Web development – current trends and tools

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As software continues to take over the world, every organization is creating web development and application development to interact with their user base. Take this rapid expansion of web development, and add to it a proliferation of languages, frameworks, and tools, and you get a thriving and growing community of web developers.


DATA: Angular currently sits atop the frameworks hierarchy, with 79% of respondents using it to create applications,
compared to 64% last year, and 62% of respondents said they’re interested in using it further or learning more about
this framework. Additionally, TypeScript is one of the most favored “flavors” of JavaScript right now, with a 52% use rate among respondents, up from 32% last year. This growth among Angular users sits in stark opposition to React, which has stayed static year-over-year in terms of user growth, coming in at 30% over our last two community surveys.

IMPLICATIONS: While the Google team did a great job with Angular, the main reason for its resounding success could be that it is the only true framework designed to create full web applications. Out of its main competitors, React and Backbone (though often included under the “frameworks” category) are in fact libraries, and Vue.js, while it can be used as a framework, was designed to create User Interfaces. TypeScript seems to be growing in popularity due to its being a superset of JavaScript, allowing developers to make improvements, such as type safety, to the most widely-used web development language today.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Become familiar with the Angular framework, and the TypeScript iteration of the JavaScript language. Backed by Google, this framework will only continue to improve and become easier to use, and developers should take advantage.


DATA:  95% of respondents stated they actively develop for Chrome (the same number as last year), while every
other major browser saw a decrease in active development: Firefox (77% – 72%), IE (51% – 40%), Safari (38%- 32%).

IMPLICATIONS: Chrome’s and Firefox’s developer tools, such as the super handy JavaScript console, make them
browsers that are really geared toward helping web developers create better applications and sites. The fact
that Chrome is developed for rather than on, however, also speaks to a growing community of Chrome users outside
of the development industry. While reasons for preferences are hard to quantify, the fact that Chrome is backed by one of the biggest companies in the world, with huge marketing departments, could be one reason for its success.

RECOMMENDATIONS: If you’ve never played around with the Chrome developer tools, check them out and become familiar with the ways they can help in the development process. Mozilla also has an excellent reputation for
encouraging open source development, offering an expansive set of documentation and their own developer
browser in which devs can edit and write HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code. But, while Chrome and Mozilla remain
great options for developers, other browsers remain in wide use outside of IT, and should thus be tested against
during the development process.

Most used browsers for web developmentMost used browsers for web development


DATA: MySQL and Oracle DB both saw decreased use since last year’s survey, with MySQL falling from a 61% use rate in 2016 to 57% in 2017, and Oracle DB from 38% to 32%. In opposition to this decrease, NoSQL databases MongoDB and Redis increased in popularity, from a 42% – 46% and 19% – 24% use rate, respectively.

IMPLICATIONS: As more companies and organizations, even those outside the development space, create web
applications to interact with users, their data is growing. This requires a more easily scalable solution, such as
NoSQL databases. NoSQL is also more agile due to its more dynamic, schema-less data model, and is probably seeing a boon from the growth of Agile development processes. Redis in particular is known as a light-weight solution, which can second as a messaging queue, a helpful feature for web developers working with UI/UX.

RECOMMENDATIONS: While NoSQL databases are not perfect, they are currently the best option for web
developers, as they allow for agility and scalability in development. If your team is not yet using a non-relational
database, testing out options such as MongoDB and Redis should be on your radar.


The Angular JavaScript framework was the most popular in our 2016 Web Development survey, and this year its popularity has only increased. While use of Angular 1 decreased slightly from 59% to 57%, use of Angular 2 increased from 33% to 46%. Overall, respondents who have used some form of Angular increased from 64% in 2016 to 79% this year. React, the next most popular framework behind the AngularJS, remained unchanged year over year at 30%. Vue, on the other hand, increased dramatically from results in 2016, going from 3% to 10%. React, while its response was static from last year, is the framework respondents have the most interest in trying, with 58% of responses (up 8% from last year). Angular 2 had a minor boost in interest as well, increasing from 50% to 54% since last year’s survey. On average, respondents have used 1.633 client-side frameworks for web development.


JavaScript, HTML/CSS, and Java were by far the most used languages among survey respondents. 84% of respondents said they use JavaScript for web development, 78% said they use HTML/CSS, and 72% said they use Java. 54% of respondents said they use all three of these, and only 5% of respondents said they don’t use any. Next up were PHP and Python, with 22% and 21% respectively. When asked about what languages respondents’ organizations used, results were nearly identical, but PHP (29%) and Python (27%) were occasionally recognized as languages used for web development elsewhere in a respondent’s organization. ASP.NET received some recognition as well, being used in 23% of respondents’ companies, while only 15% of respondents said they use it themselves. Respondents said they use an average of 3.44 different languages when developing for the web, and said their organizations use an average of 3.77. For JavaScript, most respondents said they use ECMAScript (62%) or TypeScript (52%), with only 14% of respondents answering that they have used third place CoffeeScript.


Which languages are you currently building for web apps?Which languages are you currently building for
web apps?


Google Chrome remains the browser most actively developed for—95% of respondents said they develop with Google’s browser particularly in mind (compared to 96% last year). Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer, the next two most popular browsers to target, had more significant decreases from last year’s responses, with Firefox dropping from 77% to 72%, and IE dropping from 51% to 40%. Even with fewer respondents actively developing for Internet Explorer, the increase in responses for Microsoft Edge was underwhelming, changing from 25% to 27%. For mobile devices, the most popular individual devices were the iPhone 7 (37%), the iPhone 6 and the Samsung Galaxy s7 (both 33%). 46% of respondents said they target at least one iPhone, and 42% target at least one Samsung phone; 53% said they target at least one mobile device.


The most popular databases behind web applications among respondents were MySQL (57%), MongoDB (46%), and PostgreSQL (39%). For web servers, respondents preferred Apache Tomcat (57%) and Apache Web Server (54%), with third place going to NGINX (41%). Respondents who need to push real-time/streaming data from their server overwhelmingly said they use the WebSocket API (71%) over other methods like HTTP streaming (35%) and polling (27%); HTTP streaming did gain a 9% increase from the 2016 results, while WebSocket dropped 6%. For web app testing, Selenium was heavily used (56%), followed by Jasmine (26%) and PhantomJS (25%). npm (63%) dominated over package managers Bower (29%—a 7% drop from 2016) and Webpack (28%—an 8% increase).

Most popular Databases used for web development.Most popular Databases used for web development.

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