JavaScript is No. 1, and its popularity is still soaring – Latest News


A quarter of a century since it was developed by Brendan Eich, JavaScript is not only the most popular programming language, it is also widening its lead. Developer analyst firm SlashData’s Q3 2020 report says 12.4 million developers globally use JavaScript (JS). About 5 million of these were added in just the last three years, the biggest absolute increase for any language.

“Adaptive, nimble, open and powerful capabilities are the main reasons for the rising popularity of Javascript, other than it being the language of the web browser,” says Gireesh Punathil, IBM’s runtimes architect.

The proliferation of cloud, easy accessibility of the programming platform, availability of the largest reusable library on the planet (npm) have made Javascript and Node.js the preferred language and runtime

Gireesh Punathil, Runtimes Architect, IBM

Raju Shetty, head of engineering at Razorpay, says JS is very fluid, “because of which you can build all sorts of applications across platforms (mobile, web and desktop).”

JS has to improve in its ability to leverage CPU and memory resources in an optimal way. For that reason, people use different languages for the backend. But for pilots, for exploring product market fit, JS is outstanding. For the frontend, it’s the ideal choice

Raju Shetty, Head – Engineering, Razorpay

Since 1997, concerted efforts have been made to establish JS as the standard programming language of the web on the frontend – what we get to see or interact with on the browser. This was to ensure better interoperability of web pages across different browsers. It is estimated that JS is used now in nearly 95% of the websites.

Janardan Revuru, senior manager with Dell EMC and co-founder of Bengaluru JavaScript Meetup, says JS has risen in stature from a TV actor to a Bollywood actor, thanks to the surge in the community of developers around it, and the broader uses it is being put to.

It’s very easy to make a mistake while coding in JS. So developers have to take extra care, teams have to follow extra rules to write decent code that can be maintained for a long period

Janardan Revuru, senior manager, Dell EMC

The language is being increasingly used even in the backend. The backend is where the computation is done. It handles business logic (such as understanding the type of bank account, the menu options) and intelligence (what sort of ad should be shown to a certain account holder).

In 2009, American software engineer Ryan Dahl took the JS browser engine and put it to use in the backend. This led to the creation of Node.js, a JS runtime environment that executes JS code outside a web browser.

When the frontend and backend is built using the same language, there’s better understanding of the product and better developer experience. That’s what makes the combination of JS-based MERN – MongoDB (database), Express.js (backend framework), React (frontend framework) and Node.js (runtime environment for backend) one of the most popular full-stack skillsets.

Now, to be a full stack developer, the learning curve is faster, because if you already know JS for the frontend, you can use the same language for the backend

Divyam Goel, founder-CEO, AttainU

“Till some years ago, the requirement was a developer should know JS in the frontend and Python or Scala or Java in the backend, and related frameworks. But then came along Node.js. Now, to be a full-stack developer, the learning curve is faster,” says Divyam Goel, founder-CEO of edtech platform AttainU. Full-stack developers are in big demand today, since one person can do it all.


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