back to article You like JavaScript! You really like it! Scripting lingo tops dev survey of programming languages

JavaScript, arguably the most polarizing programming language at the moment, also happens to be the most popular among developers, at least for a fairly large group of coders. Developer recruiting biz HackerRank surveyed more than 71,000 software engineers from over 100 countries, and found growing affection for the language …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's because everyone under 40 is a "web developer" now...

    ...and slapping together random Javascript fragments they got from Stackoverflow with the latest poorly-written scripted ads and releasing the whole sorry, bloated mess seems to be a reasonably viable career now. At least until it's off-shored.

    Once we'd have called them 'inept'. I don't think we're allowed to say that any more.

    1. overunder Silver badge

      "frameworks" === "problems"

      You're right, and every article you read about Javascript includes "frameworks". This article, React. In the context of Javascript, "frameworks" are Macro APIs to manipulate the DOM or underlying organization of code. Why are these needed? Because 99% of Javascripters can't actually code anything. When a Javascript "coder" can't fix a problem with their current "framework", they find another "framework" and the cycle repeats all over.

      Javascript is a mess not because of it's inherited functionality, but because nobody actually learns how to use it on their own. You've might of seen this _EXACT_ symptom already in C++, especially in the world of video games and network utilities. It's the same age range and same mentalities that once did the same with C++, but this time there is even LESS understanding of all things, which can be scary outside of a sanbox like a browser (and annoying in one)>

      1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Re: "frameworks" === "problems"

        I see 2 problems. JackassScript was a poorly designed language with daft scoping rules, no modularization initially, and effectively no typing. All these plus other issues make writing good JackassScript harder than it should be. Thus frameworks are very handy to offload much of the grunt work so one concentrate on writing good business logic code. Unfortunately, the pitiful quality of the language tends to magnify a programmer's lack of skill or knowledge. So many noobs lean excessively on the frameworks which gets one into a vicious circle of the coder does not really learn JackassScript deeply and is always reliant on frameworks to be sort of productive.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "frameworks" === "problems"

          @a_yank_lurker; "JackassScript"

          Is your habit of having a funny/cutesy nickname for virtually *everything* IT-related supposed to be a brand-building/attention-grabbing gimmick, à la Bombastic Bob and his tediously contrived use of caps?

      2. JohnFen

        Re: "frameworks" === "problems"

        I agree -- Javascript itself is fine. Those frameworks are a problem.

      3. J27 Silver badge


        Using JavaScript without a framework is code for wasting time. If you roll your own everything you spend half your time reinventing the wheel. Either you don't do this professionally, or your boss is a huge idiot.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Yeah...

          It's not just the frameworks, its the never ending cruft of libraries that get bundled together by tools like webpack - ostensibly a good thing, so you only have to retrieve one bundle of JS rather than all the different libraries in use, but actually just leads to bloat upon bloat. One of our sites is a very simple interface for reading articles - not a blog, but close enough. The JS required to view this simple website is an astonishing 8.5 MB.

        2. Munchausen's proxy

          Re: Yeah...

          " If you roll your own everything you spend half your time reinventing the wheel."

          But at least then there's a chance your wheel will be round.

          1. BrownishMonstr Bronze badge

            Re: Yeah...

            Yeah but there's also a chance it is more obtuse, will fall off when you don't want it to, and spontaneously combust depending on what it's attached to.

            JS Frameworks are the lipstick to the pig.

        3. JohnFen

          Re: Yeah...

          If that's true, that's a huge condemnation of JavaScript.

        4. Deltics

          Re: Yeah...

          "Re-Inventing the wheel" is a phrase that is right up there with the most over-used, abused and mis-appropriated in history.

          Nobody EVER re-invented the wheel. The wheel was invented precisely ONCE (discounting for simplicity any question of parallel invention).

          What DOES happen is that new types of wheel are constantly being designed to suit purposes and applications to which existing wheel designs are not desirable or well suited.

          The designers of the Boeing 747 were not castigated for re-inventing the wheel when in designing the under-carriage they refused to simply slap on the wheels from a Model T Ford.

