A significant perk of using React comes with the very handy developer tool that makes it almost effortless to create responsive web pages while providing easy rendering. React is also very beginner-friendly, with a vibrant developer community that provides support which makes learning it even easier. It is also referred to as React.js or ReactJS.
Some of the roles of a React developer include:
Develop UI features: React developers are the engineers responsible for the dynamic and responsive side of the web and mobile applications that users first come in contact with. They make sure that the client side of the web and mobile applications are user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing through the use of code.
Improve application functionality: React developers are also tasked with the responsibility of optimizing application performance by frequently creating new features and making a constant effort to ensure that the application runs smoothly on multiple devices and is compatible with various browsers.
Testing software features: As React developers are involved in all the stages of the front-end development cycle, testing the application for bugs and debugging before and after it goes live, as the case may be, also become a duty of the React developer.
Consistent collaboration: Working with UI designers to implement their designs as much as feasible, while consulting with the back-end engineers to ensure that the interaction between the server and client side of the application communicates without an error is another role played by a React developer.
Note: Other platforms can be used to host React applications, however, using Nodejs is the most common.
Using both React and Node for development comes with a load of pros. Below are a few of the reasons why it is loved by React developers:
Dependencies which make it easy to develop applications can easily be installed from npm command line interface. npm serves as a package manager for Node. npm comes with Node and using Node with React applications keeps the package dependencies in check. To install packages through the npm CLI, enter the command:
npm install packagename
Node makes it pretty easy for developers to run React directly in its environment.
A ton of resources are available for working with Node/Reactjs making it easy to find help when stuck.
Webpack, a very popular Node package, makes it easy to bundle multiple React files into a single one for seamless compilation of the JSX files. Hence, optimized rendering of the components.
This developer tool contributes to the user-friendliness of React by making it easy to determine the relationship between components and at the same time inspect the state and properties of a component and a lot of other features.
Note: A component in React is a reusable piece of code that breaks down complex UI into codable portions.
With continued use and familiarity, using the React developer tool becomes pretty simple.
Installing the React developer tool browser extension is the first step.
Chrome - The extension may be added to Chrome through the Chrome Webstore.
Firefox - Firefox add-ons can be used to add it.
Microsoft Edge - It may be installed via Microsoft Edge add-ons.
Note: React developer tools are also available in a standalone package that can be used with Safari and other React apps that are not browser-based.
Run the command accordingly to install this package from npm or yarn:
npm install -g react-devtools // this installs the package globally;
yarn add react-devtools // installs the package globally
yarn add --dev react-devtools // this adds the react-devtool as a project dependency instead of installing it globally.
Once the developer tool is installed, using it comes next.
To open up the developer tool, right-click on the React web page and click on inspect. Alternatively, F12 or Ctrl + Shift + I also opens up the developer tool on the React web page.
On the browser’s inspection window, two new tabs appear:
Components tab - This is useful when dealing with the inspection of components. It shows important details like the hierarchy amongst components in a React application and other information like the state and properties of components amongst others.
Inspection/Selection of components - Using the arrow on the top left corner of the React devtool is a simple way to inspect components, simply by clicking on it and clicking on the component to be selected.
Inspection of source code - The React developer tools makes it easy to inspect the source code directly instead of switching to the code editor. To use this feature, click on the React component to inspect and click on the
<> icon, this displays the source code in the console and helps a developer to inspect the source of an error.
Debugging components - The React developer tool can also be useful when debugging components, it helps the developer access all the information available to a particular component while interacting with a component in the React developer tool.
Profiler tab - This is useful when dealing with performance optimization in components. It shows how much time it takes for a component to render and in the long run helps to improve the performance of the application by helping developers make decisions on the elimination or replacement of a component that slows down the application.
Yes. React Native for Web provides this benefit. Ordinarily, React Native is a mobile framework that enables a developer to build native applications across Android and iOS platforms. However, with React Native for Web, the ballgame changes. This versatile web development library acts as the web version for React Native and helps to bring React Native applications to the web through a single codebase.
A major benefit of React Native for Web is that it leads to the rapid development of applications that are supported across multiple platforms as a result of the use of a single codebase.
Note: If the mobile and web application will provide similar functionality, React Native for Web becomes a very good option, saving the developer a lot of time in development. However, if the mobile and web will differ in functionality, React might seem like a plausible option. Nonetheless, the use of frameworks and libraries is largely dependent on a project’s specification and timeline, with each option presenting its pros and cons.
According to statistics, React has become the most in-demand web framework in 2022, making the demand for React developers rise. And while the career prospect for this field is promising, it is also very competitive. To be on top of the game, developers must know their onions to remain relevant in the field.
The following tips can be useful for leveling up in the React development game:
Acquiring the necessary skills - The necessary skills needed to thrive as a React developer include:
Soft skills such as problem-solving skills and excellent communication skills amongst others.
Build a portfolio of work - Working on projects that showcase React development skills is a great way to practice. Constant practice, in the long run, helps a React developer to become better. In addition, a very strong portfolio of work increases the chances of a developer getting hired when applying to jobs.
Gain work experience - This could be through volunteer, freelancing, or internship exposure. These are great places to put acquired skills to work in a real-time environment. New skills, techniques as well as industry standards that might be helpful in future jobs could be learned as well.
Attend tech events - Tech events such as seminars, conferences, hackathons, and everything in between create a great atmosphere to learn the latest trends in tech, update features to a library or framework while networking with peers in the industry and help a developer get better by providing an update to their knowledge base.
Teach others - Teaching is another fantastic way to get better at a web development framework or library. Sharing solutions or ideas to challenges related to web and mobile application development helps a developer to reinforce what they already know, thereby becoming a master at it.