Despite the holidays, December was a busy month with a lot of new articles and important releases. We’ll kick things off with a great new resource for JavaScript developers…

I Just Asked 23,000 Developers What They Think of JavaScript. Here’s What I Learned

This is a post by Sacha Greif that pulls insight from the recent State of JavaScript 2017 survey. Here’s one chart from the article that looks at developer usage and interest in various front end frameworks:

State of JavaScript result chart

The interesting thing about the chart above (click to view larger) is that it essentially gauges developer sentiment. For example, React leads all frameworks with 93.1% of developers who have used it saying that they would use it again — a very high level of “customer” satisfaction, if you will.

The picture with Vue is very similar with satisfaction at 91.1%, and with Angular 2+ we see 66.0% of developers saying that they’ll use it again. A very interesting question is - why the disparities? It’s a topic I’ll be exploring more in 2018.

The whole piece is definitely worth reading, particularly if you found the survey results to be overwhelming.

Awesome Awesome Node.js

Here’s a big list of Node.js resources and best practices by Tierney Cyren of NodeSource and the Node.js Community Committee. The resources are broken up into five categories: Node.js lists, JavaScript lists, Deployments, Tools/Frameworks and Ecosystem lists.

The Future of JavaScript Will Be Less JavaScript

This was a popular post that talks about the extended JavaScript ecosystem. This includes things like Elm, TypeScript, Reason and WebAssembly.

How Is React Different from Vue?

I wrote this post a couple of weeks ago on how React and Vue compare. There are a lot of good quotes in the article from key figures in the Vue and React communities that help shed light on how these two libraries match up.

Why We Went with PreactJS to Power the Frontend

Although it’s fairly popular, Preact doesn’t get the love it deserves. This article is worth a read if you’ve been looking for alternatives to the big three front end frameworks.

Developing NPM Packages

This post is a whopper and goes far beyond creating and publishing a package on NPM. It also covers linting, tests, and continuous integration…among others things!

Announcing Parcel: a Blazing Fast, Zero Configuration Web Application Bundler

One of the big announcements this month was the introduction of Parcel, a new, “zero configuration” bundler for JavaScript projects. It definitely struck a chord with a lot of people, and perhaps struck a nerve with others.

Some quick thoughts on the introduction of Parcel: (1) whether it ends up a heavily-used project or not, it’s significant because it has a lot of people talking and thinking (and making pull requests) about an important part of the JavaScript ecosystem, and (2) it’s probably better to talk about the strengths of your project rather than comparing it favorably to another project. If you do make claims about your project vs project X, they should be verifiable. If not, expect criticism.

The Secret to Being a Top Developer Is Building Things! Here’s a List of Fun Apps to Build!

This is a great list of projects - most, but not all, using JavaScript - that can help you dig into that language or framework you’ve been wanting to try. It’s written by Indrek Lasn and even if your preferred stack isn’t listed, these are really good ideas that can be applied to any sort of software development.

Coding Interview University

If you’re a subscriber to my newsletter, then you know how much I love this amazing learning resource by John Washam. Here’s a quote from the README:

I originally created this as a short to-do list of study topics for becoming a software engineer, but it grew to the large list you see today. After going through this study plan, I got hired as a Software Development Engineer at Amazon! You probably won't have to study as much as I did. Anyway, everything you need is here. The items listed here will prepare you well for in an interview at just about any software company, including the giants: Amazon, Facebook, Google or Microsoft.

This study guide even comes with 1800 printable flashcards! 🎉

What is ReasonML?

Predictions are a dicey business, but I’ll take a chance and say we’ll be hearing a lot more about ReasonML in 2018. This series of posts by Dr. Axel Rauschmayer is a good introduction.

Quick preview: Reason ML is a syntax and toolchain on top of OCaml that can compile to JavaScript (among other things). It’s becoming increasingly popular among the React community — it’s creator also developed React, so I guess that makes sense.

Frontend in 2017: the Important Parts

This is a look back on the important things to know about front end JavaScript in 2017 by Kaelan Cooter. I think it’s fair to say that all of these will be just as important in 2018 and some even more so — I’m looking at you, GraphQL!

Which JavaScript Frameworks Are the Fastest?

Here is another one of my posts from December where I look at how some of the top JavaScript frameworks compare on performance measures. I used a great benchmarking tool from Stefan Krause to get the numbers. Also included are a few of the top performing (but less popular) frameworks.

Node.js Best Practices - How to Become a Better Node.Js Developer in 2018

This is the annual list of Node best practices from Gergely Nemeth, one of the founders of RisingStack. There’s some good stuff here, including resources for beefing up application security.

Announcements and Releases

The React team announced that there won’t be a React Conf in 2018.

If you’re looking for an alternative in North America, React Rally (August, 2018) looks good. If your interest is more on the React Native side, then Chain React (July, 2018) may be a better choice.

Node Releases

Node v8.9.2 release
Current Node release (9.3.0)
Security releases

Angular 5.1

From the post announcing the release…

We are pleased to announce version 5.1.0 of Angular. This is a minor release containing several smaller features and bugfixes. We are also releasing v1.6 of the Angular CLI, and the first stable release of Angular Material.

Svelte 1.44

It was a big release for Svelte that includes hooks for CSS/JS preprocessors.

Not from December, but…

Here are a couple of articles that, although not new, are new to me and are really good.

Architecture of Giants: Data Stacks at Facebook, Netflix, Airbnb, and Pinterest

Ever wonder what the architecture of some of the Internet’s biggest sites looks like? Wonder no more!

Deploying ES2015+ Code in Production Today

This is a great post from Google engineer Philip Walton on minimizing bundle size for front end applications. 🎯

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Until next time, happy coding…