          Mines the re-invented human enclosure garment with the re-invented telecommunications device in the re-invented integrated garment storage solution.

          1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

            Re: "Re-Inventing the wheel"

            It's not so much the wheel itself. Quite often it is where the language designers have positioned the centre within that wheel, leading to eccentric coding and a bumpy ride.

    2. Joe W Silver badge

      Re: That's because everyone under 40 is a "web developer" now...

      The BOFH once said "special affirmative person and something with z I'll have thought of before it reaches the grievance committee".

      The problem is not the language (well...) rather the copy-paste mentality of the current breed of "developers".

      1. Bbuckley

        Re: That's because everyone under 40 is a "web developer" now...

        Yep I have to agree - its the muppets who think they are Gods - the language makes it easy for clueless Millennials to convince themselves they are developers. They are not.

    3. Notas Badoff

      Re: That's because everyone under 40 is a "web developer" now...

      I find myself agreeing and disagreeing with you. Code quality inside the product is most dependent on the quality in front of the keyboard.

      Yet, when people sneer at a language, I like to point to this quote:

      "Finally, a note of caution. This language, like English, can be a medium for prose, or a medium for poetry. The difference between prose and poetry is not that different languages are used, but that the same language is used, differently."

      1. Bbuckley

        Re: That's because everyone under 40 is a "web developer" now...

        Computation is not prose or poetry. It either works or it does not. It is rarely beautiful

    4. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: That's because everyone under 40 is a "web developer" now...

      ...and slapping together random Javascript fragments they got from Stackoverflow with the latest poorly-written scripted ads and releasing the whole sorry, bloated mess seems to be a reasonably viable career now.

      It's a daily battle, and just another reason why I say it's time this industry was regulated - regular fitness to practice checks, entry tests etc.

      There is literally no other way to save us from the cowboys. Sure, you can try to train them and teach them, but before ever they understand, they get replaced by yet another crop of half arsed kids with funny clothes and silly hair, clutching yet another mess of poorly thought through, bloated, and incompatible frameworks, which are this years must have "only way to do it".

      JavaScript makes pretty and slick gui's, but its no way to do anything complicated, or anything at all on the server. If indeed you still have a server.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    JS coders to the B Ark...

    Will all JS coders please report to the B Ark, your free, all expenses paid, first class luxury trip to see the solar system is waiting.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You Like JavaScript! You Really Like It!

    Yes I do! I like it so much that I systematically excise as much of it from my life as I possibly can! Huge fan!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You don't want to sell me Java Scripts

    you want to go home and think about your life.

  5. GBE

    I like JavaScript because... PHP!

    I do like JavaScript.

    But, it's because when I'm working with JavaScript I'm also working with PHP.

    Compared to the giant steaming pile that is PHP, JavaScript is an elegant and beautiful monument to clear thinking and thoughtful design. For either one, you can rarely trust any "answers" given in various online fora. They're all filled with the incompetent leading the stupid -- especially when compared to something like the Python user mailing list.

    1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

      Re: I like JavaScript because... PHP!


      I always find it amusing when people bleat about JavaScript's scoping, when in PHP called-functions choose what scope they want from their caller. JS is rather a nice approach to OO, and in many ways preferable to the C++/Java/etc approach, but OOO! don't say that anywhere near anyone who was brought up on Java (I had a Java "professional" throw toys out of pram permanently when I pointed out that Java was PassByValue not PassByReference, then proved it).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I like JavaScript because... PHP!

      > They're all filled with the incompetent leading the stupid

      Regardless of whatever improvements are made to PHP, the fact that the the ternary (?:) operator has the wrong precedence compared to every other C-derived language- and will likely always do so for compatibility reasons- will for me always be a naff reminder of its early, sloppy origins.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: I like JavaScript because... PHP!

        Oh, time for this one again?

