Top 7 JavaScript trends to watch and apply in 2019

Ihor Feoktistov
Ihor Feoktistov
CTO at Relevant Software
Jan 16, 2019 8 min read
Tech label
Tech label Jan 16, 2019 8 min read

Back in 2007, Jeff Atwood in the principle of least power said, ’Any application that can be written in JavaScript, will eventually be written in JavaScript’. Stack Overflow Report claims JavaScript as one of the most popular languages for software development for many years and is not likely to lose its position any time soon.

Technology trends 2019

Why is it so popular? In the constantly evolving technology world, with all the hype around trending connectivity, AI, IoT, software development tools, and platforms are striving to make the development process more streamlined and business efficient. This is especially evident for progressive web development as the digital environment demands improved integrations, easy and user-friendly tools new frameworks so that any innovation can be at your fingertips. JavaScript family is the front runner in the area with new tools or integrations appearing quite often. JavaScript frameworks and libraries are trending among web and mobile app developers irrespectively of the size and needs of the company due to its sheer volume of tools making your code quality and clean.

So, let’s take a closer look at the top JavaScript trends to look forward in 2019 which development engineers can use to put together a great toolkit for creating robust, modern, smooth and secure web and mobile application.

You can see the stats on JavaScript frameworks usage for front-end and back-end:

Front-end frameworks 2019

1. Front-End Development Frameworks

Naturally, talking about JavaScript trends it’s worth starting with the heavyweights.

React JS, a JavaScript library specifically suited for creating user interfaces in large data-powered web applications allows updates and rendering of the components without additional reloading of the page. Basically, the main trailblazers of React JS earning its stars on GitHub are its ability to simplify the creation of interactive user interfaces and also its comfortable coexistence with other libraries or JavaScript frameworks like AngularJS. It’s not only maintained by Facebook but is also utilized by business giants like PayPal, Uber, Airbnb, Netflix, and BBC. So, its pretty obvious non-stop popularity and established position in the community is not likely to shift off the top rank in the coming year.

Another extremely powerful and popular JavaScript framework is Angular. Even the newbies’ front-end developers know about Angular, typically applied for the development of single-page web applications. Angular provides two-way data binding ensuring all aspects of the application enablement, from templating to dependency injection. Its opinionated structure ensures that all projects work similarly. Being built on top of TypeScript means it uses static typing and decorators as core features to make the composition of components manageable. The fact that it was initiated and is widely used by Google already sounds pretty loud.

The new versions and modifications come out pretty often; today Angular 7, an improved product is already in use. It is notified that the new distinguishing features of Angular 7 include automatic adding/removing the reflect metadata for improved app performance, integrated CLI documentation into the main Angular.io docs, the CLI Prompts capability helps users make decisions, support of content projection via slots with Angular Elements components, etc. But, as it turns out, some new appearing Javascript frameworks like Vue.js, released in 2014 are getting more hype and respectively getting more and more popular. Still, Angular is used by such resources as Forbes and Weather.com opt for Angular as their front-end development platform.

It’s been for a while now that we are seeing the vigorous rise in popularity of the open-source Vue.js, which already managed to earn the trust of Expedia and GitLab. It’s a JavaScript library specifically designed for building web interfaces. It’s lightweight and flexible enough to be utilized either as part of an existing application or as the main framework for a site. It is also attractive for both experienced programmers and beginners because of its intuitive component-based development model and allows adding components to a project structure (its components are well-combined with HTML, CSS and JS), relative simplicity and clarity which makes it easy to learn. Among the core features to expect from Vue in 2019 is its improved performance with Vue, js 2.x, native TypeScript support, SVG animations, proxy support, stable API, etc.

Up till recently when going for the JavaScript for front-end development there was a question of choice between Angular vs. React. With the launch of Vue.js, it’s worth to make a brief comparison of those three. Firstly, Angular is a stable complete and ready-to-use solution, while React and Vue.js are more flexible and when needed can accept third-party libraries. Angular as well as React contain the whole collection of built-in tools or boilerplates that demand from the software development engineer to get used to. Vue.js, on the other hand, is quite lightweight and pretty intuitive that is it delivers everything it is expected to offer. And also, as mentioned before, it is also easy to learn when compared to others, making it attractive for the developers. Typically, Angular is preferred by the development teams building complex and large applications, while React and Vue.js are chosen when flexibility is required for the smooth work.

JavaScript is evolving non-stop and the new leading front-end technologies are likely to appear but it looks that React and Vue.js will get more adopters with Angular still enjoying its popularity.

2. Back-End Development Frameworks

JavaScript tools and technologies offer a lot of additional capabilities not just for front-end development but also for back-end development as the constituent elements of the web development process. 

Node.js makes it to the top of the most popular back-end JavaScript technologies according to Stack Overflow Survey for a few years in a row. What is the reason for such popularity? Productive, fast and scalable, Node.js is leading the way with the JS server-side programming. It’s a runtime environment used in sync with other front-end frameworks making the development of the easily scalable web applications much smoother and painless. The software developers appreciate Node.js for its reaction to events allowing to create back-end applications, like social networks or blogs which are extremely popular now. Among its impressive beneficial features are its providing superior performance and speed especially for:

– Applications with real-time messaging and notifications

– Data-heavy and content-intense applications with much data to be processed

– eCommerce applications dependent on processing speed

Node.js offers the whole set of other benefits that can help launch business application faster and easier. It is considered a tool of choice by the startups when weighing on the technology stack as it is relatively uncomplicated to learn and simple to deploy paired with stable performance. Node.js keeps developing and its huge community makes sure that it remains the most reliable, efficient and secure back-end development tool in 2019. Node.js is utilized by such global companies like LinkedIn, Uber, and eBay making the most out of it for excellent user experience.

