ponyfoo.com

JavaScript Developer Survey Results

The end of year is drawing close and the JavaScript Developer Survey has now ended. The survey received an unimagined amount of replies and I’m excited to share the results with you!

Improve this article
Nicolás Bevacqua
| 12 minute read | 41

There were over 5000 responses, 5350 to be exact, and I can’t wait to share the details. Before that I want to thank everyone who chipped in. This is a great time to be a part of the JavaScript community, and I’m truly excited for things to come!

I didn’t anticipate such high interest, and next time I’ll make some improvements to the format. Namely, I’ll put the survey up on GitHub first so that the community can collaborate on the questions and options for a couple of weeks before launching the survey. That way, I’ll be able to produce more accurate results and avoid complaints like “I am shocked you didn’t include Emacs!”.

Now, onto the survey results. I’ll remain impartial in delivering the results, so that you can come to your own unbiased conclusions.

What type of JavaScript do you write?

A whooping 97.4% of respondents write JavaScript for a web browser, while 37% of them write mobile web applications. Over 3000 of them – with 56.6% – also write server-side JavaScript. Among those who took the poll, 5.5% use JavaScript in some sort of embedded environment, such as Tessel or a Raspberry Pi.

A few participants replied they use JavaScript in some other places, notably in developing CLI and desktop applications. A few also mentioned Pebble and Apple TV. These fell in the Other category, with 2.2% of the votes.

An screenshot of the percentages for the first question
An screenshot of the percentages for the first question

Where do you use JavaScript?

Unsurprisingly, 94.9% of voters use JavaScript at work. However, a large portion of the tallied – with 82.3% of the votes – also use it on side projects. Other responses included for teaching and learning, for fun, and for non-profits.

An screenshot of the percentages for the second question
An screenshot of the percentages for the second question

How long have you been writing JavaScript?

Over 33% of the surveyed have been writing JavaScript code for over six years. Out of those who answered the poll, 5.2% started at most a year ago, 12.4% two years ago, and 15.1% three years ago. That makes it 32.7% people who started writing JavaScript in recent years, out of 5350 voters.

An screenshot of the percentages for the third question
An screenshot of the percentages for the third question

Which compile-to-JavaScript languages do you use, if any?

A whooping 85% replied that they compile ES6 into ES5. Meanwhile 15% still use CoffeeScript, 15.2% use TypeScript, and a measly 1.1% reported they use Dart.

This was one of the questions I wish I’d approached more collaboratively, as it got 13.8% of “Other” responses. The vast majority of these answers were ClojureScript, elm, Flow, and JSX.

An screenshot of the percentages for the fourth question
An screenshot of the percentages for the fourth question

What JavaScript stylistic choices do you prefer?

The vast majority of JavaScript developers who answered the poll seem to favor semicolons, at 79.9%. In contrast, 11% indicated they prefer not to use semicolons. When it comes to commas, 44.9% favor to place them after an expression, while 4.9% prefer to use comma-first syntax. When it comes to indentation, 65.5% prefer spaces, while 29.1% would rather use tabs.

An screenshot of the percentages for the fifth question
An screenshot of the percentages for the fifth question

Which ES5 features do you use?

While 79.2% of respondents are on board with functional Array methods, and 76.3% indicated they use strict mode, Object.create sees a 30% adoption and getters and setters are only used by 28%.

An screenshot of the percentages for the sixth question
An screenshot of the percentages for the sixth question

Which ES6 features do you use?

Notably, arrow functions are the most used ES6 feature among those who took the poll: 79.6%. Let and const together took 77.8% of the pollsters, and promises are also strong with 74.4% adoption. Unsurprisingly, only 4% of the respondents have played around with proxies. Only 13.1% of users indicated they’ve used symbols, while over 30% say they use iterators.

An screenshot of the percentages for the seventh question
An screenshot of the percentages for the seventh question

Do you write tests?

While 21.7% never write any tests, most do write some tests, and 34.8% always write tests.

An screenshot of the percentages for the eighth question
An screenshot of the percentages for the eighth question

Do you run Continuous Integration tests?

There’s a similar story with CI, although many more people don’t use a CI server – over 40%. Almost 60% of respondents use CI at least sometimes, of which 32% always run tests on a CI serve.

An screenshot of the percentages for the ninth question
An screenshot of the percentages for the ninth question

How do you run tests?

59% like to run automated browser tests with PhantomJS or similar, and 51.3% also prefer to perform manual testing on a web browser. Automation in server-side tests amounts to 53.5% votes.

An screenshot of the percentages for the tenth question
An screenshot of the percentages for the tenth question

What unit testing libraries do you use?

