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Are you confused about which front-end tools you should learn, and which ones you should work with? Do you want to know other web developers are using and what they think is important when it comes to front-end frameworks and libraries??

Fear not! We have the answer to all these questions. In our annual skill-up survey, we spoke to over 8,000 developers and tech pros and asked them about the front-end tools, libraries, and frameworks they regularly use.

Of course, choosing the perfect front-end technology depends on your skills, and your area of interest. However, seeing the umpteen number of front-end frameworks available nowadays, we have narrowed it down to just a few.


[box type=”shadow” align=”alignleft” class=”” width=””]Creators: John Resig.
Released: 2006
Current version: 3.3.1
Popularity: 49,100 stars on GitHub[/box]

jQuery came out to be the undisputed champion of this showdown, with over 70% of respondents choosing it as their go-to front-end library. jQuery is a fast, lightweight and concise Javascript library mainly used for HTML document traversing, event handling, animating, and Ajax interactions for rapid web development.

It’s a cross-platform JavaScript library meaning it simplifies Javascript development by reducing coding time. Although Javascript has a large no. of libraries jQuery stands out because of its unlimited tutorials, no cross-platform/browser issues, great user interface, a large no, of plugins, and light, fast, and quick to learn nature. Essentially, jQuery is most suited for applications which need rapid development.

Get started with jQuery with the following resources:
Getting Started with jQuery 3 [Video]
Beginning JavaScript and jQuery [Video]


[box type=”shadow” align=”alignleft” class=”” width=””]Creators: Mark Otto and Jacob Thornton. Released: 2011 Current version: 4.1.1 Popularity: 125,108 stars on GitHub[/box]

Over 65% of developers choose Bootstrap as their favorite framework to use. And why not, considering Bootstrap is everywhere. Bootstrap is an open source toolkit for developing with HTML, CSS, and JS. The huge popularity of Bootstrap is mainly because of its simplistic use, great community, and a very large number of articles and tutorials, third-party plugins and extensions, theme builders, etc.

Our top picks for learning Bootstrap:
Bootstrap 4 Site Blueprints
Learning Web Development with React and Bootstrap
Bootstrap 4 Cookbook

Npm (Node package manager)

[box type=”shadow” align=”alignleft” class=”” width=””]
Creators: Isaac Z. Schlueter.
Released: 2011
Current version: 6.1.0
Popularity:16,597 stars on GitHub[/box]

NPM is the package manager for node. With NPM, developers can install various modules for web development, share and borrow packages, and manage private development.

It consists of three distinct components:

Website: The website can be used to discover packages, set up profiles, and manage other aspects of the npm experience.

Command Line Interface (CLI): The CLI runs from a terminal. Developers can interact with npm through CLI.

Registry: The registry is a large public database of JavaScript software and the meta-information surrounding it. It contains over 600,000 packages (building blocks of code).


[box type=”shadow” align=”alignleft” class=”” width=””]
Creators: Google.
Released: 2016
Current version: 6.0.0
Popularity:58,576 stars on GitHub[/box]

If you’re looking to build a dynamic and robust Single page applications, AngularJS is the framework you need. Angular is a core part of the MEAN stack (MongoDB, ExpressJS, AngularJS, and Node.js)  So now you can use javascript for both your site’s frontend and backend.

Angular is highly modular, making it great for dividing up large-scale work with a team and also makes testing and debugging easy. It pairs with AJAX for amazing speed and can handle heavy user interaction via forms. The functionality-first approach makes Angular more focused on features, making the developers’ jobs easier. Moreover, it has excellent tools and support from the Google community.

Start learning Angular with these books.
Learning Angular – Second Edition
Essential Angular 4
Angular By Example – Third Edition


[box type=”shadow” align=”alignleft” class=”” width=””]
Creators: Tobias Koppers, Sean Larkin, Johannes Ewald, Juho Vepsäläinen, and Kees Kluskens.
Released: 2012
Current version: 4.8.3
Popularity:41,366 stars on GitHub[/box]

Webpack is a module bundler for modern JavaScript applications. Webpack is a tool that’s been around for a number of years but has recently seen its popularity grow. And this is the reason developers awarded it the no. 5 spot on our list. Webpack, is, quite simply brings all the assets you need in front-end development – like JavaScript, fonts, and images, in one place. This is particularly useful if you’re developing complicated front ends.

You can go through Deploying Web Applications with Webpack to get up-and-running with Webpack.

The other frontend tools which were among the top picks by developers included:

Sass: Sass is a web design framework, a CSS preprocessor, which adds special features such as variables, nested rules, and mixins into regular CSS.

React: React is one of the most popular javascript libraries for building UI interfaces. It provides speed, simplicity, and scalability for creating single-page applications and mobile applications.

Gulp: An open-source javascript toolkit, Gulp is mainly used for automation tasks such as bundling and minifying libraries and stylesheets, quickly running unit tests, running code analysis, etc.

Vue: Incrementally adoptable, Vue is a fast-growing Javascript framework. It is much simpler than Angular, both in terms of API, so in terms of design. It is a presentation layer, instead of a full-scale framework. Thus you can easily combine Vue with other libraries.

The entire skill up survey report can be downloaded from the Packt website, which details what developers think and feel about the changing tech landscape.

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Content Marketing Editor at Packt Hub. I blog about new and upcoming tech trends ranging from Data science, Web development, Programming, Cloud & Networking, IoT, Security and Game development.


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