        PHP Sadness

        PHP is a great example of a language invented by people who had no idea what they were doing and didn't care; who tossed in every idea they came across, with no editing whatsoever; and who have rarely been brave enough to break the horrible applications built on their horrible language in order to fix something.

        It arguably passes incompetence and makes its way to unethical.

        And I have to say, the texts I've seen for teaching PHP are often pretty dreadful too. More than a few train people to do database access by constructing ad hoc SQL queries using string concatenation and formatting, with tainted inputs. They actually teach SQL injection vulnerabilities as a preferred approach.

        1. phylophyl

          Re: I like JavaScript because... PHP!

          Why is PHP so popular then? True newbie question.

          1. Jaybus

            Re: I like JavaScript because... PHP!

            Because, shaky start and lack of academic elegance notwhitstanding, it is faster in execution than the other leading interpreted languages, usually by a good margin.

  6. Erik4872

    'Tis the future for good or ill

    I work with developers as a systems engineer. The browser DOM and the HTTPS protocol have been overloaded to the point where they do absolutely everything a previous rich client application would do. It's as if people suddenly forgot how to write native applications around 2012, and at the top of the abstraction tower is the browser and name-your-JavaScript-framework.

    Someone has to come up with a more general purpose thing than a piece of software designed (initially) to render Web content.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 'Tis the future for good or ill

      "HTML's a cheap whore. Treating her with respect is possible, and even preferable, because once upon a time she was a beautiful and virginal format, but you shouldn't expect too much of her at this point." - ASR sig line about 15 years ago.

    2. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

      the current Web is a prototype

      Well, to be fair, that WAS kinda the original purpose of the world-wide web -- to provide a new hardware-independent semi-platform for interacting with each other & information. (Also the purpose of .net, in order to provide Billiam a $$fallback in the event he lost the antitrust case, in case anyone's wondering why .net came in a huge rush, then petered out sideways into a mere devel environment.)

      Interestingly, what we currently regard as The Web, is in fact no more than a fraction of the original intent.

      We are using only the Read-Only version, a quick prototype hacked out quickly as Proof Of Concept.

      All this client-side gubbins/coding is hardwired localdev to get around/bodge around the lack of the core functionality originally intended. Plus some later wanderings off-piste.


      You are reading this on a MVP v.2.0.

    3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: 'Tis the future for good or ill

      Someone has to come up with a more general purpose thing than a piece of software designed (initially) to render Web content.

      Shh. We'll get applications running in emacs. Or Eclipse. (Bad enough we already have Excel applications.)

      Seriously: We do have "a more general purpose thing" for this domain. It's called an operating system. If you want, you can add components (often called "libraries") to it and save yourself some work.

      Web-based and crypto-web-based (Electrum-hosted, etc) applications have become so common because people don't want the costs of developing and supporting native applications. You might argue that's a false economy, and so might I (oh, look, Electrum-hosted Fuze is back up to a 0.5GB working set again! and has once again had various problems with screen-sharing and other basic functions today!). But the market will gravitate toward whatever seems to have the best return on investment, and both developers and managers (in general) are poor at seeing beyond the surface.

  7. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    It will not last ...

    I can remember when FORTRAN and COBOL were the top languages, Java may be on top of the heap today but it will be gone in five years.

    1. Shades

      Re: It will not last ...

      You know this is not your average tech site, right? You know why I'm asking this, right?

    2. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: It will not last ...

      Can you remember when people told you Java and Javascript are not the same thing, oh great old one?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It will not last ...

        Indeed. While Netscape and Sun (#) can- and should- be blamed for the idiotic choice of name, (causing over twenty years of confusion between Java and JavaScript), the fact remains that anyone making proclamations about the future of either without even knowing the difference is going to look like a bit of a tit.

        And no... Java... sorry, *JavaScript* is not going to have disappeared or even declined significantly in five years time. It's been around since the mid-1990s, and has only ever grown in importance since then. Virtually *everything* dynamic on the web uses it extensively these days. (Yes, perhaps some framework du jour or library built on top of it *may* be gone, but that's not the same thing as the language itself.)

