- What is a React Developer?
- What skills and qualifications do React Developers need?
- What are the duties and responsibilities of React Developers?
- What are the main challenges faced by React Developers?
- Who do React Developers work with?
- How do React Developers measure their work performance?
- How much does a React Developer earn - average salary vs. average daily rate?
What is a React Developer?
Typically focusing on front-end development, React Developers translate business requirements and priorities to software solutions. Using React (or ReactJS) – and other standard tools in the React ecosystem, such as Node.js and Yarn – they write, test, debug, and implement code to meet new project and feature requirements. They generate UI test cases, reuse current website scripts on mobile platforms, and improve online application UI, UX and performance. They are also responsible for maintaining and optimizing existing code.
Working in close collaboration with project managers, developers, clients, testers, web designers, and sometimes non-technical stakeholders, React Developers require solid communication, interpersonal and time management skills as well as profound technical expertise in React.
Who are React Developers and what do they do?
Within the developer team, React Developers are responsible for the front-end development – namely UI (and its various component parts) and UX – of web and mobile applications. They take care of all aspects of how the user interacts with an app – dropdown lists, list boxes, buttons, toggles, sliders, tags, icons, etc. – based on a firm understanding of the full life cycle of a software solution and the business case behind it.
Injecting in-depth technical know-how, passion and curiosity into their daily activity, developers using React are both technical experts and great team players. Responsible for identifying any emerging (and/or potential) issues and efficiently solving (or pre-empting) them, they keep the front-end components of app development projects on track.
The React Developer job description also includes solid communication skills. They must be adept at switching from highly technical speak – as required when dealing with the development team – to business speak – as required when updating non-technical stakeholders. The latter varies from project to project but often includes the Product Owner and/or staff from the non-technical departments for which the apps are being developed.
The role of the React Developer in an agile team
A React Developer’s role requires both profound technical expertise in React and a firm grasp of the business requirements behind specific software solution projects. This combination of strengths enables programmers working in React to efficiently build a framework, based on the React library, that will deliver on all the project criteria. It also means they keep can efficiently steer projects to their final desired outcome, whatever issues emerge along the way.
This is a demanding, highly technical role, for which candidates must demonstrate flexibility, curiosity, a can-do approach to problem-solving, and excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
What are the differences between a React Developer and an Angular Developer?
According to Statista, React – favored by 43% of developers – is the second most-used web framework among developers worldwide in 2022. Angular gets only 20% of developers’ vote, ranking fifth in the listing.
When making the choice between the two programming languages, companies must consider which better suits the technical and business aims, requirements and priorities of their specific project. In particular, they need to evaluate the final product each framework is capable of producing, and how complex the framework is to use by front-end developers. There’s a fine balance between complexity and final results. It is only by becoming familiar with both frameworks, and trialing proofs-of-concept, that companies can make an informed decision as regards best-fit.
In a nutshell, Angular is mostly used to build complex enterprise-grade apps like single-page apps and progressive web apps, where speed-to-market is crucial. React, mostly used for building UI components in any app with frequently variable data, is the popular choice for projects where a strong user interface is one of the defining features.
An Angular Developer
A React Developer
Since React isn’t strictly speaking a framework but a library, React specialists don’t just have to learn the React programming language. They must also make decisions about which state management and style packages to use. They have to write their own framework-specific code. This isn’t as onerous as you might imagine, and it gives React the edge in terms of flexibility. Combined with its ease-of-use when creating complex systems, React has established itself as one of the top programming language choices worldwide, and its popularity continues to grow.
What skills and qualifications do React Developers need?
React Developers must possess a powerful combination of solid technical and soft skills for this key operational role. While a degree in computer science, math, or information systems is commonly required, employers tend to value proven technical expertise and business understanding over academic background for this position.
Technical skill set required
- In-depth understanding and knowledge of React, its core principles, its libraries and its technologies including TypeScript, jQuery, Redux, and NodeJS.
- Proven track record in developing applications in React – including component design and state management – for specific use cases.
- Solid working knowledge of React debugging tools, e.g., Chrome DevTools.
- A high level of literacy in client-side technologies, typically implementing responsive web principles, reverting to border-box model, writing HTML tags and CSS selectors, and performing CSS reset.
- A firm understanding of asynchronous programming and of Redux, a built-in state that allows developers to control and preserve the React library, and to produce apps that behave in a consistent manner, are easy-to-test, and operate similarly in different environments.
- Expertise in writing cross-browser code.
- Experience using centralized version control systems – such as GitHub, GitLab, and BitBucket – to merge or isolate branches to test code performance under varying conditions. This empowers developers using React to launch and retract features individually without affecting the source code or other modules, to maintain code flexibility and control without critical data or functionality losses, and to facilitate code storage and maintenance.
- Familiarity with front-end build pipelines and development tools, such as Babel and Webpack.
Soft skill set required
- Solid communication skills
Excellent communication skills, based on a firm understanding of the full life cycle of software development, are a must-have tool in the React Developer’s toolkit. They need to discuss highly technical matters with the developer team and CTO to promote understanding of specific technical issues, requirements and challenges, as well as where they fit in the wider project. They need to be able to effortlessly switch to business speak to share update reports and communicate challenges and successes to non-technical stakeholders, such as the Product Owner and non-technical departments, client-side.
