Software Development
Lukasz Formela
2021-05-20

JavaScript is totally dead. Some dude on the internet

Or at least it is supposed to be! We know the drill. The hate on JavaScript did not come from nowhere. The lack of different languages to be used on the web was an issue on it’s own for a long period of time.

I remember that when I started coding “for real,” Flash was going to be abandoned and we were to be left without any interactive aspect in our browsers other than those made using JavaScript. Silverlight? No one remembers that. Or maybe ActiveX? We are long past the days when these technologies had their moment and now, maybe more than ever, JavaScript is in its glory.

I had a chance to work in JavaScript on the backend doing simple API’s (express + node). I've made some basic touchpad apps (ReactNative) using JS. Then I lifted some load off from the main thread by using service workers. I built frontend apps (React, Vue, AngularJS) and the one thing I am missing is desktop apps (Electron) – all built in JavaScript!

How come there are still people who believe that JavaScript is dead?

For those who prefer more static languages, JavaScript will always be an abomination without typescript. Only if added, the language might become acceptable to them. Developers’ preferences were very strong when a lot of code written back in time was in Java or C.

When asked to do a task outside of their language scope, those devs might have been a bit lost; this friction is now being taken care of using transpilers and other useful tooling, like the previously mentioned TypeScript. Just imagine you have to ditch the language you love and that has grown on you like a good pair of shoes for the confusing and not too comfortable pair of these:

JavaScript

So why pick JavaScript for my next project? I need my developers to love the code they write, not hate it with every cell in their body!

JavaScript is universal – jack of all trades, master of none

Even web developers are trying to find ways to get rid of JS with WebAssembly. In mobile development, we have not only native apps but also things like Flutter that are storming the castle. But when it comes down to making a project from start to finish, your team often has to be diverse.

Java + Angular, Python and React... All these projects mostly needed two devs who focus on different aspects of the code. If you go for JS devs, they can most likely hop in and resolve a ticket regarding DB as well as fix some CSS issues and the analytics script that has been haunting your Lighthouse score for some time now.

Of course, some projects require the stuff that e.g., Java, Python, Go or Ruby bring to the table but in the end the more diversity in the paradigms, the less likely you’re going to be looking for devs to come by and do the actual work. Let’s take a quick peek at the stats:

JavaScript popularity

This shows us that JS doesn’t look dead – it’s actually blooming into a new contender on the market. With the global pandemic, I observed that the JS environment has become even more popular so in the upcoming survey and I’d wager JS might go well past 70%. If you’re planning on running a new project, you can reach out to us and we’ll happily tell you why JS might be the way to go!

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The pros of JS

Nowadays JS has matured from the caterpillar it used to be. We have new versions coming out within reasonable time frames. The bugs reported to browser vendors are taken care of ASAP and jokes about packages and frameworks coming out each hour are somewhat true.

With a language so widely used by so many people, it’s just a matter of time to find the best solutions to handle the problems you have to tackle. I’ve been lately working on the IoT app that helps people in distress to alarm certain services about their life being in danger. If not for JavaScript, I wouldn’t be able to work on such an initiative. For me, JS opened many doors and it might be the case for your developers, too!

A couple of pros I think might convert you into a JS supporter:

- multiple supported platforms (web, mobile, IoT, desktop, the fridge, spacecraft HUD),

- a package for anything (be it date handling or joke generation),

- a js dev is a swiss army knife,

- continuous improvement of the language,

- great community always eager to help (or mark issues as duplicates),

- with CLI tooling, you can create apps almost instantly.

Comments

There are some boundaries to what JavaScript can do, but I guess if you’re stubborn and have enough RAM, coffee and brain cells to spare, then you can do absolutely anything with it.

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Read more:

Why you should (probably) use Typescript

How not to kill a project with bad coding practices?

Data fetching strategies in NextJS