Is it time to question the relevance of JavaScript?

Is JavaScript still relevant

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Despite the existence of so many programming languages, JavaScript continues to be one of the most sought-after. With the TIOBE index placing JavaScript as the number one programming language, the exceptional popularity of the language is indisputable. Today, several of the world’s biggest companies use JavaScript, and the language is only getting more and more accepted with time. However, on the flip-side, there are also people who are questioning the relevance of JavaScript. Is this opinion justified? Let’s find out!

Why JavaScript became popular?

First launched in 1995, JavaScript has, over the years, evolved to become the number one choice for building cutting-edge solutions. The evolving ecosystem of JavaScript provides an entire range of features and capabilities for developers to consume and leverage. The reasons for JavaScript’s popularity are many.

  • User-friendly
  • Platform independence
  • Multi-functional
  • Extreme scalability
  • Object-oriented
  • Highly functional
  • Open-source
  • Massive developer community

Being so easy to learn, it is the ideal language for early programmers who can get to know all the nuances of programming and still build stunning products and applications. Do you know? 47% of developers want JavaScript to be their main programing language. Using the knowledge gained from JavaScript, developers can develop state-of-the-art mobile apps, games as well as desktop and web applications.

Why there is an opinion that it is losing relevance?

Despite all the advantages JavaScript offers, and its stunning progress and growth, a vocal section of the development community today are of the opinion that the language is losing relevance. When developing a new application, developers are under immense pressure to evaluate the right framework, tools, test suites, and more. Clearly, a lot of effort goes into choosing what’s best for the job at hand. The challenge seems to be, as JavaScript continuously evolves, many developers are said to be getting overwhelmed by the rapidly changing ecosystem. This is leading to fatigue. There are several concerns these developers seem to have with JavaScript:

  • As JavaScript keeps continuously evolving with time, there is a perceived inability to keep up with the latest tools and technology, which is giving rise to the fear of obsolescence.
  • The continuous pressure of learning new capabilities, frameworks and functionalities are sometimes so daunting, that developers become exhausted.
  • Many developers fear they will fall behind if they don’t adapt to the newest and most modern tools
  • Many others feel they might just be a jack of all trades, but a master of none.
  • Because of everything changes so quickly, whatever they learn is already being replaced by something new by the time they get ready to apply it.
  • There is also the fear that there will be a lack of support and resources for earlier toolchain and frameworks.

Why it is still relevant?

When a programming language is so popular and has so much to offer, it’s natural for some to be of a different opinion; 29% of developers believe that building JavaScript apps is overly complex. But today’s highly digital world demands that solutions be highly functional. If an app or software does not solve current challenges, it runs the risk of becoming obsolete. Hence, in all probability, the notion of the irrelevance of JavaScript is not really with the language itself, but rather the hype around it. Yes, the JavaScript ecosystem is changing extremely fast – as also been stated by the 2017 State of JavaScript survey. But in a world where everything is changing so fast – technology, industry dynamics, market trends, and customer needs – adapting to these changes imperative to drive innovation.

Over the years, the JavaScript language, debugging tools, frameworks, and flavors have all evolved to make it the rich ecosystem that it is today. It is by utilizing this ecosystem that developers have been developing solutions for the future and will continue to do so. Developers who think learning so much so soon is overwhelming can start by being aware of common concepts and learn as they go so as to smooth out the learning curve. There is certainly no need to gain all the knowledge upfront; developers can always pick it up along the way. And whenever they hit a roadblock, they can check back with the widely available resources or seek advice from the highly experienced and skilled developer community, to work through it.

JavaScript is here to stay

The exponential growth of JavaScript has opened doors to a vast collection of great tools, features, and frameworks. Such a wide variety of capabilities drives a vibrant ecosystem where ideas intersect and flourish. As more and more web and mobile platforms enter the market, it becomes increasingly important to use a client-side script that is understood by all browsers -and that’s JavaScript. Since JavaScript is platform-independent, it offers extreme compatibility – it can be used to build desktop as well as mobile applications across operating systems, platforms and device types. What’s more, JavaScript frameworks also enable component creation and management which reduces development time significantly by driving reuse. That may be why 50% of developers say they enjoy building JavaScript apps. With such stunning capabilities and such an impressive growth story, it is certain – JavaScript is here to stay.

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