Google like in case of React JS or Angular JS. But Vue JS has indeed managed to create a community of backers. On github, Vue JS has 291 Contributors which is decent but still nowhere close to the kind of backing React enjoys with 1.6k contributors. Still kudos to Evan and his team for successfully creating one of the most powerful and loved framework the dev community has ever seen.

3. Angular JS

The 3rd place in our list of best JavaScript framework of 2020 in the front-end category goes to AngularJS. Angular is an open-source typescript based framework by Google used to build client-side of single-page web applications. Angular was created by Google’s engineers Misko Hevery and Adam Abrons in 2010 named AngularJS (or Angular 1).

AngularJS took inspiration from React and made drastic changes, the biggest of which was the shift from M-V-W architecture (Model-View-Whatever) to component-based architecture like React. Today Angular is one of the most secure front end JavaScript frameworks for building enterprise-scale applications out of the box.

Angular Usage Statistics 2020

  • Angular was ranked as the #3 front end JavaScript framework in State Of JS 2019 survey for the 2nd consecutive year. Angular slipped to number 3 spot in 2018 overtaken by Vue JS, a trend that is likely to continue this year as well.
  • 21.9% of JavaScript devs polled are currently using Angular and 9.7% have shown interest to learn and use it in future as per State Of JS 2019 survey. These statistics indicate that Angular is losing the battle against React and Vue for the crown recording a 2% drop in active users when compared to the 2018 survey. Moreover Angular has polled the lowest, a meagre 9.7% in ‘interested to use in future’ category, well behind React, Vue and Svelte JS.

Pros of using Angular

  1. Component Based Architecture – After ditching MVW(model-view-whatever) architecture, Angular 2 and beyond adopted a strictly component-based architecture that facilitates reusability. Components can be used over and over again throughout the app. It also enhances code readability and ease of maintenance.
  2. Server performance –

Cons of using Angular

  1. Typescript – In order to use Angular JS you are obliged to use Typescript which does offer a lot of advantages but still poses a big learning challenge to new developers to surmount. Typescript is a big barrier to entry and explains why angular has struggled against both React JS and Vue JS.
  2. Heavy and Bloated – compared to lightweight alternatives like React JS and Vue JS, angular is extremely bulky and large in size, roughly close to 550-600kb which might not be suited for most of the small-scale applications.

JavaScript Testing Framework

JavaScript is also widely used for testing website or web applications. With more and more organizations opting for automation testing, JavaScript testing frameworks are being increasingly used for unit testing, integration testing and End-to-End testing.

1. Jest

Jest ranks #1 as the best JavaScript framework for testing by the stateofjs survey. It is developed by Facebook and the major focus with this JavaScript testing framework is on simplicity. It is being widely used with Selenium for JavaScript automated testing. It provides good cross browser support for automated browser testing.

Jest Usage Statistics 2020

Jest has continued its unrivalled dominance ranking at no. 1 as best JavaScript framework for testing in the State of JS 2019 survey for the second consecutive year ahead of its major rival Mocha for JavaScript automated testing. 61.2% of JavaScript devs polled have picked Jest as their premier choice for JavaScript automated testing framework whereas 22.8% have indicated a curiosity to learn and use it in future. Jest has seen a massive popularity boost between 2016 and 2020 increasing its user base by almost 15 times.

2. Mocha

Mocha is a JavaScript testing framework which runs on node.js and is widely used for asynchronous testing. It is a feature rich JavaScript framework and tests in Mocha run serially and the reports are accurate and flexible. Mocha supports both BDD and TDD environments for JavaScript automated testing for Selenium test automation.

Mocha Usage Statistics 2020

  • Mocha was ranked 2nd among the best JavaScript framework in the State Of JS 2019 survey behind Jest. Mocha lost its crown to Jest in 2018, and that trend is expected to continue in 2020 and beyond.
  • 42% of JavaScript devs have picked Mocha as their favourite JavaScript testing framework whereas 22% of devs have heard about it and would like to learn it in the foreseeable future.

Back End JavaScript framework

1. Express JS

The 1st place in our list of best JavaScript framework of 2020 in the bank-end category goes to the venerable Express JS. Express is an open-source minimal and un-opinionated web framework for Node js used for building APIs and web applications.

Express was originally built by TJ Holowaychuk in 2010 before being acquired by IBM(StrongLoop) in 2015. It is currently maintained by Node js Foundation. The key advantage of using Express is rapid server-side coding.

Express also makes debugging an effortless task by easily pin-pointing bugs. Another benefit of using Express is that it provides a templating engine to dynamically render HTML pages on the server-side rather than client-side which makes web application more efficient.

Express Usage Statistics 2020

  • Express is ranked as the best JavaScript framework for backend in the State Of JS 2019 survey by JavaScript developers around the world for the 3rd consecutive year since 2017.
  • 71.6% of JavaScript devs polled have picked Express as their premier choice for best JavaScript framework for backend whereas 12% are inclined to use it in future. Another testament to Express’s popularity is the fact that only 4% of JavaScript developers have never heard of Express before.

Pros of using Express

  1. Community support – Express is a really mature 10 year old framework with a massive community backing. Express boasts more than 1.6k contributors on Github.
  2. Good Documentation – Express is blessed with well written and thorough documentation along with a huge trove of tutorials and resources.

Cons of using Express

  1. Ensuring security of the web application is entirely up to the developer and quality of the code. Express by itself doesn’t offer any security solution.

2. Next JS

The 2nd place in our list of best JavaScript framework of 2020 in the bank-end category goes to Next js.

Next, js is an end-to-end server-side rendering framework based on React js. Next js was created by Dutch company Vercel(previously known as ZEIT) in 2017. Although both Next and Gatsby are based on React, there is one key difference between the two.

The major advantages of using Next js are – automatic code-splitting, hot code reloading, automatic routing, and built-in handling of SEO to name a few.

Next Usage Statistics 2020

  • Next was the runner up ranked at #2 best JavaScript framework for backend in State Of JS 2019 survey for the second consecutive year behind Express.
  • 24.7% of JavaScript devs polled are currently using Next. But what’s even more impressive is the fact that a whopping 43% of devs are interested to give Next a try, the highest interest % for any backend framework.

Pros of using Next

  1. Server Side Rendering –Next js has SSR(server-side rendering) out of the box to deliver much faster performance as it doesn’t have to wait for the client’s browser to load JavaScript to show content. SSR also sometimes referred to as “static pre-rendering” starts to render HTML from the server even before JavaScript code has been downloaded in the client’s browser and executed. As a result initial render of the application is available even when code is still loading in the background.
  2. SEO friendly – Traditional Client side rendered apps have a poor SEO performance. Search engine crawlers face difficulties in indexing such pages. However Next js with its server side rendering capability delivers an excellent SEO performance. Next js allows us to create dynamic meta tags in the head section to optimise SEO.

Cons of using Next

  1. Gatsby might be better than Next js for smaller blogs where static build delivers a much more favourable and better performance than relying on Next js Server side rendering.
  2. Performance benchmarks of Next js is in most cases inferior to Gatsby and Nuxt.
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