        For that reason alone, it'll still be at or very near the top in five years time. Twenty? I've no idea where it will be then, but it'll likely still be around. COBOL, which you mentioned, is sixty years old(!) and *still* in use, albeit very much a legacy technology.

        (#) Netscape for choosing to name their scripting language after Java- with which it had little in common beyond being designed with online use in mind- purely to piggyback on the mid-90s hype for Java and applets. And Sun for letting them do it.

      2. JohnFen

        Re: It will not last ...

        This. I find Javascript tolerable. Java, not so much.

    3. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: It will not last ...

      I can remember when FORTRAN and COBOL were the top languages

      In some (admittedly niche) areas they still are. Old languages never die, they just get filed under "legacy system that we can't replace because nobody knows what it does".

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: It will not last ...

        Not that niche. COBOL and mainframe bring us about $250M to $275M a year. That's a decent piece of change.

        Similarly, Java and Javascript will both be around for a very long time yet, as you say. It will be decades before they're "niche". Rewriting applications is considerable cost and risk with very little benefit.

        Years ago, on comp.lang.cobol, Pete Dashwood bet me that COBOL would "be extinct" or "have disappeared completely" or some such (can't find the message now) within a short timeframe - might have been 5 or 10 years. Whatever it is, it's long since past. And it's just not happening. We sell three different COBOL implementations, plus services around a fourth; they're all still popular enough to justify continued investment, though the majority goes into the flagship products, of course.

        Once a language reaches a certain point of popularity, it becomes very well entrenched.

        Hell, a quick search shows 27 MUMPS developer jobs listed on one job site. MUMPS. A widely-disliked domain-specific language - that's as niche as it gets, short of the outright esoteric ones. But it's been around for over 50 years and still isn't gone.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: It will not last ...

          COBOL IS DEAD! Long Live COBOL!

          There are more functional lines of COBOL and Fortran working in big business today than the average kid who never used a dial telephone could possibly imagine. I do not know of a single COBOL or Fortran programmer who is currently out of work. I can't say the same for Java(script), VisBas, C++, C#, and what-have-you.

          When my students ask me what other language(s) to learn, I've been suggesting COBOL, Fortran (and C) for about thirty years now. Not a month goes by that I don't get a "THANK YOU!" email from a former student, now making a real salary coding in one of them after dicking around with fad languages for a few years..

          With more than a couple billion lines of code in current use (by some estimates), COBOL's not going anywhere soon. Same for Fortran and C. They might not be sexy, but they do real work, in the real world ... and that's where the big bucks are.

          Remember, kiddies, the Web and associated languages are ephemeral. COBOL and Fortran (and good old C) are here to stay. Learn one or all three, and you'll be employed for life ... or, as in my case, until you decide you want to retire.

          Somewhere, Admiral Grace is smiling that evil smile that only she could get away with :-)

    4. HieronymusBloggs

      Not dead yet

      "I can remember when FORTRAN and COBOL were the top languages"

      The Fortran 2018 (ISO/IEC 1539-1:2018) standard was released a couple of months ago.

      Many of the currently used maths libraries (eg. lapack) are still written in Fortran.

    5. HieronymusBloggs

      Re: It will not last ...

      "Java may be on top of the heap today but it will be gone in five years."

      The popularity of modern JVM based languages like Scala suggests you are wrong.

    6. Friendly Neighbourhood Coder Dan

      Re: It will not last ...

      "Java may be on top of the heap today but it will be gone in five years."

      Problem is, once Java is gone, all we will have left is Script.

      Script will have 6 / 10 of the power of JavaScript.

      Once Sript is gone, all we will have left is c.

      c will only have 1 / 6 of the power of Script.

      c will have 1 / 10 of the power of JavaScript.

  8. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    I like JavaScript*

    * Better than server-side templates and round-trips. Overall, JavaScript is pretty crap. It's MEANT for browsers yet interacting with the DOM is so tedious and prone to coding style inconsistencies that a new framework to fix that is invented every month.

