Node.js Users Eager to Try Swift, Go: Survey

Node.js JavaScript

Node.js JavaScript

Node.js is a popular Javascript runtime, and seems to be in use just about everywhere the language is. A new survey shows Javascript is still king, but other languages are ready to usurp it.

The survey was conducted by The Linux Foundation along with NodeJS.org, with the aim of understanding “usage patterns and trends” for the framework. It ran from November 30, 2016 through January 16 of this year, and had at least 1,405 respondents answer at least one question on the survey.

There are over eight million Node.js instances online, according to the survey, which shows 75 percent of respondents are planning to increase their usage of the framework over the next year. China is second to the United States with regard to Node.js usage.

The primary focus for Node.js is back-end services, with 39 percent reporting it as their “primary focus.” A close second is ‘full stack’ development, with 36 percent reporting it’s how they choose to take advantage of Node. Some 95 percent say they use databases with Node.js, and 86 percent reported they utilize other front-end runtimes, frameworks or libraries with Node. Around 80 percent stick to Node.js entirely.

Most (84 percent) are creating Web apps with Node.js, but 43 percent say their primary work is in the enterprise space. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the most popular target for Node developers, with on-premise infrastructure coming in second. Heroku is a distant third place, with others such as Digital Ocean and Google’s cloud services picking up scraps.

Around 90 percent say they use Javascript with Node.js (I know, you’re shocked), while Python, Java and PHP hover around 35 percent. Upshots Go and Swift command 16 percent and 11 percent usage, respectively.

The intrigue comes when developers were asked which languages they planned to use more with Node.js. Some 69 percent say they will be using Go more often, with 55 percent reporting increased interest in Swift; respectively, 15 percent and 18 percent report they’ll decrease their usage of those languages. Only 66 percent say they’ll increase their usage of Javascript.

This represents two interesting angles for Node.js. Go is typically considered a replacement for Node.js, and the data could signal a dip in usage for the latter if Go suits the needs of developers interested in giving it a – wait for it – go. (Go is quickly gaining momentum due to its usefulness in both front- and back-end development.)

Swift also has some back-end services like Perfect, so it’s equally useful as a replacement for Node.js. Socket.io lets developers use Swift with Node.js, and has an open-source repository available via GitHub for Swift developers who want to use Node.js.

If anything, this survey data shows a growing diversity within the Node.js community. Javascript may lose a little ground to other languages, but it’s still king. That Go and Swift are seeing such an uptick is ultimately a positive for the ecosystem’s health.

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