In short, you might as well play roulette and bet on black, because nobody can answer this question with fact. We can only present hypotheses.
The world of web development, especially front-end development, evolves about as quickly as the physical tech industry does, and there is no way we can predict what Samsung, Apple, Nokia, and the other’s will churn out in even the next two years. Much less five.
Build Tools (2014 – 2018)
- Three years ago, Grunt was the dominant build tool.
- Two years ago, Gulp rose up and stole the throne.
- One year ago, was Webpack’s claim to fame.
- Somewhere in there, Browserify fought a good fight.
- At one point, plain npm scripts became a fad.
- When I wasn’t looking, Rollup rolled out.
- Along the way, I built Owlister. (It is junk. Don’t look.)
- Now, Webpack dominates, but tomorrow is unpredictable.
Transpilers (2009 – 2018)
- Eight years ago, Coffeescript became Earth’s favorite abstraction.
- Six years ago, Dart arrived like a drunken monkey on weed.
- Two years ago, Elm became a buzzword. (Nearly irrelevant, but not quite.)
- Now, TypeScript and Babel rule. Seemingly invincible? Time will tell…
Frameworks (2010 – 2018)
- Seven years ago, jQuery was the most suggested JS “framework”.
- Six years ago, Backbone and Knockout were widely adopted.
- Five years ago, Angular and Ember took the stage.
- Four year ago Meteor stormed the gates and built a following.
- Three years ago, React took its first breath. The prophecy…
- Two years ago, Polymer and Vue made names for themselves.
- One year ago, [Angular 2 and Vue 2] released, [bombing and succeeding].
- Six months ago, people quit caring that “React is not a framework.” Don’t.
- Now, Angular 4 has arrived, React dominates, and Vue is a super-power.
*These numbers are not exact, but even the absolute correct time-frames would reveal an identical pattern of “king of the hill”. Don’t grill me.
But wait, there’s more!
In the midst of the frameworks timeline, there have also been countless other contenders take a shot at stardom. Aurelia, Riot, Spine, Dojo, Deku, Inferno, Mithrill, Stapes, Svelte, etc. Any one of these lovely ladies could become the new hotness in a matter of weeks. We just can’t tell.
If I were to revisit this answer in five years, I’d most definitely be adding weird framework titles to my timelines above, as even the power-houses of today will not last forever. These tools will probably be such that I have never even heard of at this point in time.
WASM is… difficult to explain. Simply put, WASM allows developers to compile most any language into performant, browser agnostic byte code. What this means is that the front-end community has the opportunity to detonate yet again with a landslide of developers from all walks of life developing for the browser.
The Safe Bet.
Those who become proficient with languages and have a firm understanding of design patterns and architecture will have no problem adapting to future tools and are, in essence, future-proof.