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JavaScript survey: Most use React but satisfaction low

What do we want? Static typing!

The State of JavaScript 2021 survey has arrived, a little later than planned (no jokes about language performance, please) and in the wake of a somewhat embarrassing data leak.

2020's State of JavaScript report came from a survey of 23,000 developers. 2021's was the result of just over 16,000. And although the US leads the way, its share of survey respondents dropped to 14 per cent and Russia climbed to third place behind Germany with 4 per cent.

Sadly, the vast majority (93.2 per cent) of those who answered the gender question listed themselves as male, up on last year's 91.1 per cent. 82.4 per cent chose to fill out the survey in English. JavaScript might be impressively diverse from a technological perspective, but the same cannot be said for the respondents to this survey.

However, JavaScript remains far and away the most popular language among developers, notching up nine years as the most commonly used language in the Stack Overflow survey. Trends in its ecosystem are therefore highly significant.

In terms of frameworks and libraries, React continued to lead for usage followed by Angular and Vue.js. React also topped the charts for awareness, but its decline in satisfaction is marked, with the library now standing at third place as interest waned, placing React fourth behind Vue.js, Solid, and Svelte. Solid came top for satisfaction and second for interest, even if it was second from bottom in terms of people actually using it (behind Alpine.js and Ember).

The majority of respondents believe the language was "moving in the right direction" and there was a slight decline in the proportion that felt building apps was overly complex.

As for what was missing, static typing continued to top the charts, although a majority of respondents declared themselves either "happy" or "very happy" with the general state of JavaScript and the web technologies in general. With 22 per cent of those responding to the salary question trousering $100k-$200k a year, we can't really blame them.

And the data leak? An encryption key that made it possible to decrypt publicly available encrypted email addresses and link them to survey responses was accidentally left on a public GitHub repo. Oops!

Table borking system

Bork a table. Credit: Jon Miciew

Still, as the example pictured above of a table booking (borking?) system demonstrates, it is all too easy for web technologies to go a bit wrong in a very public way. ®

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