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Earlier this summer, I realized AngularJS was going to be f’ing huge.

I don’t just mean it was going to be the next hot thing that would be here for a few months only to be replaced a few months later.
By huge, I mean it was going to change the entire frontend development industry forever, with ripples felt across all aspects of the tech industry.

Like most people, when I first started learning Angular I found it to be a very high quality foundation for building great apps, and doing it quickly. Testability, dependency injection, separation of the logic/view layer, and designer-developer harmony are all great things us devs can get behind, and Angular had it in spades.

But we all know it’s hard to get by on just merit alone, and the verdict is always going to be out on whether Angular is really technically better than the alternatives (developers are notoriously unwavering when it comes to tech wars).

No, in order for a technology to be truly, incredibly successful, it needs to become more than just a quality framework. It has to become a platform.

Historically, massive platforms are rare in the world of developer tools, especially relative to how many frameworks, libraries, and languages pop up each day. Technology can be stubborn about evolving from a tool in a toolbox into an entire sub industry on its own.

But it happens. Some recent success stories are Java, .NET, and jQuery. Each one of these technologies created entire sub-industries, providing opportunities for entrepreneurs to build interesting and valuable companies for those in the community, developers the chance to find high paying jobs with new required skill sets, and educators with passionate students ready to learn the next big thing.

It was a few weeks ago at the first ever AngularJS conference, ng-conf, that all of my assumptions about Angular were proved true.

As one of the first sessions at the conference, I spoke to an overflow room of passionate devs, project managers, and even execs about our mobile framework built to harness the power of Angular and make it easy to build great native-feeling apps with web technologies they already knew and loved.

After the talk, I wound up chatting to developers from companies as big as Bank of America and TSYS, to 10k employee financial firms. They all told the same story: their bosses were directing entire dev teams to switch to Angular. They were even paying for AngularJS training and tools!

Over the next few days of the conference, the crowd of over 700 AngularJS fans reiterated the impact AngularJS had on their job. It wasn’t just a fun framework that a few rogue developers slipped into a project. It was actually being mandated from the top down, changing job requirements almost overnight.

The reality is that AngularJS is winning the frontend framework war. It’s not to say there aren’t great, high quality alternatives out there, but few have gained so much developer mindshare that slow and conservative companies see it as a wonderful investment. And it’s all the better that normal developers actually love developing with it!

For individual developers this means an investment in Angular is a safe bet that will pay off handsomely over the coming decade. For entrepreneurs, it means building companies that help AngularJS developers and teams can generate some pretty great returns. For managers, it means it’s time to rethink which technologies your team should invest in, and what skillsets you’ll need to hire for in order to build the increasingly complicated and powerful frontend apps users expect.

And if you need convincing that AngularJS is the future, this graph of Google Search Trends should help:

  • http://chadwithuhc.com/ chadwithuhc

    I think it’s safe to say the AngularJS web search is peaking due to help related searches.

    I love Angular and have spent a lot of time with it recently. The basics weren’t so tough to get down, and some of it is so easy, it’s ridiculous. Creating a grid / table that is searchable can take 5 minutes. That’s amazing.

    However, the deeper I get into custom directives and breaking out of the pre-fab code built into Angular, the more challenging I find it to be. Parts of the framework seem to be overly complex in favor of adding flexibility. These parts are causing a lot of web searches for me. I would say 40% of the searches don’t yield a definitive answer either.

    I do feel it is one of the most powerful JS frameworks out there. It’s ideas are definitely forward thinking, even if some people feel it’s the wrong way to go.

    • yesimahuman

      Sure, but people need help no matter what the technology is. I remember learning jQuery and searching all the time for how to do things like grab the nth child, or the closest parent matching the selector.

      As for the learning curve, Angular can be brutal after the Hello, World phase where learning to use some of the more advanced features like directives and services effectively takes a LOT longer than the Hello World concepts. But I feel now that I understand them, I work a lot more quickly and I find them to be really flexible. So I don’t know, maybe it just takes more time?

      • Duane Bailey

        Angular’s documentation is lacking in certain areas, notably defining custom directives. It wouldn’t surprise me to search 4-5 pages of documentation just to address the topic I was searching for. Some of this is sophisticated framework design, some of it is a problem with the documentation. This is a large part of (my) learning curve.

        • yesimahuman

          Oh, for sure. And honestly, the new directive documentation I think is worse than the old one, mainly because it over simplifies a lot of stuff and turned from an API reference into a high level overview. Really, egghead.io was what brought me up to speed!

  • Scott Holden

    That graph is a bit misleading, as nobody searches for those terms. Angular certainly has a ton of interest right now, but it’s not nearly as skewed as your graph represents.

    • yesimahuman

      Neither graph is perfect I suppose. Terms like knockout and ember are too generic so I added the js to restrict them.

  • AJ Mercer

    Was your session recorded?

    • yesimahuman

      It was not, unfortunately. We are still working on slides, so stay tuned!

  • johnnliu
    • yesimahuman

      Good call! That definitely shows it.

    • http://pagepair.com Simon Bengtsson

      Nice! And now, three months:
      Angularjs 36000+
      Knockoutjs 10000+

      • AndrĂ© Werlang

        6 months later…
        Angularjs 64,000+
        Knockoutjs 12,000+
        Backbone.js 16,000+
        Ember.js 12,000+
        Meteor 7,000+
        Reactjs 1,000~
        jQuery 550,000+

  • Mohamed Jubair

    Thank you very much for this useful article!!

    AngularJS Developers

  • Jon Tansey

    I totally agree Angular gives flexibility and power that just wasn’t available even 2 years ago. I’ve had to go back to some of our older JS products recently and find myself wishing I could rewrite it in Angular

  • MohamedJubair

    Thanks for the special post

    AngularJS Development

  • Stephaniebutler3707

    One of many benefits of Angular JS development is that it can be control by the developer.

    AngularJS Development Company

  • http://rasinbekkevold.blogspot.nl/ Rasin Bekkevold

    This was a refreshing post that highlighted some areas I had not thought about http://goo.gl/oKg0YP