Four Web Development Technologies To Learn In 2019

The life of a web developer is one of constant learning, even for those who don’t think their career will die unless they embrace and promote a brand-new, next-big-thing JavaScript framework every three weeks. Technology in the web development space evolves as developers seek new ways to build products. The underlying programming environment, especially JavaScript, is upgraded more quickly that it once was, primarily because it wasn’t fit for purpose in the first place.

So developers have to learn, which means they have to decide what to learn. Time is limited, but frameworks and libraries are infinitely various. There is, of course, no settled opinion about what the next big thing will be, but if you are a new developer looking to go beyond the basics, or an experienced developer seeking to extend your range, you won’t go far wrong with these suggestions.

Progressive Web Application Technologies

Progressive Web Applications (PWA) are an attempt to bring the advantages of native mobile applications to the web. PWA features include offline functionality, push notifications, and improvements in perceived performance. These are enabled through the use of a variety of new web technologies, such as Service Workers, the Web App Manifest, and the Cache API.

Developers are enthusiastic about the PWA development pattern, so it’s worth investing the time to understand these technologies deeply.

GraphQL

GraphQL can be thought of as a considerably better replacement for REST when building APIs. Like REST, GraphQL is used to request data from a remote server (among other things). Unlike REST, GraphQL queries can fetch many resources with a single request and can be used to precisely select only the data the developer needs, making GraphQL bandwidth efficient and fast.

GraphQL has something of a learning curve, but once you are accustomed to its type system and architecture, you won’t want to go back to building REST APIs.

TypeScript

TypeScript isn’t new: it was first released six years ago, but I often come across web developers who have yet to embrace typed JavaScript. That’s unfortunate (for them) because developing in TypeScript is more pleasant and less frustrating than plain JavaScript. TypeScript is, essentially, JavaScript with types. The addition of types allows the TypeScript compiler to catch many common errors before the code is released into the wild. Types also help with refactoring.

If you haven’t looked at Typescript for a few years, it’s time to give it a second chance. It’s widely used by the internet giants, and the tooling has come a long way.

Elixir/Phoenix

For my last web technology suggestion for 2019, I’m going to go with one of my favorites. Elixir is a functional programming language that runs on Erlang’s battle-tested BEAM virtual machine. Don’t let “functional programming” put you off — this isn’t Haskell; Elixir is relatively easy to learn. A major selling point of Elixir is Phoenix, a full-featured web framework. Phoenix is to Elixir as Rails is to Ruby if Rails were fast.

You can read all about Phoenix here, but I’m going to highlight one upcoming feature that is especially impressive: LiveView. LiveView allows developers to build dynamic web pages with interactive client-side elements in Elixir code that runs on the server, not in the browser. LiveView has been compared to React running in a process on the server, with its own render component but no heavy JavaScript library, magic achieved with the help of Phoenix’s excellent Channels feature, which is based on Websockets. Take a look at Chris McCord’s ElixirConf keynote to find out more.

Dedicated Server Special

Take advantage of our Double RAM offer on the E3-1230v2 4 x 3.30GHz+HT server! Only $134.95 per month. Managed and Unmanaged options available at checkout.

GET STARTED