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Front-end and JavaScript development trends in 2022

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Trends in frontend development are not quick to identify. It may take several years for the technology to become the practice of developers. We can safely say that the concepts of SPA, PWA, SSR, Typescript will be in trend. JavaScript will also remain a trend in front-end development. Certainly, most major frontend projects in 2022 will still use JavaScript frameworks like React, Vue, and Angular. These trends will be on the rise in 2022, as predicted by many experts. We take a closer look at the trends in the JavaScript world in 2022.

SPA – single-page applications

Users’ choice in web development is in favor of SPA – single-page applications. Their main difference from multi-page applications is that the transition between pages does not involve a full reload, which significantly speeds up the work. Single pagers are naturally faster and cheaper to develop. They are easy to use, and users can quickly find and load all the information they need. Such websites are more mobile-friendly than traditional websites. SPA remains one of the technology trends in 2022.

Progressive Web Applications

IT providers will continue to use the PWA – Progressive Web Applications. Their main difference is the ability to work offline through a browser that uses cached data. They can be installed on the user’s device while not requiring a large amount of memory. The main advantage of PWAs is the significant improvement of the user experience, which is guaranteed to increase the conversion rate.

Server-side rendering

Programmers will use SSR (server-side rendering). This allows you to render content on the server-side, which improves the application’s performance. However, the main advantage is that the website can be indexed by search robots, which means it will appear higher in search results.

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Coders will continue to use TypeScript in frameworks. For large projects, you can use it to improve development workflow, detect errors at the compilation stage, and improve code readability, making it easier to train new developers.

Semantic HTML coding is also worth mentioning. It has nothing to do with a framework, but allows you to better index the website and match it with search queries.

JavaScript is a constant trend in front-end development. JavaScript is also one of the most popular modern programming languages. Nearly every website is developed using JavaScript. It continues to evolve as more features are added to JavaScript. Currently, there are 1.4 million JS libraries that can be used by JavaScript developers.

A wide range of JavaScript frameworks helps make the language easier to use overall. JavaScript frameworks are a handy tool for quick and easy development. Frameworks usually contain a set of components and widgets that can be used to create any web application. The widgets are parts that can be easily combined and integrated into any environment. However, it is very important to stay up to date and keep up with modern trends of frontend development, so that you can choose the best UI solution for your app. Let’s explore the frontend development trends and the most popular JavaScript frameworks. 

React, Vue, or Angular: what to choose for your next frontend project

Just as a CMS requires a ready-made website customized to the editor’s needs, frameworks allow developers to create a unique set of features to build applications. JavaScript frameworks, then, improve developer productivity because they already include certain rules, patterns, and features.

New JS frameworks are coming out all the time. It is often difficult to keep track of them. Companies are interested in performance, speed, popularity, and availability of talent, while developers strive to improve their technical solutions to meet the demand. To choose the most suitable framework for your project, it is important to understand how in-demand the framework is, you need to know your project requirements and the pros and cons of all frameworks.

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The three major frameworks JS

You need to analyze the frontrunners to know what you should aim for. Stack Overflow’s 2021 developer survey revealed the most popular web frameworks. React, Angular, and Vue retain their top positions. They are all in the top five and React wins with a score of 40%.

React.js

React is popular for its speed and simplicity, and for its ability to create rich and mobile-friendly apps with reasonable coding effort. React provides better performance thanks to its ability to prevent updates from DOM, resulting in faster and smoother rendering of applications. This leads to a better user experience. Based on feedback from the community in 2021, the React team has redesigned the upgrade process to allow testing of new features before they come into production.

React was first used by Facebook developers in 2011. Gradually, it gained a good base, a large number of tools, and broad community support. React is used in many large companies for user interface development: Facebook, Instagram, Netflix, BBC. The 2020 version was characterized by only a few updates that made it easier to embed React in another environment. It also introduced an experimental concurrent mode that helps applications respond quickly and adapt efficiently to the performance of the device they are using.

