Why do I care about NPM Trends (and you should as well)

I work as a Test Automation Engineer, which means, that I should keep my technical knowledge up to date according to the latest trends on the market. To stick to one technology only is very dangerous nowadays. The technological stack is changing so fast, and the popularity of different test automation frameworks is continuously changing as well.

My ex-team leader used to say: “it’s always good to go for some job interviews once a year so that you can have a better understanding of the trends and tools in other markets, so you know where to improve if you suddenly lose your job and you find yourself unemployed”. He is a brilliant guy, and he knows what is he talking about. But how to find, what’s the current popular testing framework? What kind of jobs are currently on demand, what are the latest npm trends? Thankfully, we have some tools, websites for that.

What is NPM?

NPM stands for Node(JS) Package Manager, and currently, it has the richest open source libraries in the world. It’s the most useful package manager for JavaScript, which can be used for updating and sharing code with millions of developers.

NPM Trends

It was the year 2015, when the young developer, John M. Potter decided to build this tool. He wanted to get his web app to production as quickly as possible. Also, he didn’t want to worry about the future of the app when the framework used for implementation lose the support in the near future. His hypothesis was, that “you could use the change in download counts over time to predict whether the developer community of a given package or library would be strong for the foreseeable future.” It seems, that he was right, and his site – www.npmtrends.com is very popular among the developers.

Obviously, you shouldn’t choose your framework based on the download counts only. Although it can be a very useful indicator as well, which you should definitely consider when you’re choosing the next framework for your project.

NPM trends for webdriverio vs protractor vs cucumber
NPM trends for webdriverIO vs. protractor vs. cucumber

NPM Trends is very useful when you want to compare the download rates of different packages. Unfortunately, it won’t display the most/top downloaded packages for you, and there’s no table with the TOP Packages. For that, you can use an other tool…

npmjs.ir

His creator, Ali Farhadi implemented his website as a project for the Node Knockout in 2015, which is the biggest Node.js hackathon on the globe. Although he didn’t win the competition, this site is still online and gives you valuable statistics about the trending node.js packages and about the Top Downloads.

You can’t really compare two or more frameworks or packages via his tool. However, you can definitely check the most popular packages for the last day/week/month which should help you in the decision of your next testing framework.

NPM Trends from Ali Farhadi
NPM Trends from Ali Farhadi

BTW: Ali is an ambassador of the Open Source technologies, he contributes a lot to the community, so feel free to check his open source projects on https://github.com/farhadi

Google Trends

In case of the Google Trends, it doesn’t measure the actual download count of the packages, frameworks. Based on the particular search-term it can show you how often the term is used relative to the total search-volume across a region (country, world, etc.)

One of the big benefits of this service is that it doesn’t limit to the Node.js packages only. You can compare any non-javascript tools as well.

Google trends of Protractor, WebDriverIO and Selenium
Google trends of Protractor, WebDriverIO, and Selenium

What’s your favourite trending tool? What do you use to get the information about the most popular frameworks for your project? Let us know in the comments section below or use our Contact form.

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