It would seem most voters prefer either Mocha or Jasmine to run their JavaScript tests, although Tape received a healthy 9.8% of the ballots.

An screenshot of the percentages for the eleventh question
An screenshot of the percentages for the eleventh question

What code quality tools do you use?

It would seem like respondents are divided between ESLint and JSHint, but JSLint is surprisingly strong after all these years, at almost 30%.

An screenshot of the percentages for the 12th question
An screenshot of the percentages for the 12th question

How do you prefer handling client-side dependencies?

npm took over as the client-side dependency management system of choice, with 60% of the votes casted their way. Bower still holds 20% of the audience, and plain old <script> downloading and insertion managed to get 13.7% votes.

An screenshot of the percentages for the 13th question
An screenshot of the percentages for the 13th question

What’s your preferred build script solution?

Build tooling choices are divided, partially due to the healthy amount of different options to choose from. Gulp is the most popular, with over 40% of the votes. Using npm run is close by, at 27.8%, and Grunt got 18.5% of the audience.

An screenshot of the percentages for the 14th question
An screenshot of the percentages for the 14th question

What’s your preferred JavaScript module loading tool?

At the moment, it would seem as most people are torn between Browserify and Webpack, although the latter leads by almost 7 points. 29% of users indicated they use transpile Babel modules first, before presumably using one of the two aforementioned tools to pack their modules together.

An screenshot of the percentages for the 15th question
An screenshot of the percentages for the 15th question

What libraries do you use?

In retrospect, this was one of the questions which would’ve benefitted a lot from collaborative editing. jQuery is still going strong, with over 50% of votes casted its way. Lodash and underscore are used by a significant portion of the JavaScript population that participated in the voting, while the xhr micro library only clocked in 8% of the votes.

An screenshot of the percentages for the 16th question
An screenshot of the percentages for the 16th question

What frameworks do you use?

Unsurprisingly, React and Angular are leading the pack. Backbone is still in a healthy position, with 22.8% of the votes.

An screenshot of the percentages for the 17th question
An screenshot of the percentages for the 17th question

Do you use ES6…

Responses were quite divided in this question, with almost 20% never using ES6, over 10% using it exclusively, close to 30% using it extensively and almost 40% using it occasionally.

An screenshot of the percentages for the 18th question
An screenshot of the percentages for the 18th question

Do you know what’s coming in ES2016?

Roughly speaking, half of the voters don’t know what’s coming in ES2016, while the other half have an idea of what’s coming next.

An screenshot of the percentages for the 19th question
An screenshot of the percentages for the 19th question

Do you understand ES6?

Over 60% of respondents seem to understand the basics, while 10% have no idea about ES6 and over 25% consider they understand ES6 really well.

An screenshot of the percentages for the 20th question
An screenshot of the percentages for the 20th question

Would you say ES6 is an improvement?

Almost 95% of the respondents consider ES6 to be an improvement to the language. I’ll congratulate TC39 members next time I run into them!

An screenshot of the percentages for the 21th question
An screenshot of the percentages for the 21th question

What are your preferred text editors?

Again, very divided because of the variety of options. Over half the respondents like Sublime Text, and over 30% like to use Atom, its open-source clone. Over 25% voted for WebStorm and also for vi/vim.

An screenshot of the percentages for the 22th question
An screenshot of the percentages for the 22th question

What’s your preferred development OS?

Over 60% of voters use Mac, while Linux and Windows users are close to 20% each.

An screenshot of the percentages for the 23th question
An screenshot of the percentages for the 23th question

How do you find reusable code, libraries and tools?

Respondents seem to favor GitHub and search engines, but there’s also a healthy dose of blogs, Twitter, and the npm website being consumed.

An screenshot of the percentages for the 24th question
An screenshot of the percentages for the 24th question

Do you engage in social JavaScript events?

Almost 60% have attended at least a conference, while 74% indicated they like going to meetups.

An screenshot of the percentages for the 25th question
An screenshot of the percentages for the 25th question

What browsers do you support in your JavaScript applications?

Quite divided answers, but fortunately most of respondents don’t have to deal with customers on IE6 anymore.

An screenshot of the percentages for the 26th question
An screenshot of the percentages for the 26th question

Do you learn about JavaScript latest features on a regular basis?

Around 80% of respondents try and stay up to date when it comes to the latest JavaScript features.

An screenshot of the percentages for the 27th question
An screenshot of the percentages for the 27th question

Where do you learn about the latest JavaScript features?

Unsurprisingly, the top-notch Mozilla Developer Network is leading the pack in terms of JavaScript documentation and news. JavaScript Weekly is also a very popular source of news and articles at almost 40% of respondents.