    1. teknopaul Silver badge

      Re: I like JavaScript*

      Re: "It's MEANT for browsers"

      It was invented for serverside scripting before its use in browsers. Via nodejs, its still pretty good at that job.

  9. JohnFen

    JS is fine

    As a developer, I have no beef with Javascript. It's fine. However, as a web user, I won't allow JS to run by default. But that's not JavaScript's fault -- that's a policy that I have for any code, in any language, that a website wants to run on my machine.

  10. jake Silver badge

    Popularity contest wins ...

    ... do not equal quality.

    5 billion flies surveyed ALL agreed that eating shit is a good idea.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Popularity contest wins ...

      It *is* a very good idea. If you're a fly.

  11. Peter Prof Fox

    Oh dear! Nothing is perfect

    JS is what it is and if it really was as awful as 'they' say then why is it so popular?

    I /fume/ at various issues and how slow it is to become properly OO, but Java has been 'proper OO' fro a couple of decades and has it's own issues just as aggravating as the unrelated Javascript. JS does a remarkable job in a maelstrom of Browser (and other) environments. IMHO a much bigger issue is how JS is allowed to consume cycles (BBC 'sounds', I'm looking at you for a simple listings page.) Still, I'd rather have Fred and Freda able to write simple web pages than blocked by cliffs of learning curves. This is about quality in web pages not any particular language.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Oh dear! Nothing is perfect

      "why is it so popular?"

      Look up "the law of the instrument".

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Oh dear! Nothing is perfect

        The Law of the Instrument, aka Maslow's Hammer, etc, is one contributing factor, I think. Another is the Sunk Costs Fallacy: investing in something makes you want to continue investing in it. Tribalism is important: if I've built my career on X, then I'm more likely to show loyalty to X.

        Really there are a whole host of well-documented irrational psychological processes which will shape a survey like this one. It's going to be far from a meritocracy, even if the respondents could agree on what the metrics were. I suppose that's why this survey is about popularity in the sense of use, not of preference. (That is, it asked whether developers know Javascript, not whether they like it. At least in that question. I'm not too comfortable with the article's gloss on the question about whether the language is "moving in the right direction" - interpreting that to mean "the language isn't currently horrible" is not logically justified.)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh dear! Nothing is perfect

      I agree with you, but there are quite a few script snobs around here who just love to beat up on nasty old Javascript. They have a lot of good points, but they tend to neglect the fact that, unlike other programming languages, JS must operate inside a jungle of ever-changing web devices, and always has.

      That places it in a special category apart from all other languages, thus many of their criticisms are less than valid. I won't say I personally love JS, but I grok it pretty well and it's not as bad as some would have us believe.

    3. mmccul

      Re: Oh dear! Nothing is perfect

      The very reason I find myself willing to work with javascript comes down to two reasons.

      First, I recognize it is a purpose built language, not a general purpose language. Just like awk is purpose built to stream process text files. Sure, I can use awk to calculate mathematical problems, but that isn't the design of it. Javascript is similar, in that it is designed to be used for a specific use case.

      Second, because I recognized long ago that Javascript is functional first, object oriented a distant third. Even the scoping rules make more sense in that context.

      I think if Javascript didn't have those first four letters in its name, no one would care about OO in it or not, except the OO zealots who insist that everything be OO, even if it makes no sense for the problem to be solved.

  12. J27 Silver badge

    JavaScript is a necessary evil, because it's the only front-end script option supported by all major browsers. Because of this we're stuck with all the design flaws and having to patch in new stuff on top. ES5 and ES6 do improve things immensely, but I've really like a statically-typed option (and not a preprocessor like TypeScript). And then there is the DOM problem, which people are trying to solve with all those frameworks. Keeping up to date on frameworks is very difficult because things change nearly daily. JavaScript has a lot of room to improve, but it's what we have.

    Sure, you can be a neophyte and not embrace the current state of the JavaScript ecosystem, but that's just giving up learning new things and that's not something any developer can afford to do... Well, maybe if you're 60.

