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Pavel Lazarev
Pavel Lazarev

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Latest Web Development and JavaScript Trends to Follow in 2022

For us at DHTMLX, it has become a good tradition to sum up the results of the outgoing year in the world of web development, and JavaScript in particular, and make predictions for the upcoming year. Each year brings something new and exciting for professional developers and admirers of web technologies, and this year is no exception.

After analyzing popular surveys and relevant statistical data dedicated to the web, we are ready to share with you the most peculiar findings. As a cherry on top, we'll also provide you with a review of the most notable events in the life of DHTMLX and our plans for 2022.

JavaScript is Still Widely-Used but not Loved by Developers

Since JavaScript is a technology that is of prime interest to us, we should start by estimating its current position in the ratings of programming languages. For this purpose, we will use the latest Developer Survey from Stack Overflow.

Popular programming languagesSource: 2021 Developer Survey

In terms of usage, JavaScript’s position is strong, as 68% of 58,031 interviewed professional developers preferred JavaScript for their projects. But at the same time, we all know that JavaScript is far from being perfect in many aspects, which caused the appearance of numerous languages that compile to JS such as CoffeeScript, TypeScript, etc. Thus, it is not surprising that the picture is different when we take a look at the ratings of the most loved/dreaded and wanted languages.

Among 82,914 developers who were asked to name a previously unused technology that they want to try in the future, JavaScript (14%) is third only to TypeScript (15%) and Python (19%). But when talking about the most loved languages, JavaScript (61%) is only 15th, while the top three includes Rust (86%), Clojure (81%), and TypeScript (72%). JavaScript was also called the most dreaded programming language by 38% of respondents.

Loved&dreaded programming languagesSource: 2021 Developer Survey

So should JavaScript be put out to pasture and be replaced by more developer-friendly languages? We think that JavaScript is a real giant of the programming world, whose drawbacks are largely compensated by an extensive ecosystem and a huge community. That is why it is too early to give up on JavaScript.

JavaScript Frameworks: React Strengthens Its Leading Positions, Svelte Wins Developers’ Love

The 2021 Stack Overflow Developer Survey also provides interesting information about the state of things in the field of front-end frameworks. React predictably ranks first as the most commonly used web framework (41%), leaving behind jQuery (34%) and Angular (26%). Moreover, professional developers, who previously utilized other frameworks, are most looking forward to trying React.

Popular JS frameworksSource: 2021 Developer Survey

In our previous article on web trends, we noted that Svelte has the potential to become a great addition to any web development stack in 2021. Participants of the Stack Overflow survey chose Svelte as the most loved framework.

The most troublesome frameworks among the survey respondents are Angular.js (76%), Drupal (75%), and jQuery (64).

Wanted, loved, dreaded frameworksSource: 2021 Developer Survey

As we can see, web developers are not afraid of experimenting and adopting new JavaScript tools for their projects, so it will be more interesting to follow how the situation will change in 2022.

What’s Happening in CSS

When talking about the trends in web development, it is also worth mentioning new realities in the realm of CSS. The recently released 2021 State of CSS survey comes with plenty of interesting observations obtained through interviewing 8,714 developers around the globe.

State of CSS 2021Source: 2021 State of CSS

The survey says that each year developers become more and more aware and interested in adopting various layout tools such as CSS Flexbox, Grid, and sticky positioning. Other popular CSS features are calc() function, custom properties for cascading variables, ARIA attributes, and object-fit property. Survey participants also named container queries as the most desirable feature that is currently missing in CSS.

Popular CSS frameworksSource: 2021 State of CSS

Regarding the CSS technologies, almost half of survey respondents said that they are utilizing one or more CSS-in-JS libraries. The most widely used CSS pre/post-processors are Sass and PostCSS. In the domain of frameworks, Tailwind CSS continues to cause the most serious interest and highest satisfaction among developers. Bootstrap is still number one in the categories of usage and awareness, but Tailwind CSS is getting closer each year.

Covid-19 Continues Affecting Web Development Community

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a source of major concern for all of us. For two years, the disease has been putting all aspects of our lives to a serious test. So it is interesting to find out about the impact of this global threat on the programming industry and the steps taken to combat it.

GitHub's annual State of the Octoverse report provides several useful findings on the subject. First of all, after quite a long period of instability, it is nice to say that the development community regains the pre-pandemic level of productivity. Because of the tense epidemiological situation, many companies had to introduce remote working to keep their employees safe and GitHub says that many IT workers want to have an opportunity to work from home or in a hybrid environment after the pandemic is over.

State of the OctoverseSource: 2021 State of the Octoverse

It should be said that the development community is actively involved in the struggle against the coronavirus. Currently, there are 10,388 GitHub public repositories dedicated to conducting research and raising awareness of the virus. Considering programming languages used for delivering these projects, JavaScript turns out to be the most popular technology.

Mobile Web Development and Cloud Technologies are Flourishing

As internet access and mobile devices are becoming more affordable for the world population, having a mobile web presence is considered a new norm. Today it is also common to use mobile apps for work and leisure.

