UseCase of JavaScript In Industries.

There’s no denying that JavaScript is everywhere, but just how are some of the world’s largest tech companies using JavaScript? For these companies, JavaScript is immensely important, and that doesn’t look like it’s going to change any time soon.

PayPal

PayPal has obviously been using JavaScript on the front end of their website for a long time, but that’s only the beginning.

The online payment giant was one of the earliest adopters of NodeJS. During an overhaul of their account overview page, they decided to try building the page in Node at the same time as their usual Java development. The NodeJS version worked out so well, that they chose to use it in production and build all client-facing applications in Node going forward. That means that most of what you see in your account is running on Node.

PayPal even went as far as to create and maintain their own version of Express, called KrakenJS. It’s pretty obvious that they like JavaScript over at PayPal.

Netflix

Like PayPal, Netflix started out using Java for just about everything. They too ran into problems with Java’s size and the time it required to develop.

Over time, Netflix moved away from its more traditional structure into the cloud and started to introduce NodeJS. With Node, Netflix was able to break down pieces of their user interface into individual services. This more distributed approach was able to speed things up an alleviate stress on their servers. Today, a large portion of Netflix’s interface is running on Node.

Uber

Uber needs to handle loads of data in real time. They have millions of requests coming in continuously, and that’s not just hits on a page. Uber needs to track driver locations, rider locations, and incoming ride requests. It has to seamlessly sort that data and match riders as fast as possible.

All of that plays to NodeJS’s and JavaScript’s strengths. Node is designed to handle requests and hand off data quickly. It’s asynchronous capabilities are a huge part of that. Node is central to Uber’s user facing stack for just that reason.

Walmart

Most people probably don’t think of Walmart as a tech company, but because they’re one of the largest retailers in the world, their online retail business is gigantic. It’s not much of a stretch to see how they need build a technologically advanced web application do drive their online business.

Walmart started out with Java. It’s a solid enterprise-grade platform that has been the de facto choice for years. However, Walmart needed something faster and lighter weight for their mobile site. So, they turned to NodeJS.

Once again, Walmart began to see Node as a valid Java replacement in loads of other places. Today, the Walmart.com that you see is powered by Node. NodeJS was also the ideal choice for other web applications within their marketplace that require multiple users to be able to access management interfaces simultaneously.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn relies on NodeJS for its mobile site. A few years back, LinkedIn used Rails for its mobile site. As with other other large Rails applications, it was slow, monolithic, and it scaled poorly.

LinkedIn switched over to NodeJS to solve its scaling problems. Node’s asynchronous capabilities allowed the LinkedIn mobile site to perform more quickly than before while using fewer resources. Node also made data sharing and building APIs easier for the LinkedIn developers.

JavaScript Is Everywhere!

These are some Examples, but you can certainly find more. So much of the web runs on JavaScript, it’d be much harder to find a company that doesn’t use JavaScript in some way.

These companies are among the largest tech companies in the world. Many are also running the largest production deployments of NodeJS. The others are responsible for important parts of the JavaScript ecosystem as a whole.

JavaScript frameworks

We’ve examined the popularity of JavaScript frameworks in the past. Our survey data provides another view into these preferences, and the results are enlightening.

Angular was a fairly popular choice across all industries, but strongest in finance. Developers in entertainment were the least likely to use Angular, their strongest preference being for React (65%).

React was the most popular framework in the survey overall, though with strong variations by industry. As mentioned, 65% of developers in entertainment chose it, but that fell to 46% in government and 38% in manufacturing. Manufacturing’s strongest choice for a framework was jQuery (52%), suggesting the industry is a late adopter. Government also had jQuery as its top pick at 52%.

Around 20% of developers in most industries reported using Vue, though it was notably more popular in advertising, with 34% of developers reporting it there.

“We also asked developers how they made decisions about choosing frameworks. Big majorities (60–90%) in every industry reported things like support, features, and stability being important, with little variation.”

Ember did not get a lot of mention from our respondents, with an average of 4% of developers reporting that they used it. Also in this range were Preact (5%), Hapi (5%), Next.js (5%), and Meteor (5%).

A surprisingly popular choice was Electron, which is obviously not a web framework at all but we included in our options. More than 20% of developers in every industry reported using Electron for some projects.

We also asked developers how they made decisions about choosing frameworks. Big majorities (60–90%) in every industry reported things like support, features, and stability being important, with little variation. Security was the lowest ranked concern for frameworks, averaging only 25%, though finance was most concerned at 30%. We’ll go more into attitudes to security later in this post.

Testing

Finally, we explored attitudes toward testing across the industries.

In keeping with its answers in every other category, finance was the most likely to report that they use a testing framework (88%). Government and manufacturing developers on the other hand were the least likely to use a testing framework, with only 68% of developers in both industries saying so.

Across every industry, the most popular testing framework choice was Mocha (50%), followed by Jasmine (33%) and Jest (19%). Unlike web framework choices, there was less variation between the popularity of testing frameworks across industries.

Thanks to everyone who took the survey. We’ll be providing more analysis in the near future, so stay tuned!

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