8 Reasons You Should Learn React

React is one of the most popular JavaScript frameworks for building dynamic and fast web applications.

Because it’s so straightforward, React is easy for JavaScript developers of all skill levels to use in new or existing projects.

React has quickly become a developer favorite in its relatively short lifetime, alongside similar JavaScript frameworks like Vue.js and Angular.

Here are eight reasons why you should learn React to advance your career.

1. Easy Learning Curve

Learning React as a JavaScript developer is a smooth and worry-free process. Since React is a JavaScript framework, its syntax and structure are very similar to plain JavaScript. Every JavaScript concept and feature can apply to your React application. This means you can adopt React and build your first web application with it in very little time.

You can also easily migrate your application from a language like jQuery to React. For new JavaScript developers, the easy access to resources, excellent online courses, and highly detailed documentation from the React team will get you up to speed on all the important concepts that are necessary to be a rounded React developer.

2. Lightweight Virtual DOM

Operations using the DOM are quick and lightweight, but re-rendering in response to data updates is usually pricey. Unlike most other front-end JavaScript frameworks, React does not render UI elements using the browser’s real DOM. React utilizes the ReactDOM library, which handles how the rendering update will happen.

ReactDOM applies a Virtual DOM approach to rendering views. It stores a virtual representation of the UI changes, then updates the browser’s DOM later. A virtual DOM will improve view updates by only updating what’s necessary when a change occurs rather than rebuilding the entire application.

3. Component Structure

At its most basic level, a component is a JavaScript class or function. They receive input values, referred to as “props,” and return specific user interface elements in the form of React components. They give developers the ability to divide user interfaces into discrete portions that they can merge to make more complicated user interfaces.

The React library contains a large collection of reusable components that allow you to build dynamic web apps. Every React application’s design interface combines components to form more complex ones, which together form a component tree. React’s component structure allows you to maintain a consistent look for your web app and keep expanding your code base by reusing those same components.

4. Good Performance

A time-lapse photo of a city skyline shows rays of light travelling outward from the center.

React applications are fast and reliable. This performance success occurs as a result of several ways in which React applications are built.

React’s lightweight virtual DOM system renders UI changes much more efficiently, as the application does not have to re-render the entire page every time a component’s state value changes. React will keep the virtual DOM and the real DOM in complete sync, updating the latter when necessary as the user interacts with the web app. This puts less load on the browser and creates an enjoyable user experience.

Since React is very flexible, you can optimize your web application performance by following React best practices. These practices will help you write better and more structured React code.

React Developer Tools is a browser extension that helps you debug React applications. With React Dev Tools, you can inspect React components inside your web application to identify performance issues while running a development build. You can also inspect component props, states, and hooks inside the React component tree.

This makes debugging your React applications easier, leaving more time for you to focus on your application’s core features. React Dev Tools is available as an npm package for browsers like Safari.

6. Less Development Time

Somebody using one hand to check the time on an Apple Smart Watch strapped to their other arm.

Using React to build web applications saves development time and helps you ship your applications faster.

Since React is a very popular and robust framework, there are many open-source APIs and tools available to speed up development and help you scale through complex setups. React’s component reusability undoubtedly saves time for developers as they don’t need to waste time building the same components when they wish to use them.

React also employs a declarative approach to handling state in web applications rather than an imperative approach. This means that React will manage the organization and representation of state in your application for you saving you from implementing the detailed logic yourself.

7. Low Development Cost

When developing web applications, the cost of development is directly proportional to the amount of time spent building the web app. The relatively little development time required to create a standard functioning React web application translates to a lower development cost.

Also, learning React will allow you to learn React Native, a cross-platform mobile development framework. This means you will be able to apply your standard React knowledge and turn your web applications into cross-platform mobile applications.

All these help you maximize efficiency and, in turn, save costs.

One of the reasons why React is such a favorable JavaScript framework for building web applications is its very active community. React’s initial release date was the 29th of May 2013. Since its release, it has had massive developer adoption, and the community has grown massively.

According to Statista, React ranks as the second most used framework among developers worldwide.

A bar chart of the most used frameworks by developers worldwide

This large active community means sufficient support for React developers with issues or questions who need expert assistance. It also means there are a lot of open-source tools and supporting libraries for React.

Here’s a list of active React communities you can visit to get help on issues relating to React:

Why You Should Learn React

React is the top front-end framework of choice for many developers building fast, reliable, and scalable web applications. Major companies like Facebook, Dropbox, Instagram, and Skype all use React for its benefits.

Since React handles backward compatibility so well, as a developer, you never have to worry about your web application breaking due to React version updates.

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