An screenshot of the percentages for the 28th question
An screenshot of the percentages for the 28th question

Which of these features have you heard about?

Over 85% of voters have heard about ServiceWorker, although I’d be curious to know how many of those have played around with it!

An screenshot of the percentages for the 29th question
An screenshot of the percentages for the 29th question

What languages do you use primarily, besides JavaScript?

There’s so many languages to choose from, I was bound to forget a few, but the results speak for themselves.

An screenshot of the percentages for the 30th question
An screenshot of the percentages for the 30th question

Thanks!

Lastly, I wanted to thank everyone who took part of the poll. It was far more popular than I anticipated and I’m looking forward to holding a similar poll next year. Hopefully, it’ll be one that’s even more diverse and perhaps a bit less biased.

What are your take-aways from the survey?

Liked the article? Subscribe below to get an email when new articles come out! Also, follow @ponyfoo on Twitter and @ponyfoo on Facebook.
One-click unsubscribe, anytime. Learn more.

Comments (41)

Motocarota wrote

I’m really really sorry for those 28 guys still fighting with IE6 in 2015… Also VS Code and Aurelia have far less success than they deserve.

J5892 wrote

They probably all work at Yahoo.

Zed wrote

Since the wide adoption of ES6 has started, I have been forever on the lookout of a no fuss, angularesque client side framework and for an Angular refugee who tried and didn’t like React, Aurelia was godsend. Angular will keep losing it’s share in the market to the likes of Aurelia and React as I have seen more(myself included) people turning away from the path Angular 2.0 has taken.

Also, systemjs deserves more love in client side module loading hands down.

Steve wrote

This is more of a reply to the article than to your post zed. Apologies for reply via your post.

Regarding the article/survey, its interesting to see how the community has voted and it is difficult to recieve response from the demographic not knowing who is regularly exposed to your website.

I can tell already though there is a bias based on the type of developer, what they are reading and there interests as to why there is a greater percentage using certain libraries, frameworks, type of javascript from what they read.

There seems to be any real lack of cross browser / device support, dealing with maintenance/performance, commercial practice, implementation of team or affordable architectural practices by the responses.

This website being the highest ranking read https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/

Does not represent a useful guide for an experienced developer. More the rookie who has yet to establish a reliable practice who knows html, css, quirks of browsers/devices and knows well how long a job will take and communicates that well irrespective of environment pressures.

The greater percentage using es6 i doubt are working on enterprise web applications due to its early infancy and doubtful allowance by the owners and ceos of top firms investing hundreds of thousands of pounds in their branded eccommerce site.

Laichuanfeng wrote

I need to support IE8+ ,bad idea.

John Doe wrote

Whilst on the one hand the survey is somewhat of a mainstay of the JS dev community, I’m hugely skeptical about the fact it may have now become a tool in the ponyfoo churn and burn machine. Although I applaud trying to get your message out there, you took a massive credibility hit doing the at-least-daily lite content posts mentioning dragula, linking previous posts every other word and constantly self promoting on echoJS. I would much prefer the survey being community driven, and I’m sorry to say it but far removed from a blog or blogger on a traffic drive, which is why I, certain others (the influence on JS being undisclosed) did not participate.

gotofritz wrote

I must admit I found both the mention of ponyfoo.com in the news sources and that of dragula in the libraries question a bit too blatant for my taste, and it also put me off filling in the survey. But with hindsight I wished I had taken part, after all is not as if there are so many credible ones out there.

So thanks ponyfoo, but the next one should be community driven affair led by echojs, should they feel up to it.

John Doex2 wrote

God, you sound like such a douche. “massive credibility hit”. People like you are why I can’t go to javascript conferences anymore.

Emre Camasuvi wrote

Am i the only one who doesnt see imgur images? D’oh! forgot i was in Turkey.

Angelo Michel wrote

Nice results, thanks for sharing. Awesome too see that ES6 is really popular! I sure hope large (enterprise) organisations will catch up.

Mark Volkmann wrote

I’m very surprised at the number of people still using JSLint. I thought nearly everyone switched to JSHint and ESLint (my favorite) years ago.

Andreas wrote

First thanks for this survey. Minor nitpick: the bar charts and tables would be more readable if they were sorted by the resulting numbers, also pie charts with more then 5 entries are hard to read, they also need a legend to make sense.

Den wrote

Absolutely agree

Nicolas Bevacqua wrote

Take it up with Google Forms!

Fagner Brack wrote

Some questions are really biased that reduces the determinism, like the one who mentions ponyfoo as one of the alternatives.