    1. overunder Silver badge

      "And then there is the DOM problem"

      Which is?

      Anyone remember gridBagLayout in Java during the 1.2 days? People complained that it was "hard", they tried to simplify it, then nobody liked it. Truth is, nobody wanted to learn how simple it was.

  13. FozzyBear

    Just because you can write code in Javascript does not mean you can program

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      When did English sentence terminator characters become optional?

      1. poohbear

        About the same time the semicolon did in Javascript?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Wasn't the semicolon optional from the beginning?

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Just because you can only write shit Javascript does not mean everyone else does

      Just because there is a lot of shit JavaScript out there does not mean JavaScript is shit

      Just because you can write code in C or Java or C# does not mean you can write JavaScript

      I work with the most hideous JavaScript app, written by competent C# devs who produce robust functional back end code and have no fucking clue on the front. Is that JavaScript's fault too? I blame it on the devs.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        To be fair, there are plenty of people who make knowledgeable, complex arguments about failings in the language itself, not in applications. (These often involve type safety, the prototype-based OO design taken from Self, and that sort of thing.) So not everyone who complains about Javascript is motivated merely by "shit Javascript out there".

        Personally, I think Javascript is not too bad for smallish projects, particularly if the developers are restrained from proving how brilliant they are by writing unreadable code. (That latter goes for any language, of course, but multi-paradigm languages allow certain additional forms of sin.) And for larger projects, there are indeed super-languages such as Typescript which can remedy some of the concerns. I think using a browser instance as a runtime for non-browser work is fairly terrible, and I think the Node.js architecture is rife with traps for the unwary. So for me it's a mixed bag.

        And yes, I think most web pages use far too much Javascript, from far too many domains, for no good reason, with no consideration for graceful degredation if the user is restricting what domains are allowed to serve scripts. Many web developers are either supremely lazy or drastically under-resourced.

    4. JohnFen

      That's equally true for all other programming languages as well.

  14. eldakka Silver badge

    You like JavaScript! You really like it!


    "In 2018, 73 per cent of developers said they knew JavaScript, up from 66 per cent in 2017," the company's 2019 Developer Skills Report stated. "This also makes JavaScript 2018’s most well-known language, compared to Java in 2017."

    That does not mean it is liked.

    My most frequently travelled route is the one from home to work. But I don't like that route, in fact I loathe it. But it is necessary, not liked.

    1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: You like JavaScript! You really like it!


      I currently spend my days working in JavaScript, because that's what the client needs (for some reason he hired Java contractors to work on an application that's almost all front-end script). I hate it.

      The popularity of single-page applications means that critical business functions are now implemented in client-side script. That's like driving at 120 mph in an old banger, worrying about whether the wheels might come off. In most languages, an experienced developer can review the code and be reasonably confident what it does, but in JavaScript there's always some nasty little surprise.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: You like JavaScript! You really like it!

        The problem is you're a Java dev and you're working on JavaScript. The "driver who isn't in control" metaphor doesn't need 120 mph, if you don't know how to drive 30 is perfectly dangerous.

        Stop hating and start learning or find somewhere to work where your current skills are actually relevant.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: You like JavaScript! You really like it!

          Right on, sabroni. I suggest You don't know JS. It can be read for free, and the author explains ALL those weird little quirks JS has, in extreme detail! I recently read it thru twice (drilling is good), and now I finally understand just what's going on in that strange script language I have to use in my daily work. What a relief!

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: You like JavaScript! You really like it!


      Do you mean the Yiddish word "bupkis"? Or has a bump somewhere been kissed? I don't need details.

      That does not mean it is liked.

      True. The glosses in the heading and article do not all represent what these surveys actually attempted to study.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You like JavaScript! You really like it!

        > "Or has a bump somewhere been kissed?"

        Sooner or later, all bumps get kissed.

    3. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: "That does not mean it is liked."

      It's a reference to that famous Sally Field quote when picking up an award ("you like me, you like me!")

      The article speaks for itself.


