Well, if you’ve been working as a web developer since the beginning, you know how difficult and complex it’s been to manipulate HTML elements via Javascript, right? Besides, we have to consider the number of different browsers available, each one with its own particularities. All these points increase exponentially the cost and time for the companies to create and maintain their products. Those difficulties were minimized over time with the creation of new frameworks, which helps both the development of the web pages and the learning and training of new programmers.

The JQuery is one of these frameworks. It was released in mid of 2006 (yeah, it’s been a while), with the purpose of facilitating the life of companies (lowering the costs and time for development) and especially the lives of programmers, who now have a robust framework that is both simple and easy to access. The goal was mainly to create a fast tool that facilitated the manipulation of DOM, events, animations, asynchronous calls and, of course, that works cross-browsers.

With this easy-to-make tool at hands, many companies embraced this opportunity to create and enhance their products using this “new” technology available. This demand made the knowledge of the library a requirement for web-developers, where many of them decided to learn first JQuery leaving aside the vanilla Javascript.

With time, JQuery was giving space to new frameworks such as Vue.js, React, Angular and specialized libraries like Axios, GreenSock, UnderscoreJS, etc. Nowadays it is very common to find small projects using specialize libraries instead of a package containing a large number of features. After all, is better to add a 14kb library rather a 200kb framework.

The JQuery also lost some space because of the updates made in Javascript itself. ) Now, in ES2018 (ES9), there are many facilitators that are made available by the language that inhibit the necessity for the framework.

Here are just a few examples of equivalents that are being used in Javascript instead:

These are just a few common examples, but there are many others that can be found on sites like “You might not need JQuery” and “You Do not Need JQuery”. We can see that much of what was done using JQuery, we can now simply use pure JavaScript. In the animations field, it’s common to see developers using CSS or, in some cases, some small library. We can thus identify one of the reasons for the decline of JQuery use over the years.

  • “We don’t need to add an entire framework just to save a few characters”.

SO, is learning JQuery still a thing? Well, in my opinion, yes. Because of its popularity, a lot (and I mean it, a LOT) of applications and websites we have today are developed using this library. In that case, if we were to make some changes or create new features (of course, using the product’s patterns) or even migrate to a new platform, the chances of coming across this framework are very large. Not to mention the vast quantity of code available using JQuery we find when to search something in sites like StackOverflow.

I’d highly recommend learning JQuery, not as your main weapon, but as a supplement. Be sure to learn straight Javascript first, though. When that’s done, it will not take you long to learn the fundamentals of this framework.

Now, if you are planning to create a new product from scratch, I’d suggest reviewing all your options. If you are not going for a straight Javascript, there are many good frameworks available that are easier to maintain, gives you tools to test, and provides much better ways to manipulate DOM, attach events, etc. Talk to your team (if there is one) before you decide the best approach for the product you want to create. Keep in mind that, if it is a long-term development, you will need an easy, organized and maintainable base.

About the author

Steban Domingues is a Software Engineer at Poatek.