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Which Frameworks are used most?

This is the last blog in our series based on the Stack Overflow Annual Developer Survey 2018.  We’ve looked at the Most Popular Databases 2018,  the Most Popular Programming Languages for 2018 and the Most Popular Development Platforms 2018  

Now it's time to look at Frameworks, Libraries and Tools - from which are the most used, the most loved, dreaded and wanted - to how the market is changing.

You may question as to why it even matters as to which framework is the most popular!

If you understand which framework is loved and wanted by other developers it can help you ascertain which you should be learning and which might be right for you and your team.  Learning more than one framework can also be of huge benefit for your value in the job market for now and in the future

Most used Frameworks, Libraries & Tools

Love

💔

Dread

Want

 

2018

2017

%Change

2018

2017

2018

2017

2018

2017

Node.js

50%

28%

^79%

66%

62%

34%

38%

★21%

22%

Angular

38%

28%

36%

55%

52%

💔45%

48%

★14%

19%

React

28%

13%

^115%

69%

67%

31%

33%

★21%

19%

.NET Core

27%

20%

35%

66%

61%

34%

39%

★9%

13%

Spring

18%

   

60%

 

40%

 

4%

 

Django

13%

   

58%

 

💔42%

 

7%

 

Cordova

9%

7%

29%

40%

39%

💔60%

61%

3%

4%

TensorFlow

8%

   

74%

 

27%

 

★16%

 

Xamarin

7%

5%

40%

49%

49%

💔51%

51%

6%

8%

Spark

5%

5%

-

66%

60%

34%

40%

5%

5%

Hadoop

5%

3%

67%

54%

49%

💔46%

51%

6%

8%

Torch/PyTorch

2%

   

68%

 

32%

 

5%

 

Why is Node.js so popular?

Companies of all sizes from LinkedIn, Netflix, PayPal and Uber to small start-ups use Node.js because it is robust, fast, easy to use and learn, and offers great performance. 

Its unmatched scalability for websites and web applications is the same across all of the JavaScript frameworks - which are also compatible with Node.js - making this combination the ultimate must-have for developing any product or website.  Hence Node.js is mainly used for developing APIs, backend services, Webapps, microservices and websites. 

Node.js has regular releases which keep its big customers happy as it is always on track - but not everything in the garden is rosy. Keeping up with the security patches has become harder and increasingly vital for cloud service providers.  Many developers also appear to face performance and security problems in production (especially with Asynchronous Programming).

Node.js’ NPM is also key to its popularity with the largest and ever growing repository of Open Source libraries compared to any other language.

(What does NPM stand for?  Most think it stands for Node Package Manager – however many argue that that is incorrect. It’s probably not Norwegian Peat Moss, No Paddling Module, Newlywed Party Monsters or any of the other answers you get when you look at the NPM website to check!  www.npmjs.co )

Why is Angular still popular?

Well, actually it’s probably not as popular as it seems and is dreaded by many developers since the release of Angular2 where many in the Angular community left and didn’t come back.  Angular used to be the most popular frontend JavaScript framework but it all went awry when failing to compete with React and issues such as increased complexity and terminology, tedious syntax, lags in server side rendering and issues with progressive web apps and native apps meant that the developer experience significantly decreased

React has taken its place in many scenarios especially as it has become the default for many new developers but the future still looks positive for both Angular and React.  Angular is mainly used in service based companies whereas React is more suitable for product based companies

Angular needs to improve in many areas but we’ve seen lots of updates this year and Angular v6 looks like it should be released very soon so maybe that may change the landscape

React is the one to watch

It’s a library rather than a full framework and allows developers to pick and choose the elements that they want

It’s loved and wanted by many, and only a small percentage dread it, whilst its usage has increased by 115% in the last year. 

React has been successful partly due to its open source contributions, frequent releases and the ease with which server side rendering, progressive web apps and native apps can all be done. React did however have a minor crisis last year when it was deemed as not open source until Facebook changed some of its licencing clauses. 

The React community has created a diverse ecosystem where there is huge flexibility on how you architect React applications and adapt it to suit your business.  This flexibility can be hard for new users however but allows React to be used for all manner of unexpected non front end work such as IoT and AR/VR and is not all about the web anymore

The great ecosystem that is building around React now indicates that it is just going to grow and grow and it is likely that the entire framework will be rewritten this year codenamed React Fiber.

And what about .NET?

.Net has remained relevant and useful as the tech landscape has changed. Its open source nature is key alongside its ability to be language neutral and work with pretty much every environment that exists now and probably most of those in the future too.

If you’re using cloud technologies .NET is safe - because the code is closed and compiled - whilst allowing you to support and interface with a wide range of systems. It is seen as a reliable framework now by corporations supporting windows, building and deploying server, desktop and mobile apps

Why isn't Vue in this list?

Everybody is talking about Vue, but it doesn’t appear on Stack Overflow’s survey.  This may be because its users are predominantly in Asia and aren’t on Stack so much or maybe it's because its ecosystem is so good that users don’t need to keep asking questions!

Which framework is best?

It isn't really about which framework is the most popular or hottest but which can tackle your problems best.  The industry that you work in also makes a big difference coupled with the languages used.  The chart below gives an indication from Stack as to which framework is likely to be used with which technology so that is probably as good a place to start as any when assessing which framework to use.

Frameworks used by language

Added 19-Apr-2018

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