The State of Frontend at Zalando 2016

by Henrik Andersen - 16 Nov 2016

After seeing the State of JavaScript survey make headway online, we thought it would be interesting to do the same for Zalando to get a better understanding about what technologies and frameworks we’re using here.

For the JavaScript survey, participating developers answered questions on topics ranging from frontend frameworks and state management, to build tools and testing libraries. Our questions were not 100% identical, but do address similar topics.

The JavaScript survey also generated some great comments, such as “Every time I write something in JavaScript I'm surprised that it works.” Perhaps we’d also hear some interesting commentary from our Zalando developers, too!

Keep reading below to see an overview of our results.

Flavour of JavaScript

Most of us working in frontend at Zalando (95.2%) use ES6 and would use it again, which isn’t that much of a surprise. It follows the community and shows us that ES6 is a step in the right direction for JavaScript.

Similar to the community, we also have a high interest in learning TypeScript and Elm, which some of our developers have dabbled with already. If you’ve encountered the Zalando 404 page, you would have noticed the Elm Street 404 game, put together in merely five days by one of our teams.

Frameworks and Libraries

When it comes to using frameworks and libraries, React is definitely our library of choice. 77.3% of survey respondents stated that they’ve used React and would use it again, with a further 18.2% interested in learning. All of our frontend teams looking after the Fashion Store work exclusively with React for their projects.

Our survey also shows that Angular 1 is officially dead at Zalando. Over 50% of respondents stated that they had used it before and wouldn’t use it again. With new frameworks and libraries like React and Angular 2 on the rise, this reaction was somewhat expected.

Future Gazing for Frontend

The purpose of this survey was to collect insight into what kind of technologies and frameworks our teams are using, ensuring transparency and sharing knowledge. We have the autonomy to choose, so it can be hard to track what teams are using and experimenting with.

What we can now do with these results is match people who have experience with a particular technology or framework to those who have questions. We can also start planning for activities in terms of trainings and further development for those interested in learning.

It’s fascinating to see what our engineers are working with in a fast developing area like frontend. We need to stay on top of the game and make smart decisions when it comes to choosing which frameworks and technologies we explore – we can only do that by sharing knowledge.

If you’re interested in more information from these results, come and find me on Twitter at @frontendherodk and let’s chat.

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