- Strong interpersonal skills and a team spirit
Strong interpersonal skills are equally important in the React Developer job description. While developers using React need to be able to efficiently progress specific components of a project on an independent basis, they must also be great team players. No member of an agile technology team can be successful in isolation. Every member, including the React Developer, must have a personality that gels with others. All the technical skills and knowledge in the world mean very little if individuals are unable to operate within a team.
- Robust problem-solving skills
An inquisitive, curious mind and a strong appetite to unlock understanding are equally essential elements of the React Developer’s skill set. Combined with a logical, can-do approach to problem-solving, React specialists quickly identify problems, postulate and analyze potential solutions according to a number of variables, and proceed to design and implement the optimal solution for the job.
Programmers using React are not phased when issues crop up. Indeed, they welcome random code bugs or complex grid layout conundrums as opportunities to learn and to think outside the box. In this context, there are no problems, only solutions.
- Exceptional time management skills to ensure the front-end development remains on track in terms of milestones, budget and deadlines.
What are the duties and responsibilities of React Developers?
React Developers are expected to be able to add value at any and all stages of the front-end software development process – from concept and design through to implementation and maintenance. As such, they need to have a firm understanding of the full life cycle of UI and UX solutions. Their main responsibilities over the course of a project are varied and can be broken down into the following areas:
- Web development
Writing clean, sustainable, scalable and flexible code for web and mobile applications is the main thrust of the React Developer’s activity. Programmers working in React are responsible for the UI of an app overall and as regards specific interface components. They are also responsible for installing and configuring server environments for React deployments.
- UI creation
- Code quality and function maintenance
React specialists regularly test new React features, fix bugs, and monitor code performance, systems dangers and software dependability. They analyze the results carefully and write up the findings in detailed reports which they share with project stakeholders (mostly team members). Based on the insights delivered by these reports, they modify the specifications and designs of at times extremely complex applications to optimize UI performance.
- Training and support
React Developers are responsible for creating training notes, documenting projects and ensuring that these materials are easily accessible to the full development team. They play a key role in resolving any technical and/or operational issues relating to their team, project or department. They also, on occasion, become involved in mentorship programs.
What are the main challenges faced by React Developers?
High-quality, reliable web and mobile apps are essential for businesses looking to maintain and grow their business online. Creating, implementing and maintaining the code behind the challenge is a big, as well as multi-pronged, responsibility.
The first challenge lies in understanding the business case behind the solution requirement. This means having a firm grasp of the project’s specific needs and priorities, as well as the wider business context. This understanding enables React Developers to keep their activity in clear alignment with the overall aims and needs of a project, without getting distracted by side issues.
The second challenge centers around developing technology that will fulfil all the business requirements. To this end, React Developers must possess in-depth understanding and knowledge of React, its core principles, its library and its technologies. The coding challenges can be tough, the most frequent ones of which relate to the creation of a higher-order component to reuse component logic, the implementation and use of Redux, and the sharing of data among components without using props. Big lists of data, useless renders, search engine optimization (SEO) and decomposition of the logical and UI layers can also be problematic.
The third major challenge for React Developers relates to their soft skills, of which many are essential to achieving successful outcomes. Without the right interpersonal skills, even the most technically gifted React specialist is doomed to failure. In brief, solid communication, interpersonal and time management skills as well as passionate curiosity and a can-do approach to problem-solving are essential for React programmers to complete their projects successfully.
Who do React Developers work with?
React Developers work closely with other members of the development team, particularly backend developers, testers, and UX/UI designers. In Agile team structures, they also liaise with the Scrum Master as well as the Product Owner.
Other interlocutors include client stakeholders, such as Product Owners, Product Managers, and other project management profiles on behalf of the client or tech leads and other peer developers part of a client’s in-house team.
How do React Developers measure their work performance?
You don’t have to look far to judge the success of a React Developer’s work. Given the aim of the role is to design, implement and maintain UI and UX experience on web and mobile apps, measuring the React programmer’s work performance is straightforward. Metrix relating to user satisfaction scores, retention rate, system usability scale, customer ratings, number of shares, completion task rate and more are important Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
That said, user interaction isn’t the only measure of success in this matter. The journey of how React Developers get to the end result also matters in terms of team morale and retention. Feedback from the team as regards soft skills – working style, quality and coherence of communications, interpersonal skills, time management skills, and approach to problem-solving – are also key success indicators.
In other words, success indicators relate to both the hard and soft skills of React Developers, and how they apply them to satisfy all the business and technical criteria required of a front-end software solution development project.
How much does a React Developer earn - average salary vs. average daily rate?
In 2022, depending on the level of experience and the nature of the company, the average salary for a React Developer in the United States ranges from $82,000 to $107,000. The average is $93,000 (source: Salary.com)
On freelance platforms, you can find React Developers with an hourly rate ranging from $51/hour in the lower bracket, to $84/hour in the higher bracket, based on level of experience and technical expertise. The average is $65 per hour (source: Glassdoor).
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