Should Web Developers Know Scala

Should Web Developers Know Scala?

Learning Scala for web development is not a must, there are many other server-side programming languages that you can use in place of Scala. These programming languages include Python, PHP, Javascript, Golang, Java, Ruby, Kotlin, C#, etc.

Since its invention in 2003 by Martin Odersky of Switzerland at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Scala has grown in popularity and usage to become the 5th most widely used server-side programming language behind PHP, C#, Ruby, and Java.

According to statistics from w3techs.com, “Scala is used by 2.7% of all the websites whose server-side programming language we know.” Unlike most other server-side programming languages, Scala’s usage for web development has slowly been increasing over the years, slowly becoming a popular choice for many companies and businesses.

Scala is a strong statically typed general-purpose programming language, it supports both object-oriented programming and functional programming. Scala was designed to address most of the criticism of Java

As a result, Scala provides language interoperability with Java, meaning that libraries written in Java can be called or referenced directly in Scala code and libraries written in Scala can be referenced in Java. This provides a lot of advantages and features for Scala and Java developers.

According to the Scala website, “Scala’s static types help avoid bugs in complex applications, and its JVM and JavaScript runtimes let you build high-performance systems with easy access to huge ecosystems of libraries.”

Scala helps developers to build many types of secure, scalable and, robust applications, it is also used heavily in Big Data processing. Scala is similar in syntax to Java but it is much easier than Java, if you have worked with Java or JavaScript before, you will have no problems working with Scala.

There are many popular websites and companies using Scala, some of them include Twitter, Wix, Viber, Decathlon.fr, Coursera, Linkedin, Duolingo, Apple, The Guardian, and many others. It can be seen that Scala is loved, trusted, and used by a lot of big companies and businesses.

Even though Scala is popular and widely used, there are many other alternatives that you can use for server-side programming, meaning, that learning Scala for web development is completely optional.

WHAT ARE ALTERNATIVES TO SCALA FOR WEB DEVELOPMENT

There are many server-side programming languages that you can use as an alternative to Scala. Here are some of the popular ones:

PHP

PHP is the most popular server-side programming language, it powers more websites on the internet than the rest of the server-side programming languages put together.

According to statistics from w3techs.com, “PHP is used by 77.5% of all the websites whose server-side programming language we know.” PHP website usage has been decreasing over the years, but it will take more than 25 years to decrease to 50% at the rate at which it is decreasing.

To make your development process easy, quick, and well structured, you can use PHP frameworks such as Laravel, Symfony, CodeIgniter, Slim, Zend, Phalcon, CakePHP, and many others.

PHP is used by many popular platforms and websites such as WordPress, Drupal, Wikipedia, Facebook, Slack, Etsy, Tumblr, MailChimp, etc. PHP is simple to work with and it is a great alternative to Scala.

NODE.JS

Node.js is an open-source Javascript runtime environment that runs on the V8 Engine. It is cross-platform and is used to run Javascript outside of the web browser. Node.js is used by web developers for server scripting.

It is commonly used in the Javascript stack such as the MERN (MongoDB, Express.js, React, Node) and MEAN (MongoDB, Express, Angular, Node) Stack. To make it easy to work with Node.js, frameworks such as Express.js, Sails.js, Koa.js, etc. are popularly used.

You can use Node.js as an alternative to Scala, especially if you like working with Javascript.

PYTHON

Python has an easy to understand syntax that makes it easy to write code. Getting started with Python is much easier than with Scala. Python is used a lot by web developers for backend development. According to a 2021 Stack Overflow survey, Python is the third most used programming language by professional developers.

Python Django is one of the most popular web development frameworks, it was used to build part of the Instagram backend. Other python web frameworks that can be used in place of the Scala include Flask, FastAPI, CherryPy, Falcon, etc.

JAVA

You can also use Java as an alternative to Scala for server-side programming. Java is used by many websites, especially in the enterprise world. Java can also interoperate with Scala, you use Scala libraries in Java and vice versa. You can learn more about how Java is used in Web Development in our article DO YOU NEED JAVA FOR WEB DEVELOPMENT.

GOLANG

Go is an open-source programming language supported by Google, Go is used in web development to power fast and scalable web applications. It is a good alternative to Scala. Some of the companies using Go are shown in the image below.

companies using go

RUBY

Since its invention in 1995 by Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto of Japan, Ruby has grown in popularity and usage to become the third most widely used server-side programming language after PHP and ASP.NET.

According to statistics from w3techs.com, “Ruby is used by 5.9% of all the websites whose server-side programming language we know.” Ruby usage for making websites has been decreasing over the years, but it is still one of the popular choices for many companies and startups.

Ruby is much easier to work with than Scala, its syntax is simple, elegant, and English-like, similar to that of Python. Getting started with Ruby and Ruby on Rails for web development is very easy and you will serve a lot of development time by using this language and its framework.

The popular online E-commerce store builder Shopify was written in Ruby (Ruby on Rails). Other popular websites using Ruby include Twitter, Github, Basecamp, Airbnb, Dribbble, Hulu, Kickstarter, Zendesk, Fiverr, SoundCloud, and many others.

There are many other alternatives to Scala that I have not listed here. The availability and usage of many other powerful server-side programming languages and frameworks show that you can work on web development projects without using Scala.

CONCLUSION

It can be seen that even though Scala is popular and widely used by a lot of web developers and companies, learning Scala for web development is completely optional, you can do without Scala. Only 2.7% of all websites use Scala, leaving room for other server-side programming languages such as Python, C#, Ruby, Golang, PHP, Java, etc.

If you want to make a website but you do not want to write any server-side code, you can use Website builders like WordPress, Shopify, Wix, Squarespace, etc. to do all the heavy lifting for you. You can make powerful websites without writing any line of code.