React is a library at its core and has a large arsenal of related libraries. It is suitable for MVP, small and medium projects. TypeScript support helps in enterprise development. It can also be chosen for developing websites with minimal business logic in the front-end as there is a boilerplate. However, there are no imposed solutions in React, so JavaScript experts with strong development experience and knowledge of both architectural patterns and native functionality of JS are required.

React is quite active in changing public APIs and behavior, and updates through versions are usually easy. Since Facebook stands for stability, there is complete compatibility between versions and the ability to connect libraries from different versions to the application.

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Angular

Angular is the fourth most widely used web framework, according to the Stack Overflow’s survey. It has a reputation for being a powerful and robust solution that provides a responsive user experience and has an attractive look. Despite its complexity, it is widely used for solid, large-scale enterprise solutions. The Angular team is improving this framework to keep it on the cutting edge of JavaScript technologies. 

The Angular Package Format is a structure and format specification that allows most third-party libraries to work seamlessly with the Angular environment. When Google released Angular in 2010, the framework revolutionized the development industry and was highly appreciated by coders. In 2016, Angular2 was released, which was written from scratch in TypeScript. This version has a completely different architecture, a lower barrier to entry, and high-quality documentation.

Angular is used as a framework for developing large enterprise applications because it includes a number of architectural solutions, including TypeScript. On the one hand, this can be a limitation, but on the other hand, it can be a quick solution for a standard case. There are also DI mechanisms that make testing and dependency replacement easier. 

In 2021, Angular received several improvements, including Package Format with faster execution and more independence from internal APIs; API-simplified dynamic component creation; ESBuild optimization of global scripts and CSS.

The Angular team releases major updates every six months. Since it is characterized by dependency on previous versions and components, the framework has a service with a detailed description for migrating versions. In addition, Angular has an Ivy compiler that flags errors when they occur before the code is executed by the interpreter. The framework is based on the RxJs library and the functional code is essentially based on reactive programming, which in turn leads to a declarative paradigm: the code can be easily covered by unit tests, and the testing tools are built-in.

Vue.js

Vue is another popular framework that has been close on the heels of the frontrunners for some time. Vue is known for its modular architecture, flexibility, extensive documentation, and large community. In 2014, Vue was developed by a former Google employee. The framework is mainly used by Chinese giants like Alibaba, Tencent, Xiaomi, and other big companies like GitLab. 

Vue is suitable for small and medium-sized applications. The high speed at the beginning allows you to create an MVP in a short time. The scalability of the Vue application also helps in the dynamic development of the project. Version 3.0 provides full support for TypeScript. The scalability is easier than Angular. Vue is also easier to learn, so companies are now increasingly hiring junior JavaScript developers with Vue skills.

In August 2021, Vue 3.2 was released with several improvements that could influence trends in JS frameworks in 2022. Since market leaders are always trendsetters, let us take a look at the latest updates to Vue that will influence web development. Vue has received improved performance, which has been achieved through a template compiler that has been developed and improved to render static content quickly. The Composition API built into Vue 3.0 makes it easier to organize and reuse code, which is a must for large projects. 

So, Vue 3.0 makes the framework attractive for large projects because there is no longer a performance penalty and readability has been improved. Vue’s internal structure has been transformed into a series of individual modules. The new architecture provides better support and allows end-users to reduce execution time by up to half. Based on Vue’s component APIs, developers can create their own user interface libraries using the defineCustomElement method. With easy HTML integration, support for declarative rendering, and real-time development monitoring, Vue can challenge the dominance of React and Angular in 2022.

Read our article: React vs Vue – the guide to choosing the right framework for app development

Popularity and availability of developers

If we look at the statistics about the number of downloads, React is chosen more often than the other two frameworks. The availability of developers in the job market is also an important factor for companies looking for a dedicated team. If we evaluate the popularity of job offers with a request for specialists for these frameworks in Google Trends, we can see that React developers are in high demand.

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Solutions for use in JavaScript frameworks

There will be several solutions that integrate well with these popular frameworks. DevExtreme offers a comprehensive collection of powerful components that complement React, Angular, or Vue. The components include DataGrid, PivotGrid, TreeList, Charts, Form, Maps, and others. In total, the framework includes more than 50 intuitive and easy-to-use tools. An integrated theme builder allows developers to modify the included themes or create their own.

