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Something you’ll notice about JS frameworks is that there are a lot of them, so it can be hard to know which one to learn first—or which ones to learn in general. While the consensus from web developers is to just pick one and start learning (which will then make it easy to learn others down the road), that still leaves you with a wide field to choose from. In order to give a sense of what frameworks are currently popular with programmers and prized by employers, we’ve rounded up a list of the hottest and most established JS frameworks to learn in 2018.
1. Vue JS
Vue’s popularity can be attributed to its combination of simplicity and flexibility. In terms of its learning curve, Vue uses an HTML-based syntax, which means developers can use HTML to work with Vue’s templates instead of having to learn a framework-specific language like TypeScript (a requirement for some frameworks that adds to the learning time). However, Vue’s beginner-friendly learning curve doesn’t mean it isn’t a feature-rich framework.
In addition to being easy to learn, part of Vue’s calling card is the fact that it’s an incrementally progressive framework—in other words, using Vue doesn’t mean the framework has to live underneath your entire website or application. The Vue JS framework can be implemented on part of a webpage, throughout an entire site or application, or anywhere in between (depending on the needs of your project), making it a framework that can be tailored to your exact specifications. Vue has an active peer community that you can learn more about from the official Vue website, and you can browse the gallery at Made With Vuejs to get an idea of what’s possible using the Vue framework.
2. React JS
4. Ember JS
If you’ve ever used the Apple Music feature through Apple’s iTunes program, then you’ve used an app built with Ember. Ember was first released in 2011 and has carved out a niche as a framework for building large scale web and mobile applications. While Ember-specific job listings are far fewer than jobs asking for knowledge of Vue, React, or Angular (a little over 600 on Indeed as of this writing), Ember is used by major companies like Microsoft, Netflix, and LinkedIn.
One of Ember’s defining characteristics is the fact that it comes with a built-in developer toolchain. When you use the Ember framework, you also have access to Broccoli.js (a tool for translating source code from one language into another), JSHint (a code analysis tool that determines if your JS code complies with coding rules), and LiveReload (a tool that monitors changes in a project’s file system and automatically updates the content on your web browser as these changes are saved). While Ember might not be as widely used as some of the alternatives above, it’s still a powerful framework to learn in 2018 if you’re interested in working on large scale app development for big tech companies. Check out the Built With Ember gallery for a look at what’s possible with the Ember framework.
5. Node JS
Like Ember, Node is a JS framework that tends to be used on large scale web applications. How large? Companies like PayPal, Netflix, Ebay, and WalMart are among those using Node for their online presence. Unlike Ember, however, Node’s job footprint is more in line with frameworks and libraries like Vue, React, and Angular (with an Indeed search fetching over 6,000 current listings).
Bonus JS Tool: jQuery
Scott Morris is Skillcrush's staff writer and content producer. Like all the members of Skillcrush's team, he works remotely (in his case from Napa, CA). He believes that content that's worth reading (and that your audience can find!) creates brands that people follow. He's experienced writing on topics including jobs and technology, digital marketing, career pivots, gender equity, parenting, and popular culture. Before starting his career as a writer and content marketer, he spent 10 years as a full-time parent to his daughters Veronica and Athena.