Evan You, MFA Design and Technology ’12, Starts Software Company Rivaling Google and Facebook

As Wired writer Klint Finley recently put it, Google’s Angular and Facebook’s React are the two most popular frameworks for building applications with JavaScript, the standard language for writing code that runs in your browser, as opposed to on a company’s server.

Now, a Parsons School of Design alum and independent programmer is challenging the tech giants’ supremacy in the market for JavaScript-based frameworks.

Evan You, MFA Design and Technology ’12, is the creator of Vue, which was tied for third-most-downloaded JavaScript framework in 2017, according to data compiled by the startup NPM. Vue has been used by the likes of Adobe, Baidu, Alibaba, Netflix, Nintendo, Tencent, and even Facebook. It is a remarkable feet for a company that is funded by donations from individual users and sponsorships from small companies and employs just two full-time developers.

“The big reason for Vue’s success, developers who rely on it say, is its simplicity,” Finley wrote in a recent article on You and Vue. “More companies want to build web applications that, like Google Docs, feel as snappy as a native application. But few actually build applications as complex as Facebook’s or Google’s. What developers often really want is a framework for building small, interactive web apps. Angular can be overkill for simple applications, while React has a steep learning curve even for experienced developers.”

When he started the project while working at Google’s Creative Lab, You didn’t “set out thinking I’m going to make a framework to beat the other frameworks,'” he told Wired. Rather, in true Parsons fashion, it started out as an “experimental little library to solve problems I encountered in my work.”

You credits his time in Parsons’ MFA Design and Technology program with allowing him to the hone the skills he needed to build Vue.

“I went to Parsons and studied the Master of Fine Arts for Design and Technology,” You told writer Vivian Cromwell. “It was a really cool program because everyone was half designer and half developer. They taught you things like openFrameworks, processing, algorithmic animations, and you also had to design apps and interfaces.”