The future of JavaScript

In recent times I read and gotten a lot of opinions regarding JavaScript and its possible death in the nearest future. To my concern, this topic turns out to be rather popular in programming communities, and that even causes some kind of "holy wars". For me, as a ReactJS developer, the question about JavaScript is important and touching. That's why I have decided to spill out my thoughts on JavaScript lifetime and its nearest future.

Is JavaScript dead?


The hottest topic for discussions today. The main reason for it, I guess haters mostly. Yes, JS is a cool programming language, but still, it has a lot of haters that are eager to spoil its name, or created some technology (CoffeeScript for instance) and want to get a market share by spreading out such kind of gossip. Sure thing, it has its negative impact, especially on those people who have just started to bind their life with the IT sphere.  

Another reason is the lessening of search requests on JavaScript itself. For some of us, it might mean that the language popularity tends to decrease and it won’t be as necessary as it is now.

In my point of view, you don’t have to look at all of those things. Look at real demand on the market and you will see how the opinions of “experts” differ from the real state of things. Personally, I’d like to express my own reason why JS is alive and won’t be dying in the nearest future.

1. A vast of projects


The great majority of modern projects are created thanks to JS. And I’m not talking about only the front end. JS was a popular language and considered a “front-end language”, especially enhanced with different libraries and frameworks like Angular, React, and Vue. Node.js became a real game changer in this regard. Using this amazing technology you developers are able to work on the server side of an app or website and that even increased the JS’s positions in the digital realm. 

Don’t forget about the sphere where JS is applied. There is a ton of them out there: AI, IoT, Healthcare, etc. JavaScript is everywhere! 

2. Enhanced by other technologies


JavaScript became a core language for a lot of technologies. They are not only React, Vue, Angular, Node, Meteor, and Express. There are languages that enhance JS. For example, TypeScript. This language hardly substitutes JS but it appears to be a good and useful tool for some projects. Also, some languages that try to substitute JS and fail only show us how cool JavaScript is. 

3. Frameworks and libs


JavaScript is the only language that has such a big amount of tools for development. Their existence and use make JS a real swiss army knife. Moreover, these tools are constantly growing, updating, and becoming better to satisfy the needs of both customers and developers. 

4. Single browser language


Despite all the gossip that the days of JS are counted, it is still the single language for browsers. JavaScript is considered to be king in this regard and it seems that no one tends to replace it. Empowered with various tools and instruments this language becomes even more powerful. 

It is worth mentioning that even though there will be some language that might replace JS, it will be a total pain to do so because all browsers’ features and functionality is the developer to get along well with JS and any replacement can cause the collapse of established systems. 

5. Constant evolution


One of the bright things that I love about JavaScript is that it never stops improving. Sure thing, there is no perfect language but the creators of JS, developers, and different institutions contribute a lot to make it better. The proof of that is the popularity and wide use of JS in all technology areas. In addition to all of that JS’s standards are controlled and established by ECMA International. That means that they provide and embed the necessary changes to the language to make it pure and comfortable for software engineers and the development as much as possible. 

6. Community support


JavaScript along with the technologies based on that has a massive community that is growing each day. Such a community increases the popularity, prestige, and evolution of the language. Moreover, many developers contribute and experiment a lot, and their knowledge together with skills help to apply JS in areas where it has not been before. In that way, it helps a lot to expand the areas of JavaScript usage. So with a strong community, there a little chance that JS will stay abandoned or die soon. 

7. Multiple usage


For the last decade, JavaScript improved and expanded massively into different areas of development. There is a framework or library for almost everything that a developer can create. Currently, we have technologies for: 

  • Front-end development (Angular, React, Vue)
  • Back-end development (Node, Express, Meteor)
  • Android/iOS development (React Native, Ionic)
  • Machine learning (TensorFlow)

This is just a small token of all the libs and technologies that JS has at its disposal. You can read the full list here

Nearest future

future of JavaScript

I’m not afraid to say that JavaScript will be the language of the future. Even now we can sense that because of the rapid development of the language and technologies with it. The evolution of JS is obvious and this will only continue. In addition to all of that the libraries and frameworks will also grow and provide more features that will help developers create great things.

With the growth of JavaScript, it will penetrate more and more other spheres and grasp positions there. It has huge perspectives in AR/VR and Metaverse too. Having a great speed of adaptability allows this language to respond to the needs of either developers or the IT market as well. 

Potential threats for JavaScript


In case you think that the future of JavaScript is totally cloudless I will upset you. There are potential threats that will definitely affect longevity and success at some point. 

One of the most obvious threats is that JS is getting more complex. Now it is used absolutely everywhere and that forces it to become more flexible and difficult at the same time. JS has recommended itself as an easy-to-learn language but in the process of evolution, it takes and implements new ideas, approaches, and functionality. All that makes the language harder to understand and use. That, in turn, can create a barrier for newcomers and the lowering of the loyalty of its lovers.

Another threat is the attempts of others to substitute JS with their variants of the language. Indeed, there were several attempts like CoffeeScript and TypeScript. JS is a strong language that develops dynamically, the threat of creating a better language will always exist.

In addition to all of that, we should not forget about robust technology development. Sometimes they move too fast, as for me. Regarding this, I wanted to say that despite constant development JS has fewer and fewer changes. For example, ES6 and current ES differ only a bit. So, in that way, JS has to stay tuned and updated according to the current reality.

One of the most significant threads for JS is considered to be WebAssembly or Wasm. It is a virtual machine that is designed as a portable binary-level compiler that you can use in a browser. Using it allows compiling any language to the binary instruction which is easier for computer systems and programs. In that way, a lot of languages can be deployed for both the front and back sides of apps. The main threat for JS here is that Wasm allows literary compiling of any language for JS to use on the web. Moreover, a lot of developers debate about the speed of Wasm and JS. From my point of view, JS is faster than Wasm as it is the main language for all browsers. As for me, it is not so critical, taking into account the fact that there are numerous technologies and solutions that use JS and that will ensure its dominant position for a long time.

Bottom line

Due to the above-said JavaScript seems to be totally safe and sound. It’s not gonna die on contrary it is at the peak of its popularity and it occurs to me that this popularity and expanse of JS tends to grow. The future of JS is bright and you can be sure that this language isn’t going anywhere and will be with us for a long time, so learn it, create with it and be sure, you’ll never regret that.  

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Senior ReactJS developer at RIVO AGENCY
Serhii Holiaka
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