Blog: What's Next in the World of Universal JavaScript w/SSR

Manny Becerra as a child

October 2016

The Zeit team just open-sourced Next.js: a small framework for server-rendered universal JavaScript webapps, built on top of React, Webpack and Babel. Next.js even powers their own site. #EatYourOwnDogFood

Next.js is a framework to get pretty excited about as it's offering:

  • Zero setup with the ability to use the filesystem as an API
  • JavaScript oriented, focused on everything being a function
  • Auto-magic server rendering and code splitting - whoa!
  • Allowing developers to explicitly define data fetching effects
  • Baked-in performance optimization, and
  • Easy-peasy deployments ala their Now platform

Having worked on a mission-critical, end-to-end digital product at Tesla, these are all things that we have needed to create ourselves, or address in one form or another, for our specific needs. This is fine and typical in most teams, which I don't suspect going away all-together, but to have a stable and supported framework like Zeit's Next.js that has a lot of common developer needs baked-in with the ability to customize the setup further is huge! There's, for example, a potential to save engineers lots of time upfront that they can then use said saved-time to focus on building specific features and enhancements for their company's product(s). I also see cross-functional teammates, like a release engineer, benefiting from some of the initial leg work being done upfront that they can build upon to fit their own build pipeline needs.

And, with Next.js being built with automatic server-side rendering and code splitting, the end-user of a team's digital product is bound to benefit greatly, such as through quicker page load times and time-to-interaction with the product/web app.

So, looking forward to how Next.js evolves, and exploring use cases for it both at work and on personal projects.

Good stuff Zeit team!


I have a passion and successful track-record for creating usable, online, experiences with a focus on and deep appreciation for web standards, modularity, education, accessibility, and inclusion. I build and lead happy, productive and empathetic cross-functional teams within a continuous learning culture. I am a father, speaker, advisor, life-long learner, community builder, advocate and a Human Being. Learn more.