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Aria Azadi Pour
Aria Azadi Pour

Posted on • Updated on

JavaScript use-cases and most popular technologies used with JavaScript

JavaScript is one of the most loved and used languages in the development industry. JavaScript came to life at Netscape, Netscape was the creator of the Netscape navigator one of the most popular browsers of the 90s. Netscape came to the conclusion that they need to make some technology that helps developers to create a dynamic website and since they had 90% of the market share at the time, it became the industry standard.

At the start, JavaScript was only used for web development but as time passed and the v8 engine came to life and the rise of Node.js, JavaScript was no longer a language that was only used for web development and became popular for many other use-cases too.

In this article, I'm going to talk about some of the areas that JavaScript is used for and the most popular technologies that are used in those areas.

Use Case

Front-end Development

JavaScript's main purpose when it was created was to give the developers more ability to create more dynamic websites. Since then JavaScript has been on a wild journey to become where it is now and at one point was even considered near extinction. JavaScript was revived in 2009 with the comeback of ECMAScript and since then the open-source community has done a lot for JavaScript and brought popularity to the JavaScript world.

One of the important eras for JavaScript was the rise of JavaScript front-end frameworks by the creation of frameworks like AngularJS and Ember.js. Then the community started to pay more attention to the frameworks and a lot of new frameworks were created by big and small companies and sometimes a group of independent people. The top frameworks used these days are React from Facebook, Angular from Google, and Vue from the open-source community. A lot of new frameworks have come to life in recent years too, like Svelte and GatsbyJS.

Front-end Application Development JavaScript

Back-end Development

JavaScript is also a very popular language to create back-end applications. It first came to life when Ryan Rahl created the Node.js runtime environment. Node.js rise boosts the rise and popularity of JavaScript in every development industry. Node.js main purpose was to help developers use JavaScript not just for the front-end but for the back-end too.

JavaScript is used a lot in back-end development not just by small companies and independent developers but also by big companies like Netflix, Uber, PayPal, and LinkedIn. It is important to note that open-source communities have a big role in most popular node.js frameworks and they are mostly created without any overlook from big companies. Some of the most popular node.js frameworks are Express, Koa, Fastify, and Nest.

It is important to note that Ryan Dahl, later on, left the node.js project to create a better runtime environment for JavaScript and named it Deno. Some of the most popular Deno frameworks to create back-end applications are Oak, Servest, and Drash.

Back-end Application Development JavaScript

CLI Development

You can use both Node.js and Deno to create CLI applications and publish them to the world. It is just like starting your applications and passing some extra arguments while starting and you can then use your applications as CLI applications. Some of the most popular CLI tools in node.js are Commander and Yargs.

Command Line - Star Wars Movie

Mobile Application Development

One of the other areas in that JavaScript is very popular is in the mobile app development sector. JavaScript has too popular mobile app development technologies, React Native and Ionic. One of the biggest companies using JavaScript to create their mobile apps is Facebook. Facebook is the creator of React Native and the technology is used in wide categories of Facebook apps.

But React Native and Ionic are not the only technologies that you can use to create mobile applications using JavaScript. Another very popular technology that is wildly used around the community is progressive web applications or for short PWA. PWA is a technology introduced by Google that can help you turn your website into a mobile application in a couple of steps. All of the lite versions of your popular applications are built by PWA which is basically improving your website to be a better mobile application.

Mobile Application Development JavaScript

Desktop Application Development

You can use JavaScript to create desktop applications. One of the most popular technologies to create desktop applications is Electron. Electron uses a headless browser to create a desktop application that lets developers use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create the desktop application and because of this Electron is very popular among front-end developers. But there are drawbacks to this solution too which is a lower performance application that doesn't bother users too much you can be using one of the applications currently without even knowing it is created by Electron. Some of the most popular apps created using electron are Visual Studio Code, WhatsApp, InVission, Figma, and Discord.

Electron is not the only technology that is used to create a desktop application using JavaScript. You can also create desktop applications using React Native and Ionic. You can use React Native to create Windows applications only, but Ionic can create applications for Linux and macOS too.

Also, keep in mind that the PWA technology isn't only used for mobile applications and you can also create website applications with it and it is very popular and used by many big websites like Google Services.

Desktop Application Development JavaScript

Game Development

This is the area that I have the least experience but I have worked with some 3d engine libraries and I can give you some details. JavaScript is not just used in the game development sector but it is somewhat popular and it is becoming more popular every. Creating 2d games is very easy and JavaScript has built-in functions to help you create 2d games using just plain JavaScript.

JavaScript also has many third-party engines that can help you create games. Some of the most popular libraries are Three.js and PixiJS. Today you can see the rise of 3d engines everywhere in JavaScript, not just to create more games but to create more appealing websites.

Game Development JavaScript

AI and Data Science

JavaScript is becoming more and more popular in AI and Data Science sector because the need for a way to use data science and AI in the front-end and back-end is getting bigger and bigger. Working with charts in the front-end and creating artificial intelligence that helps work with data in the back-end is the need of many companies so this sector is really popular. Some of the best libraries in the data science sector are D3.js, Chart.js, and Plotly.js, and TensorFlow.js, Brain.js, and Ma.js are some of the most popular AI libraries in JavaScript.

AI and Data Science

IoT and Robotics

JavaScript can also be used for Robotics and IoT. This area is really not centralized currently and there aren't any clear winners for the best libraries and frameworks to be used. But I have seen the rise of many platforms in the past years and it is becoming slightly more popular.

Iot and Robotics JavaScript

Smart Watch Application Development

JavaScript doesn't stop at Mobile and Desktop applications you can also use JavaScript to create Smart Watch applications. Well, I would say this is the most popular one on the list but it is still possible. Bangle.js is one of the most popular platforms to create apps using JavaScript for Smart Watches but also many watches support PWA technology.

Smart Watch Application Development JavaScript

Conclusion

You can use JavaScript to use in many sectors that you might be interested in like any other big language. Each language is good in something but that doesn't stop it from being able to work in other sectors too. You should choose your initial career based on your interest in the language and the sector.

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Need a better mental model for async/await?

Check out this classic DEV post on the subject.

β­οΈπŸŽ€ JavaScript Visualized: Promises & Async/Await

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