Angular 1.0 was one of the biggest game-changers I’ve seen during the span of my career. It introduced a multitude of different patterns and approaches to coding that were loved by the community at large. Of course, there was some pushback on things, two-way data binding to name one, but that was always a healthy critique. As a whole, it was great for the time and was a solid precursor to the frameworks/libraries we’re using today. However, things change.
In The Beginning
Before Angular first hit the scene we had frameworks, but there wasn’t anything that caught everyone’s attention. Then when Angular 1.0 came onto the scene it was like a whirlwind of fresh air. It caught everyone’s attention with its approach to architecture and, of course, two-way data binding. This was the first true shift from jQuery to another popular framework, in my opinion, and that was a HUGE deal.
Like with anything in life though, what was once the hot thing will dwindle down and die into obscurity. Despite all the praise and love Angular 1.0 received, its glaring flaws became great opportunities for new technologies to enter the fold(React and Vue for example). Two-way data binding, while seemingly great, grew to become more of a glaring nuisance as opposed to a benefit. As well as, being honest, many engineers in the JS weren’t really well acquainted with properly architecting applications well and lead to a lot of long-term messes.
Where Are We Now
By the time things began to change in introducing Angular 2 with stronger guidelines and bringing in Typescript, market share and adoption already started to shift. Outside of newer entries, the upgrade process from Angular 1.0 to Angular 2 was the first nail in the coffin. Transitioning into a mostly entire new framework is hard enough, but add on most people the first introduction into Typescript, shifts to other options were bound to happen.
Looking at the landscape today, React is widely viewed as the default go-to for most. Unless you’re in the Angular ecosystem regularly you probably couldn’t easily know what version Angular is on at the moment. VueJs is also a strong alternative for those that want something with solid fundamentals and the ability to work right out of the box.
So who is typically using Angular today? Mostly enterprise corporations and loyalists, or on the other end, teams with young engineers where the leads want to empower them with the most guidelines as possible. It honestly isn’t about Angular being a bad option now, or other options being so far ahead realistically. It’s just that the industry progressed, as expected in the JS world.
What The Future Holds
Angular is in a weird space, and its future is a bit set in stone. React will continue to dominate for the foreseeable future with new and more exciting projects. That’s just a fact. They have too much top-notch support and the community gravitates around it too beautifully for it to fall in the near future. Other frameworks like VueJs will always be around and have solid market share percentages and growth, they just won’t grow to dominance.
My vision of Angular’s future is being the Java of JS frameworks/libraries. A solid option for any project, with scalability solutions already laid out, a depth of documentation for easy reference, and a very strict “Angular” way to do things. On a less positive note, there are going to be a lot of projects left in code spaghetti jungles. It’s already started for the most part, but I definitely see it growing more as time goes by and newer engineers continue to flow into the ranks.
Angular was a trailblazer in a lot of ways and set up an entire generation of JS engineers for future success. While imperfect, it created a beautiful and impactful point in JS history that pivoted us in the right direction. I will never unfairly talk down on Angular because I do love what it’s done for my career and general coding ability. However, I’m not going to lie about it or how I see it riding off into the sunset.