The latest State of JS survey results are out. As always, survey results need to be taken with a grain of salt. There is always a bit of selection bias involved in these sorts of surveys whereby certain groups tend to be far more likely to respond. These concerns are somewhat reinforced by the survey’s own reporting wherein almost 70% of respondents came from 3 sources.
As another example of this, the survey was 91.3% male. While people who identify as women or non-binary are severely underrepresented in our industry, the latest information would put the percentage more likely in the 15-17% range.
For a very different take, check out this post by Jerod Santo.
We Overstate Our Expertise
In addition, 64.9% say they are advanced or expert in back-end, though trending slightly towards advanced over expert.
The survey displays a section it calls “rankings” for frameworks. The way this is displayed shows Vue (87%), Svelte (88%) and React (89%) sitting almost even for frontend frameworks.
This struck me as odd. Sure, Svelte has had a lot of momentum lately, but having it ranked almost tied with React, above Vue and well above Angular seemed off. However, the problem wasn’t the data here so much as the terminology and the choice of how to display it. I think it can lead to misunderstandings, as it did initially with me.
The results above are only for a “satisfaction” ratio. There is a menu of options that, at least to me, wasn’t initially obvious that allows you to switch to interest and awareness ratios. I believe the choice of “rankings” for the heading was chosen because these stats were grouped together, but I think it only compounds the initial confusion and potential misinterpretation.
Once I understood the way this was displayed, there were few surprises in the results. Same for back end frameworks.
Perhaps the only surprise was the popularity of Next.js and how quickly Meteor has fallen out of favor. In fact, my biggest surprise was in the mobile and desktop rankings.
Where Do We Go to Learn?
Medium received a lot of votes in the freeform answers, even despite the dreaded paywall. I was also still surprised that almost 20% still consult W3Schools, barely trailing MDN which is a far better resource. There are lots of folks that seem to be using Udemy, Egghead.io and FrontEndMasters. That doesn’t surprise me, but no mention of Pluralsight at all? That does.
I thought the percentage would be higher. But I suppose we’ve already learned that a big chunk of respondents area apparently experts in everything related to the web, so maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised.
What to Make of It?
It is fun to delve into these and, despite any complaints, am grateful for the folks who put this together. It is a lot of work. It can be useful to challenge some assumptions you may have, learn about new technologies you perhaps hadn’t heard of and try to pick up on trends. However, I don’t think there is anything in here that should cause anyone to make major changes to the way they do things or the tools that they use.