Summarizing The 2019 State of JavaScript Survey For Recruiters

Summarizing The 2019 State of JavaScript Survey For Recruiters
Post Author: Aaron Decker
Date published: December 22, 2019

I wanted to write about The State of JavaScript 2019 Survey and try to break down the most important bullet points for recruiters because there are ton of technical details that might get lost.

JavaScript is arguably the most frequently encountered programing language since it is being used on just about every website you visit. Because of this I think knowing the trends in JavaScript is valuable to recruiters.

By the way, I have a couple of tools for recruiters: a tech keyword glossary, and a job description keyword highlighter tool. Both of these tools are now updated with the new technology mentioned in the 2019 survey.

React Vs Angular Vs Vue

One of the most interesting results was the drop in favorable opinions on Angular (and popularity stagnation). I'll highlight it with a screenshot just showing the frontend frameworks.

FYI if you need a refresher on backend vs frontend, I have one here.

state of js 2019 frontend frameworks

Another thing to note here is that Vue is exploding in popularity, while React has maintained and increased it's dominance. React remains the most loved frontend framework.

TypeScript is taking over

TypeScript is a variant of JavaScript with types. This means the language requires the user to define data types when they declare variables.

If that doesn't make much sense to you right now - just know that TypeScript allows you to write JavaScript that is a little bit more robust. It's easier to have more people collaborating on a Typescript code base and reason about the behavior of code.

As a recruiter you should know that TypeScript is basically JavaScript plus some extra features. Most JavaScript developers will be able to pick it up, especially if that have worked in a statically typed language like Java or C# before.

state of js 2019 flavors

Data Layer - GraphQL grows in popularity

The next section of the survey I had to call out was about the data layer. These are the tools that are used to transfer data between the client side and the server side of an application.

Looking at the graph below is very obvious that GraphQL and Apollo are quickly becoming popular and will probably outpace the use of Redux soon! Note that Apollo is a library for working with GraphQL.

Having built large sites using both Redux with a REST API and with Apollo using a GraphQL API, I have to say that GraphQL is very nice to work with (it confers a number of technical advantages over REST) and I will be using it for most business applications going forward if I have a choice.

If you want a primer to REST vs GraphQL I have one written up here.

I've spoken to many recruiters recently who don't yet know what GraphQL is - well it's time to learn because you are going to be seeing this in job descriptions everywhere, if you aren't already!

state of js 2019 data layer frameworks

Note that Redux continues to grow in popularity but people are starting to have a more negative opinion of it.

New entrants

There were a few technologies listed for the first time this year in the survey that merit talking about. I'll list them out here and explain what they are:

  • Gatsby: They call it a "backend framework" here, but that's an odd way to explain it because it's not running server side code except at build time. It is a framework for generating static websites and it only handles the client side code. This site is made with Gatsby.
  • Nuxt: Nuxt.js is a client side framework for building Vue.js sites.
  • Svelte: This is a new client side framework meant to be a competitor to React or Vue, for example.
  • PureScript: A functional programming language that compiles to JavaScript.
  • Cypress: An end-to-end client side testing system.
  • Puppeteer: A node.js library that provides a high level API used to control headless chrome browser. Commonly used for automated browser testing.
  • Expo: A tool for building cross-platform applications with React Native.


In many ways the client side JavaScript ecosystem is one of the most active and quickly changing areas of software development (maybe with the exception of tools for machine learning and big data).

This year was no exception: popularity of the main client side frameworks in JavaScript continues to shift, TypeScript is rapidly gaining popularity, and Apollo + GraphQL seems to be overtaking Redux + REST as the chosen client side data layer for React and Angular apps.

It's difficult to keep with all of the new JavaScript stuff coming out, but I got you covered! 👍

Want updates?

Want new posts about tech topics emailed to you? Sign up to the list below 👇

Also, if you are interested in learning technical topics through a video course specifically created for recruiters, don't forget to check out the courses I offer.

The main course "How to Speak Software Engineering Jargon for Recruiters" is specifically designed to help tech recruiters get up to speed fast on technical topics.

Written By Aaron Decker

I'm currently a co-founder and head of engineering at a venture backed startup called Bounty. I tend to think of myself as a backend engineer that can work up and down the stack in Typescript. Previously, I have worked as a Tech Lead and hired teams, and as a Senior Software Engineer at multiple fortune 500 companies building large products. I also did a brief stint teaching programming courses as an Adjunct Instructor at a local community college, which taught me a lot about breaking down complex things into understandable chunks.