An ongoing battle

There's been a lot written comparing these three frameworks. Instead of repeating what is already out there, I wanted to look at the battle from an employability perspective. Which framework has entered the paying marketplace, and how much will they pay you for it.

Which has the most jobs?

Backbone.js came to developers in 2010. Over the last few years, demand has risen bringing it to the front of the pack with 5% more jobs advertised than AngularJS. When we look at individual countries, we find this lead only exists in the USA. Australia and GB show more demand for Angular, than Backbone.

First released in 2009, AngularJS is one of the older frameworks we're looking at here. Given it's age, it has started to establish itself in paying roles and sits near the front of our group, just behind Backbone with 33% of jobs mentioning this skill globally.

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Node.js comes next with 25% of mentions globally. Released also in 2009, it hasn't seen the same rise as the other frameworks. However, this may be due to it being more a server based framework than a UI based one. So, the comparisson may not be entirely fair. I'll come back to this point a little later on.

Ember.js shows the lowest demand overall. This isn't surprising with it being the newest of these frameworks (first released in 2011). Only 5% of ads analyzed mention Ember. Whilst most mentions are related to Front End Developer roles, in Australia, we find it mentioned more often in .NET Web Developer roles instead.

If you're wondering about jQuery, then don't fear. It's a sure bet! I decided not to include it in the chart because technically it's a library not a _framework_. I did run the stats to include it, and saw it mentioned in almost 70% of our group's ads whilst pushing the rest down to the 10% area. **If you're a front-end developer, then jQuery is a must. **

Which skill pays the most?

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Here we see that salaries are quite similar. This is mostly due to the fact that these skills are often found together in Front End Developer roles. There are some subtle differences that could help you earn a little more money ...

On average, Angular JS pays slightly more than the other frameworks. Compared with the next best paying skill Backbone, Angular will net you $2,000USD more. This is driven mainly by Australia and GB. In the USA, Angular and Backbone are used almost synonymously and appear together in the majority of ads, and therefore share a very similar salary.

Roles in Australia and GB can earn you $4,000 - $5,000USD more if they include Angular skills. What is even better is that Ember skills can earn you $8,000USD more in Australia. The number of jobs however are quite low, so it may be a risky proposition to base your career on Ember for the moment.

The Front End Developer role

Given most of these skills are part of the Front End Developer role, I thought it might be interesting to look specifically at that.

Most requirements for the role are your likely suspects of JavaScript, CSS, jQuery, and User Experience skills. Frameworks tend to be mentioned less often, although they align very much with the demand analysis above.

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Approximately 14% of Front End Developer roles appear to require Backbone or Angular skills. There is little demand for Node.js and even less for Ember.js. Comparing this with the entire dataset shows the same pattern once again.

Node.js deserves some special attention here, with it being less of a UI based framework like the others. The majority of jobs mentioning Node.js are surprisingly for Front End Developers. This could very well be recruiters throwing in buzwords to attract more attention. However it's worth knowing if you're searching for Node.js jobs. We do pick up slightly more mentions if we include careers such as Software Developer and Ruby Developer, although not much more.

What about [insert favourite framework]?

We're always looking to add new skills to our analysis, but started with the most popular ones. If you have something specific you want us to look into, leave a comment below or <a href="mailto:[email protected]?subject=Can you add this skill?">email me</a> and I'll get our Data Gooroo to add it to our analysis list.

About the data

  • The data for this brief analysis has come from our collection of job advertisements limited to the first half of 2014 from the USA, Great Britain, and Australia.

  • I searched for all ads which mention AngularJS, Backbone.js, or Ember.js and numerous variations recruiters use.

  • Salaries are in US Dollars and adjusted for purchasing parity using the Big Mac Index (Economist 2014). This isn't a perfect representation as salaries vary within a country. It does however provide a generalised method for making large scale comparissons like this.

  • Read more about the data, it's good things, and not so good things.