Insights

2019 is the best year
to learn JavaScript

JavaScript today and its impact
on web apps.

in software development By Matheus Paiva, Software Engineer

JavaScript is not changing as fast as in recent years, which makes now a great time to learn it. I first started working with the language in 2015, when it was vying for competition. For example, React and AngularJS were disputing user adoption in the web-app market  and there were a lot of other names in the battle too.

In that period we were living the transition between old JavaScript to modern JavaScript.

The es6 advent was a watershed, bringing not only new features but a fresh way to look to the ECMAScript standard. After that, es7 and later versions began creeping along with this natural evolution.

Lots of tools were gaining traction at the same time and it wasn’t uncommon to find Grunt, Gulp, Bower, npm, and Webpack being used in the same project! It was a complete mess. You can imagine how overwhelmed a beginner would feel trying to figure anything out within this environment.

That was me. Not only was I trying to learn multiple new things at the same time, but I also had to guess where the wind was blowing, to decide which programming language I should learn first. I chose AngularJS and Ember — and now we can see that React has emerged as the king of stability and adoption in this competition. Actually, I am much happier now working with React projects. :)

Source: https://time.graphics/pt/line/231822

JavaScript has matured a lot in the last years. All the libs, frameworks and tools that are being highly adopted by the community were released, at least, two years ago. We are starting to experience the end of JavaScript fatigue — and that’s great news!

The configuration storm

Another issue that is getting solved is the configuration storm.

Two years ago, it was very common to copy-paste a lot of code to start a new project. Fortunately, tools have evolved. Today, it’s possible to create a React app with just a single line of code. It’s possible to create a webpack bundle with zero configuration. Dan Abramov wisely talked about it in 2017.

This eliminates the barriers and noise for beginners, giving them a clear sense of direction. They can focus on ‘doing stuff’ and while they deliver value to the market, they can create intimacy with the tools and learn how to handle each hurdle, progressively.

What’s next?

If you compare the publication State of JS 2018 with its previous editions, you will see that there was a kind of uncertainty between 2016 and 2017, but not very much changed between 2017 and 2018. Maybe the competition became irrelevant with the huge adoption of webpack.

In the back-end, Express lost popularity a few years ago, but regained it and probably will keep the crown for the next years. Speaking about “next”, I encourage all developers to look to Next.js, a zero-config server-side rendering for React projects.

In terms of front-end, I believe that React and React Native will remain popular for a long time. Redux and REST are still the default modus operandi of web apps, but Apollo and GraphQL are becoming more and more trendy. I hope that, until the end of this year, we will continue to have great progress in this field.

Regarding concepts, the latest buzzwords are Progressive Web Apps (PWA) and Web Components. If you work with JavaScript day-by-day, you shouldn’t finish this year without getting familiar with these terms. Moreover, the Playstore now accepts PWA publication as if it was a native app.

Most of our front-end projects at Hexis are either applying or moving toward PWA requirements. It means we are building web apps that run on the browser, but can also be used as desktop or mobile apps without big overheads. They offer a native user experience that is smooth and fluid and will work even if you’re offline.

For componentization, we currently employ React and a modular structure to reuse the codebase through different platforms. We also keep an eye on Lit Element, a wonderful library for creating native web components.

Conclusion

I believe that we are living the Early Majority adoption for most of the subjects in modern JavaScript. Source

What a great year to learn JavaScript!

You have a booming market with good demand for new developers. You have a well-prepared ground to know not only what to learn but also how to learn it. You are holding all the aces. What are you waiting for?

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