3. Cross-Platform Mobile App Development Framework

Mobile app development is integral if not the leading part of the modern development environment. Mobile apps are ruling the consumer’s world of the 21st century, so it’s only logical that JavaScript offers a variety of trending tools for impeccable application development.

If you chose to develop a native app, you will have to build two separate ones, Android and iOS applications. Or you can make use of React Native, a cross-platform JavaScript framework, another child of Facebook development team, and create a single application running on both mobile platforms. React Native is considered to be one of the fastest and most efficient environments for mobile app development which lets the software development engineers build apps using only JavaScript. Its code-sharing capabilities coupled with great performance, productivity, animations, and UX makes it one of the most renowned programming languages in the mobile programming world. Utilizing the same design as React it allows for composing a great mobile UI with declarative components. Among its most prominent business benefits there are:

  • Cost efficiency. Simply put, the development of a single application, instead of two presupposes one development team, that is twice fewer payments and other provisions. Next, native development means the employment of professionals with the knowledge of two programming languages, Java for Android and Swift/Objective-C for iOS. With React Native development, JavaScript knowledge is enough.
  • Eliminated time to the market. A single application development, testing and deployment are faster and less time- and effort- consuming than the development of two different applications. Besides, publishing updates for your apps are much faster over the air (OTA) updates than through the app store manually, which again saves a lot of developer’s time.
  • Community support and reusable components’ access. The React Native community counts for more than 30 thousand members with extensive support and numerous components that can be used in your next cutting-edge mobile application.

React Native - Top 7 JavaScript trends to watch and apply in 2018

The software engineers working on native mobile development note that React Native lacks the support of many APIs and third-party libraries making the integration more complicated, as well as lags behind in performance especially with complex tech-intensive elements of the apps. So, native development is more convenient for such purposes.

React Native in its turn will continue getting a lot of attention and will be a trending framework for iOS and Android application development due to its almost-native performance. React Native is still the preferred choice in the mobile app development applied in thousands of apps, from well-known Fortune 500 companies like Walmart, AirBnB, UberEATS, Tesla, Bloomberg, Instagram to new startups.

4. API Architecture

A number of software experts name GraphQL the replacement for the REST APIs for 2019. It has been one of the hottest web development trends recently with more and more JavaScript developers using it in their projects. GraphQL was released in 2015 for the purpose of creating a new approach to API due to data over/under-fetching, typical for REST and is becoming a standard for which data is queried, fetched and transformed between the frontend and backend. GraphQL is a query language that enables a software engineer to make specific requests from the server and simplifies packaging those requests, so there is no need to send additional queries to get all the needed resource properties. GraphQL is more lightweight than REST as it needs much less network load meaning an improved application performance.

Top 7 JavaScript trends to watch and apply in 2018

Among the unattractive sides of GraphQL is the need to learn, though not so difficult, but still a new language and a methodology of creating API architectures; and also the fact that it lacks versioning, so the developer has to watch for deprecated features to update the application.

5. Application Rendering Framework

Next.js will still be a trend next year due to its nature as a minimalist JavaScript-based framework rendering your app on the server side. The application content is generated by the server this way, so when downloading a page, it already contains all the required content. Next.js works out of the box enabling JavaScript to run on a server, on the desktop or mobile device without any complicated setup, with a minimum code and learning curve.

On the other hand, with server-side rendering for improved app performance, the data-heavy pages require more server resources, which should be carefully considered prior to the development start.

6. UI Development Environment

Storybook.js. Is a tool launched specifically for React applications for building components in isolation? Storybook allows creating UI components without interfering with the UI development. Its advantage is being very customizable to fit the team’s needs through add-ons, config, and the API. So, it eliminates development time especially for the applications with a single screen representing multiple actions. Faster and less effort-consuming UI development means that the application can be completed sooner and find its way to the market quicker.

Top 7 JavaScript trends to watch and apply in 2018

7. Testing Tools

Jest leads in the popularity among the frameworks for automated testing of applications built with JavaScript. It’s a complete and ready to set-up JavaScript testing solution working out of the box for any React project. Jest also runs its tests in parallel increasing the overall performance. Moreover, Jest is capable of collecting code coverage info from the whole project and the untested files, it is also optimized to react promptly without any additional setup or libraries.

JavaScript ecosystem is a huge set of integrated software frameworks, libraries, tools and packages with the ultimate goal of making the software development robust and efficient. For over 6 years JavaScript has topped the popularity list of the programming languages enabling dynamic and user-friendly websites and apps. Being uncomplicated to learn, robust and easily accessible, it continues to evolutionize, and soon we will witness even more new improvements in the JavaScript universe.

Relevant Software is here to help you figure out which technology stack fits your needs and how you can make the most out of software development.

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