Also, if all questions were to choose one option it would be much better deterministic because it wouldn’t encourage people to vote in many alternatives and one would have to think very well which option that represent himself.

I am astonished to see that Java is the second place for folks that develop in the front-end, it seems that I am not alone on this one. PHP is the first, there’s no news about it. This is one more reason for not creating languages like CofeeScript trying to mimic the Ruby-style of doing things. Keep it C-style to reduce the barrier of entry or new languages inside the ecossystem.

Anyway, very good poll and I am hoping for the next to see the improvements ,/

Norik Davtian wrote

Interesting to see how things have changed over the past few years. Mac over PC, Gulp over Grunt, Webpack over Browserify, React over Angular.

Thanks for sharing the results.

Bradley Meck wrote

28% of people are using getters/setters?! This surprises me and makes me worry about property access in all sorts of libraries.

Brook Monroe wrote

Still no mention of Brackets as an HTML and JavaScript editor?

azu wrote

Thanks for sharing the results.

I have a question. Where is raw data(like .csv) of the survey?

Josh H wrote

Taking this opportunity to raise the visibility of [devdocs.io](http://dev docs.io), one of my everyday dev tools. You don’t have to fish around for API docs on the Web when you can get them all in one place and reference them offline too.

Joshua K wrote

Devdocs is great!

marios wrote

wow. thanks for the tip - wish i knew about it earlier. it even has offline support!

Vitali wrote

Great survey. For me, preferred text editors and OS was a delightful surprise.

Nick wrote

Interesting results, but once has to realize this is heavily skewed towards the reader base of this website. Keeping that in mind, some of these results aren’t exactly astonishing. You can tell how skewed it is based on the numbers from people writing in python vs. more traditional Java and .NET, which comprise a lot of the internet.

I don’t believe Grunt is only used by 18.5%… that just can’t be right considering the huge community it has behind it, and the amount of downloads grunt has over gulp daily based on npm.

Kon wrote

I just checked - gulp has more downloads then grunt in all fields - daily, weekly, all time…

Nick wrote

Indeed it does, just barely. Where are you seeing all time numbers? I have a hard time believing that. The 18.5% is still not justified.

Riza wrote

Which sampling state or country for this survey? I see this is not entire world sampling. I was hoping the survey include the developers demographic as well. I believe is very important to see the respondents choice. Great survey.

Mark Wallace wrote

So 60% of Javascript is written by applites?

That probably explains why so much of the Interweb fits into the “works for me, I don’t care if it works for you” pigeonhole.

Pokes in the eye aside, that figure surprised me, especially since apple products are almost exclusively used by the snooty in countries like India and China, and almost all web dev is done on windows.

Mr Heart wrote

I don’t seem to see the pdf download. it’ll be nice to have the results in PDF for download.

AdamYee wrote

Would be easier to understand the graphs if the results were sorted.

Nicolas Bevacqua wrote

Google Forms doesn’t provide lots of facilities for displaying result data.

JMack wrote

My take away is that developers have huge egos. I would love to see the +/- on devs who are not necessarily being honest just and trying to lie about their penis size to the world.

I could be completely off base…

Rory O’Kane wrote

What about the last question on the survey, “Is there anything else you want to comment about your JavaScript experience”? That was the question I was most looking forward to see the results of – it was the whole reason I bothered visiting this site, after I knew the survey would be over – but you didn’t mention it at all.

If you don’t want to try summarizing people’s sentiments, could you please at least link to the raw survey data so I could look at the answers myself?

AHMAD AWAIS wrote

Pretty good. You must embed the actual graphs if possible.

Using Gulp and NPM Run and looking at the stats I know I am not alone.

Justin Spencer wrote

Quite interesting article. It mentions pretty good points. A capable and experienced JS specialist is a key for the accomplishment of your site. In case you have to obtain qualified javascript developer, you can contact Markupbox which is one of the primary javascript advancement organizations in India.

Kon wrote

Please label the pie charts. They may look ‘neat’ but they are completely uninformative.

Take a look at the chart under “How long have you been writing JavaScript?” - its the first pie chart in the article. WTF is going on there? Can you tell?? There. Please label the charts.

Nicolas Bevacqua wrote

This is how Google Forms renders its charts. I agree that they’re confusing, but not a lot could be done.

Manav Jha wrote

good article :-)

Manav Jha wrote

good article :-)

Ken wrote

I wish the article were dated. Based on the comments, I have to guess the article was posted in December, 2015, and so the survey itself took place some time shortly before that.

Nicolás Bevacqua wrote

They are indeed dated.

Trivia box
Trivia box