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API Management / Serverless / Software Development

What If All Frontend Developers Were Jamstack Developers?

Perhaps not all web developers focus on the frontend, but it seems that modern web development and the Jamstack go hand in hand. 
Oct 7th, 2021 1:32pm by
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Editors Note: The article has been updated to reflect more modest growth figures for headless WordPress.

Perhaps not all web developers focus on the frontend, but it seems that modern web development and the Jamstack go hand in hand. More than 7,000 people took part in the Netlify-sponsored Jamstack Community Survey 2021 and 45% self-identified as frontend developers. Overall, 96% of this community use JavaScript, 68% use React and 60% use TypeScript.

Netlify claims to be technology agnostic and warns about overgeneralizing the study’s findings, but we noticed a few noteworthy trends.

One big takeaway from the report is that use of headless versions of WordPress did not jump, only going from 20.1% to 21.6% of respondents using it in 2021. Almost twice as many respondents still use the traditional WordPress implementation as opposed to the headless version, although that figure did decline compared to 2020. Compared to 2021, Prismic, Wix, Sanity, Strapi, Weebly, and Webflow each saw at least 40% more respondents using them than compared to last year. The hope of decoupled architectures makes sense, but getting there is still a journey.

What If All Frontend Developers Were Jamstack Developers

  • The Jamstack Community Survey 2021 is based on more than 7,000 respondents, with 45% identifying as frontend developers and another 32% as full-stack developers. For comparison, 27% of the recent Stack Overflow survey said frontend developer was one of their job roles and 58% of participants in the latest JetBrains report about the developer ecosystem work on frontend web development projects.
  • Javascript, TypeScript and React Define Jamstackers: 96% of the survey use JavaScript, 68% use React and 60% use TypeScript. If you want to take a trip down memory lane, read our 2017 article, “Why TypeScript Is Growing More Popular.” Yes, we know the difference between languages and frameworks, but let’s just put that aside for a moment. If you use JavaScript and either React or TypeScript, you’re likely doing frontend web development.
  • This survey is focused on Netlify’s community, so it is important not to make too many generalizations about web developers. Yet, Netlify credibly claims to have 2 million users. If there are 25 million developers worldwide, that means that 8% of all developers can be Netlify users. That’s darn impressive if true. Several surveys in the past year have more than 20% of frontend-type developers naming it for hosting-related questions.
  • As we reported in June, companies like Cloudflare, Netlify and Vercel rival hyperscale cloud providers for web developers deploying Jamstack. The adoption certain types of site generators or headless CMS does not necessarily define this type of modern web development. These developers are much more likely to use serverless architecture. In fact, in the study, adoption of functions-as-a-service and container technologies are at almost the same level. This fits a trend we’ve been seeing in WebAssembly surveys as well, which is not surprising because they share similar architectures. The term #Wamstack hasn’t caught on yet but maybe one day.

Bubble Chart -- Major frameworks by usage and satisfaction
Bubble Chart -- Content Management System Change in Usage and Satisfaction

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