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Shawn Wang

Shawn Wang

Head of DX at Temporal

JavaScript is in a tremendously better state today compared to 2016.

Back when the first State of JS survey took place, only 21% of you used TypeScript compared to 69% today. Whereas we used to joke about a new front end framework releasing every day, React and Vue have now been dominant for 6 years running. And the percentage of people reporting that "JS is moving too fast" is down from 59% to 38%.

This is not to say that the language has stood still. The Optional Chaining and Nullish Coalescing APIs have rocketed up to be the most used new APIs in our survey, despite only being 2 years old. And more good things are on the way from TC39: you reported that date management is a top missing feature, and the Temporal API recently reached Stage 3.

The tooling ecosystem is also seeing its own rapid evolution, and it's fair to say that 2021 has been the year of Vite. Vite not only debuted at 98% retention, but usage is already at 30% in its first year on our survey, even eclipsing esbuild. Vite isn't alone in trying to improve the state of JavaScript build tools - 8 of the 12 tools we track today are less than two years old! And while pnpm, Turborepo, and Nx took the top spots in our first year tracking monorepo tooling, only 25% report being happy with the state of that category, showing that a lot of work remains to be done.

Also notable: many new entrants like Deno, Rome, Astro, Remix, and more are now supported by venture-backed companies, perhaps charting a viable alternative to the fragile open-source funding environment.

As the Third Age of JavaScript enters its third year, the opportunities for aspiring open sourcerors and entrepreneurs continue to unfold, and I'm excited to see what the next couple years bring!

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