  15. Tim99 Silver badge

    Sometimes I turn it off

    With JavaScript off I can still often find what I want - Perhaps, if we had all stuck with CGI/FastCGI, there would have been a lot less advertising/web crap in our lives. and we would all see a lot more nice, sane, static sites. Well there would have been a lot fewer pages anyway.

    So, if we go with Sturgeon's revelation, that would mean that there would be a lot less crap to wade through before we find the 10% that isn't crap. We might even have had commerce sites that didn't rely on 100+Mb of obtuse frameworks just to add a purchase to a shopping trolley.

    Thank you, mine is the old grubby one with K&R in the pocket >>===========>

  16. Andy Denton

    As a developer for over 30 years....

    I hate JavaScript. I get that it has its uses for the front end but what idiot thought using it at the back end was ever a good idea? In my current contract, I'm having to use node on a daily basis and the sooner I can get back to .NET Core, the better. Sadly, the current company I'm at has bought into the "JavaScript Everywhere" cult on the erroneous thinking that "Javascript developers are easier to recruit because there's more of them" totally missing the point that whilst most devs will have JS knowledge (primarily front ent), writing front-end code and writing back-end code are very different things. I'd like to imagine a time where we'll look back and laugh at the notion of using JavaScript everywhere, but I'm not hopeful.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: writing front-end code and writing back-end code are very different things.

      I think that every time our front end code reacts to a tiny error by tearing down the form and replacing it with an error message. On the back end an error means "stop, log it". On the front end an error means "That didn't work, have another go!"

      Our front end is written by back end devs.

    2. overunder Silver badge

      Re: As a developer for over 30 years....

      Well, I've never used .net for a server, but as someone who only has a system background, I find most scripting languages equally easy and cumbersome, if that makes sense. But, I'll admit that in node I've wrote a few extensions in C to "cowboy" over some of the hurdles like printable text in UTF-32, real locks, crappy regex.

      People speak of how fast node.js is as a web server, which is true, but I'd never trust it. Not because there is so little typing (which I actually like), but because of the event loop. It seems like a really bad idea to always block no matter what until the next cycle. That makes sense in a GUI, completely, but as a server it seems... misleading in a weird way.

  17. Justin Case

    A Special Place in My Heart

    Yes, Really!

    Back in the days before I'd heard of Linux,having come up through various Sinclair and Commodore offerings and then getting a "proper" PC, I was so disappointed to find that there was no programming available. OK, so you could buy something like Microsoft Basic, but out of the box, nothing. This was before various PC mags started sticking CDs on their fronts, so not even a free sample of Delphi to play with.

    Discovering a built in scripting language within a browser allowed me to scratch a programming itch for no more money. Which was important at the time. And demonstrated that there is indeed More Than One Way To Do It. With judicious use of cookies and query strings I was able to achieve what otherwise needed server side scripting which, in those days, also was charged for.

  18. _LC_ Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Still sucks balls, though.


    document.writeln( Math.sin( 90 ) );

    document.writeln( Math.cos( 90 ) );


    0.8939966636005579 -0.4480736161291701

    Why? Because JavaScript is always good for a surprise.

    1. Alistair Wall

      Re: Still sucks balls, though.

      This is correct. 90 radians = 5156.62 degrees.

      1. _LC_ Silver badge

        Re: Still sucks balls, though.

        Just as much as nobody doubts that, nobody expects it either.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Still sucks balls, though.

          nobody expects it either

          No? The C standard sin and cos functions take arguments in radians. The same is true for COBOL (as of COBOL85) and Fortran (as of FORTRAN77). I can't offhand think of a language which uses degrees for the trigonometric function.

    2. julianbr

      Re: Still sucks balls, though.


      The parameter accepted by JavaScript sin function is RADIANS.

      sin of 90 Radians is indeed 0.8939966636005579


      The parameter accepted by JavaScript cos functions is RADIANS.

      cos of 90 Radians is indeed -0.4480736161291701

      1. _LC_ Silver badge

        Re: Still sucks balls, though.

        See my answer above.

