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[DZone Research] Tools and Testing: The Popularity of npm and Selenium

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[DZone Research] Tools and Testing: The Popularity of npm and Selenium

Among the development tools we included in this year’s survey, npm, npm script, and Selenium exhibited the most positive growth in their adoption by developers.

· Web Dev Zone ·
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This post is part of the Key Research Findings in the 2018 DZone Guide to Dynamic Web and Mobile Development


For this year's DZone Guide to Databases, we surveyed software professionals from across the IT industry. We received 1,202 responses with a 64% completion rating. Based on these numbers, we calculated the margin of error at 3%. In this article, we discuss the prominence of npm and Selenium as development and testing tools among web and mobile developers. 

npm and Selenium For the Win

When we asked respondents what build script tools they use, 60% reported using npm script. Grunt and Gulp tied for second in this category with 27% of respondents choosing each build tool. Additionally, Make only garnered 19% of respondents’ choices, down from 24% in our 2017 Web Development Guide survey. npm script, however, exhibited a year-over-year growth of 4% between our 2017 and 2018 surveys. When we compare this data around build script tools to the most popular web development frameworks, the results reflect the trends we see among the general survey population. 69% of both React and Angular developers use npm script and 68% of Vue developers use npm script in their applications.

Looking at module/package management, npm again won out. 69% of respondents told us they use npm for module/package management, up from 62% in 2017. Though Webpack only garnered a 31% adoption rate among respondents, it grew 4%, up from a 27% adoption rate in our 2017 survey. Conversely, the package manager Bower fell from a 29% usage rate in 2017 to 21% in this year’s survey.

For testing needs, the majority of respondents reported using Selenium. Among the general survey population, 62% of respondents said the use Selenium to test their web apps. This is up from 56% in 2017. Across all web development frameworks, Selenium remained the most popular testing option, though its adoption rate proved lower among Vue developers than Angular and React devs. 64% of respondents who use React and Angular as their front-end frameworks told us they use Selenium for testing, while 53% of respondents who code in Vue said they use Selenium. Interestingly, PhantomJS proved far more popular among Vue developers than among their React and Angular counterparts. 29% of respondents who develop applications with Vue reported using PhantomJS, while only 19% of Angular developers and 18% of React developers use PhantomJS for testing. Among the general survey population, PhantomJS’s adoption fell 9% year-over-year, from 25% in 2017 to 16% in 2018.

Conclusion: Selenium Could Well Be on the Rise

If we compare these results to a similar survey carried out by stateofjs.com in 2017 (2018 version is not yet available), we see much lower numbers for Selenium in the stateofjs.com survey. In the State of JavaScript 2017 survey, Selenium received 44 votes from participants. To put that in perspective, the number one testing tool in that survey, Karma, received 189. As mentioned above, our own surveys saw a growth in Selenium users over the past year, from 56% to 62% of respondents. Taking these two surveys into account, it seems that Selenium usage is on the rise in the web development community. 

This post is part of the Key Research Findings in the 2018 DZone Guide to Dynamic Web and Mobile Development

web dev ,npm ,npm script ,selenium ,testing tools

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