Developers using React, Angular, or Vue can also benefit from Kendo. It provides four separate JS libraries for all of these frameworks. Each of these libraries claims to have a unified API with themes. Kendo provides extensive information on demos, roadmap, documentation, and support. Everything is well organized depending on which framework the developers are using in their projects.

Ember.js open-source web framework JS. It has not been on the market that long, but has proven to be a reliable solution. The learning curve can be long as the structure of the framework is quite unusual. The UI created with Ember is HTML-driven, so developers work with HTML templates during development, which are the main components of the framework. Ember apps offer an integrated development environment with automatic reloading and a test runner. In addition, the built-in Ember router supports nested URLs with data retrieval, nested loading, and error substitutions. Documentation includes tutorials and API references.

DHTMLX is another recommended solution to help developers build complex web and mobile applications. The library is not very comprehensive but has all the basic components needed for a simple project. This library contains a set of complete HTML5 components based on Material Design that can be easily customized. The most powerful components are Gantt, Scheduler, Kanban, and Grid. All components are compatible with React, Angular, and Vue.

The Backbone.js project claims to offer a short learning curve. The framework claims to provide complex functionality with less code. The library is simple and well structured. However, there is not enough additional information, which can be a disadvantage for novice programmers. The development process is organized by the interaction of models and views. The state of the models is displayed in views that react to any change, and the processes run automatically.

Syncfusion is a UI suite that you can use in a JS framework. Syncfusion components include DataGrid, Charts, ListView, Scheduler, PDF Viewer, and Excel Library. The tools can be used for mobile and web development. The resources, designed to shorten the learning curve, are well structured. There are demos, detailed documentation, video tutorials as well as electronic resources, a community forum, and technical support.

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Node.js set to be a trend

Node.js is an open-source and cross-platform JavaScript runtime environment. Designed to create scalable network applications, Node JS is built on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine. Node JS helps in the execution of JavaScript code on the server-side and the development of real-time network applications. Node JS uses an event-driven architecture and runs on a single thread, so it is very lightweight. Node.js is also compatible with IDEs like Visual Studio and Eclipse and supports simple code editors like Sublime Text and Notepad++. In addition, Node JS is supported by a document-based model database, unlike traditional SQL databases that implement relational models.

With Node.js developers can easily create scalable applications thanks to its lightweight and flexible code. Moreover, thanks to the solution’s modular design, you can make changes without having to radically intervene in the system. This feature is especially useful for streaming media sites like Netflix, applications like LinkedIn where short messages are processed quickly, and microservices applications like PayPal. Another argument for the continued popularity of Node.js in 2022 is the dedicated community that continues to develop open-source tools used by programmers around the world.

Which framework should be chosen?

The year 2022 will still be a challenge. The world is still fighting Covid-19 and dreaming of the old quarantine-free days. But companies are quickly adapting and turning to more digitized ways of working. They are striving for sustainability, which can be achieved through automation ensured by IT teams. When repetitive tasks are automated, developers can turn to more complex issues. UI Frameworks and libraries are a valuable asset because they facilitate processes and provide turnkey solutions for some specific requirements.

JavaScript Trends 2022 shows that we will not standstill. The development process continues, so make sure you do not miss anything important. When choosing your best JS framework, you should pay attention to popularity, availability of specialists on the market, applications, labor costs, speed of stack development, and, what can be a crucial factor, project requirements.

If it is well thought out and there is an understanding of the final look of the product, Angular may be the most obvious choice. If it is not, or if it is a medium-sized app project, React or Vue are the right choices. Based on our overall development experience, we recommend Angular for complex and large-scale projects. React is great if you need high performance and the project itself needs to be implemented in a tight timeframe. And if you have limited time and need a small project, you can confidently choose Vue.

To be successful in developing an app UI, it’s important to keep up with the new advances that programming languages like JavaScript make over time. By keeping track of the latest trends in JavaScript development, we can set ourselves apart from the competition as JavaScript experts. We are always analyzing which trends are beneficial to our development process and our customers and integrating them into our front-end workflow.

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