        Don't you think that it would've been wise to work in the three letters 'RAD' somehow? ;-)

        1. dajames Silver badge

          Re: Still sucks balls, though.

          Don't you think that it would've been wise to work in the three letters 'RAD' somehow? ;-)


          I am struggling to think of ANY programming language in which the mathematical sin and cos functions expect their arguments to be in anything other than radians ... not C or C++, not Pascal, not Modula, not Java, not Python, not Algol, not Fortran, not Ada ... Logo, perhaps? I've never used it.

          JavaScript has very many faults and many infelicities but I cannot think that this is one of them.

  19. DrXym Silver badge

    Javascript is a horrible language

    The NULL pointer has been described as the billion dollar mistake. Javascript says "hold my beer" as it introduces undefined, multiple definitions of equality, weird ass rules for this, scope, hoisting etc. Then we have multiple frameworks that add fundamental functionality, and cosmetic languages like typescript / coffeescript that try to take the worst edges off writing code, but it's still an exercise in turd polishing.

    The only reason we're talking about it is because every browser supports it. I suspect that as webassembly takes off and software can be developed in more appropriate, typesafe languages, that JS will revert somewhat to its original purpose - scripting glue.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Javascript is a horrible language

      The only thing worse than Javascript is Python.

      A whitespace sensitive programming language ? In the 21st century ? What a horrible thing.

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: Javascript is a horrible language

        Personally I have no problem with some formatting being part of the spec. Even if compilers don't enforce it, IDEs could and it would make code more consistent.

        BUT the way its done in Python seems dangerous to me. Indentation is to save enclosing a code block with a { } or BEGIN / END, or something similar. Instead you indent the bits that are part of the block and there is no explicit end statement.

        That makes the code more terse (most of the time), it adds danger that the code will screw up because the developer inadvertently gets the indentation wrong. It also looks weird.

        1. JohnFen

          Re: Javascript is a horrible language

          "IDEs could and it would make code more consistent."

          Any language that requires a special (or any) IDE to make it usable is a fundamentally broken language.

    2. overunder Silver badge

      Re: Javascript is a horrible language

      "NULL pointer"

      Javascript doesn't have pointers. This can be felt as you fine tune your linked lists and search trees with a feeling of faux (it's not good).

      typescript / coffeescript... yep. They might help to debug to an extent, but they might exist out of boredom and a desire to make js something it wasn't meant to be (i think most scripting languages have this renaissance).

  20. tiggity Silver badge

    Who was surveyed?

    Results of a survey are only as good as the sampling method, question qulaity and population sampled.

    There could well have been a skew toward devs who like to use / have to use JS (as has been said, using a language is not necessarily the same as liking that language and wanting to use it).

    One interesting thing to do is record overhead (client and server, CPU, network bytes, number of calls, memory use, etc, etc.) of a web page done simply (server does the work and serves the page in one go) compared to a page that is bursting with dynamic JS making async calls here there and everywhere.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Who was surveyed?

      The article gives a strong suggestion as to who was surveyed:

      "Developer recruiting biz HackerRank surveyed ..." that would be "people looking for a job".

      That's probably over-snarky, since JavaScript (like C++) is a rather elegant language struggling to escape from several decades of historic abuse. The trick is in knowing what that elegant subset is and how to avoid contact with the awful parts. Sadly, the need to work with (and maintain) existing code (and libraries) means that most JS (and C++) programmers are forced to get their fingers dirty.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd question the conclusions drawn from this data.

  22. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Re: I'd question the conclusions drawn from this data.

    Some languages need less support than others. Therefore the need to use Stack Overflow is more if the language is not consistent, poorly documented, many dialects to confuse oneself with, subject to change, or encourages poor coding practices leading to obscure errors.

    (I'm a Delphi user: listed as one of the most hated legacy languages. Ouch. Mind you the salaries for Delphi in the US are holding up).

  23. gnarlymarley

    craplet out of javascript

    What do you call a craplet written in javascript instead of java? I call it Service Now. A better name is needed.

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