Here are a few interesting insights on the matter from Statista:

  • Last year, the vast majority of internet users (92.6 %) used mobile devices to go online

  • During 2021, the popularity of web applications used to prove a COVID-19 vaccination and as travel passport has been constantly rising and the number of their downloads amounts to tens of millions times

  • It is predicted that the revenue from mobile apps will exceed $613 billion in 2025

Taking into account constantly developing mobile technologies and pandemic-induced constraints, it is safe to assume that these growth trends will be relevant in 2022. Therefore, the ability to run on mobile devices has become one of the main requirements for a modern web application. There are several ways to achieve this goal in practice. For instance, it is possible to build a native mobile app, apply responsive web design, make use of fastly-growing hybrid or cross-platform technologies (Flutter, React Native, Cordova, etc.) or opt for the PWA (progressive web application) approach that has been generating a lot of buzz in recent years. All these approaches have their pros and cons, therefore programmers have to carefully evaluate each of them to choose the right one for their web projects.

Another big field that has been seriously affected by the disease is cloud computing. But like mobile web development, cloud-based technologies (SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, etc.) have been booming during the pandemic. According to the US-based consulting company Gartner, it is expected that global spending on cloud services will reach $396 billion by the end of 2021 compared to $313 billion in 2020, and $482 billion in 2022.

Project Management Apps Rise in Demand

Using project management apps has become a regular practice for businesses of various scales for pursuing their objectives. The coronavirus outbreak also became a serious challenge for many project managers in regard to strictly following their plans.

Impact of Covid on web developmentSource: 2021 Project Management Insight Report

According to the latest PMI Insights report, only 12% of 500 interviewed project managers experienced slight or no shifts at all in their product roadmaps. That is why effective project management tools become more and more important in achieving desired production goals.

Despite the crisis caused by the COVID 19 pandemic, Statista predicts that in 2021 alone, the overall expenses on enterprise software will be $601 billion, representing a 13.6 % increase compared to 2020, and even more in 2022 - $670 billion.

Project managers require access to accurate and relevant project KPIs (key performance indicators) to make the right planning decisions. And special software solutions help gather the necessary data, thereby contributing to more effective project management.

spendings on enterprise softwareSource: Statista

For those who plan to start building a project management app in 2022, it can be useful to consider some takeaways from the Project Management User Survey 2021 conducted by Capterra. Let us mention a few of them:

  • Among positive implications of using project management software, survey participants emphasized improved timeline estimation (60%), effective resource allocation (55%), and enhanced team communication (49%)

  • In 2021, the main criteria affecting software purchase decisions are functionality (29%), price (18%), ease of use (17%), and customer support (13%)

  • The list of the top three most desired project management functions includes Gantt charts (22%), burndown charts (21%), and automated workflows (20%)

  • Interviewees complained about a steep learning curve (43%), numerous unused features (43%), integration issues (38%), and other negative factors that may occur when using ready-made software

DHTMLX's long-standing experience in working with programmers confirms that the factors listed in the last paragraph often become an insurmountable obstacle. That is why many companies prefer to invest in the development of custom project management apps that fully comply with their requirements.

DHTMLX Expands Product Portfolio

Achievements of DHTMLX in 2021
The DHTMLX team has been closely following recent trends and the effect of COVID-19 on the industry.

As an answer to the challenges of the last twelve months, the company continued our course on providing full-featured and easily customizable JS tools for project management. DHTMLX released a JavaScript Kanban Board designed to help project managers with workflow visualization.

The great thing about this tool is that it can be easily integrated with DHTMLX Gantt and Scheduler components in a single app for covering most of project management needs.

Last year, the most significant updates were introduced in DHTMLX Diagram and Spreadsheet.

DHTMLX Mind Map

The JavaScript diagramming component comes with a new diagram type - mind map. Moreover, now DHTMLX Diagram allows clearly arranging processes in diagrams with swimlanes, grouping different shapes according to specific criteria, building hierarchical structures with two or more parent nodes, specifying assistants in org charts, and much more.

DHTMLX Spreadsheet

The JavaScript Spreadsheet component was enriched with the ability to work with multiple sheets and cross-reference between them using 170+ new Excel math and string functions. Other notable additions include frozen columns, text and date formats, and TypeScript support.

The DHTMLX development team also focused on covering true-to-life usage scenarios of modern web apps and delivered three live demos: hospital management, online examination, and KPI tracker. These demos can be utilized by programmers as a basis for creating more complex DHTMLX-based apps faster.

Thanks to a large number of positive reviews on practical usage of DHTMLX products, the company received multiple awards from popular software review platforms such as G2, Crozdesk, Capterra, GetApp, and Software Advice.

In 2022, the DHTMLX team plans to focus on improving existing JavaScript components and expanding the product portfolio with new tools. And of course, they will continue providing high-quality and timely support for their customers in the implementation of their projects with DHTMLX.

This article was originally published on the JavaScript in Plain English platform on January 4th, 2022.

Discussion (6)

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andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden

JavaScript becomes a lot more likeable when you start writing TypeScript.

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rverma90 profile image
RVerma90

Well said Andrew! There is a little learning curve, but with a bit of commitment its value starts to shine.

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qaginhyuyt profile image
Qagin Hyuyt

Can you both love and hate something?
JS developers: Yes.

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alimansoorcreate profile image
Syed Ali Mansoor

siblings

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roblevintennis profile image
Rob Levin • Edited on

Nice summary thanks. JavaScript love hate as usual. The CSS splintering is troubling to me as we have distinguished camps doing things in polarized ways but such is the world of web development.

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ozzythegiant profile image
Oziel Perez

No love for Web Components, so sad