The Key JavaScript Developers I Follow

There was a time where my main source of programming news was Hacker News. It took me maybe a few years to realize where the real news is. Twitter is where you get to hear first-hand about new projects, experiments and what's on the minds of key open source developers and technical writers.

I created a Twitter list with the key people I follow in the JavaScript world. I am most certainly not giving enough credit to several of the 76 names in that list, but some of them stand out to me due to their creativity, innovative thinking and prolificness in writing or developing open source software. Read on to learn who they are and why their opinion is important to me.

Andrea Giammarchi — @WebReflection

I have watched Andrea write about JavaScript for longer than a decade. His old blog has pieces dated back to 2006. Formerly an engineer at Nokia, Facebook and Twitter, he's moved his blog to Medium here just in the past year he's had several timely pieces covering recent important topics and features in JavaScript land. Check out Should You Trust JavaScript Execution?, CJS vs ESM, About Web Components and his most recent, Beyond JSON Performance.

He's also always experimenting with the latest JavaScript features and releasing open source packages I don't think get enough credit, like uhtml and uhtml-ssr, which I still hope to support in fastify-vite.

He mantains ungap, a collection of very useful polyfills bridging the gap to modernization. One example is structuredClone(), which landed in Node v17 and latest browsers, and already has a reliable polyfill available thanks to Andrea.

Matteo Collina — @matteocollina

Since I joined NearForm in late 2021, I've been extremely lucky to work directly with Matteo in the Architecture and Developer Relations team. But I've known him through his work for way longer than that.

I started following Matteo after adopting Fastify, a framework he created with Tomas Della Vedova. It didn't take long for me to discover his numerous talks on YouTube, and the fact he maintains more npm packages than what I consider humanly possible. He's also a contributor to Node.js itself, and a member of the Node.js Technical Steering Committee. He tweets constantly about JavaScript and also publishes Adventures in Nodeland, a weekly newsletter on everything related to Node.js and the projects he maintains.

Matteo is responsible for raising my confidence in Node.js as a serious option for performant backend development. As someone that came from a decade of Python, scaling Node.js applications quickly proved challenging. It was only after I started following him that I grew conscious the many things that can be done to ensure performance and reliability in Node.js applications, and how he applied all of it while building Fastify. Check out The Cost of Logging and Can we double HTTP client throughput? as examples of the problems he tries to address.

Ryan Carniato — @RyanCarniato

Ryan is the creator of the Solid framework, which has been gaining my attention more and more. He's also a member of Marko's core team. In his own words, he's a performance enthusiast and fine-grained reactivity super fan. I'm amazed at the quality and efficiency of Solid and have a long bet that it'll be one day as widely known as React. It's shaping up to be my favorite choice of framework for fastify-vite, which will include support for it in its next major release.

Ryan is a prolific writer and creator, writing on Medium and Dev.to. A few of my favorite pieces he wrote are React Hooks: Has React Jumped the Shark? and The React Hooks Announcement In Retrospect: 2 Years Later. He's also a prolific YouTuber — just yesterday he released a new video covering the recent development in React Server Components.

Fred K. Schott — @fredkschott

Fred on worked on Web Components and Polymer at Google, then went on to build Snowpack and Astro, a not-so-new-anymore static site builder. His talk, Astro: A New Architecture for the Modern Web, made waves last year raising the importance of notions that were largely ignored before: partial hydration, and the ability to deliver websites without any JavaScript. Astro influenced a number of advancements in other frameworks towards achieving the same goal. See Ryan Carniato's comprehensive piece on the subject.

Adam Argyle — @argyleink

Adam is more on the side of CSS than JavaScript per se, but he should definitely be in this list as a must-follow. As a Chrome CSS Developer Advocate, he goes above and beyond. I'm always learning some new CSS technique shared in his Twitter, along with everything new that's coming to the latest browsers.

He's a contributor to web.dev and built Open Props, an amazing resource of standards-compliant modern CSS utilities. He's an active OSS developer, having created incredibly useful packages like postcss-jit-props. Other than that, he helps bringing web standards forward as member of the CSS Working Group.

Obvious Mentions

Evan You (Vue, Vite), Dan Abramov (React) and Rich Harris (Svelte) don't even need to be mentioned: you probably already follow them. I've watched them influence each other for a long time, and am witnessing Vue veer into the same kind of non-standard syntax as Svelte. That is why Ryan Carniato is mentioned first in this piece, over time I've become more interested in his vision.

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