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Hassib Moddasser
Hassib Moddasser

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What is React JS? An introduction to the "Whats & Whys" of React Library

React (also known as React.js or React JS) is a free and open-source front-end JavaScript library for building user interfaces or UI components. It is maintained by Meta (formerly Facebook) and a community of individual developers and companies. Wikipedia

In this article, I'll discuss the topics below in a simple describing language:

  • What is React JS?
  • What React can do?
  • React is a Library, not a Framework
  • Why should you learn React?
  • React Job Market
  • Top 10 organizations that use React
  • Final thoughts

So what are you waiting for? Let's dive in!


React JS is a free and open-source client-side library for building dynamic User Interfaces or UI components. A component is a combination of HTML and JavaScript code that contains all of the functionality needed to show a small section of a larger user interface.

React renders everything as a component. It can make HTTP requests and loads data without reloading the page. It is referred to as the V in MVC. Stack Overflow Insights from 2021 states that React is the most wanted, desired by one in four developers. Insights 2021

React is a Library, not a Framework

React JS is technically a library, not a framework because it does not have a few key things that frameworks do include like Router, HTTP, and etc. For example, React doesn't have a routing mechanism in its core, but you can install it using package managers, or React uses fetch native JavaScript API but something like Angular has an HTTP client.

One key difference between libraries like React and frameworks like Ember.js and Angular JS is that React is specifically concerned with rendering the user interface, leaving many things up to each project to put together.

For developing a React application, a standard collection of tools, referred to as a stack, is as follows:

  • Application code: React, Redux, react-router
  • Build tools: Webpack, Uglify, npm/yarn, Babel, babel-preset-env
  • Testing tools: ESLint, Enzyme, Mocha/Jest

While the stack for Ember JS is Ember JS. Oreilly

Note: React is completely different than jQuery but is nearly similar to libraries/frameworks like Angular, Vue, and Ember.

Why should you learn React?

React JS is one of the most demanding frameworks on the market, with 31.3 percent of global experts using it at the moment.

  • Increased app development speed: React organizes the UI through reusable components, so you don't need to write duplicate HTML in your application anymore.
  • Robust toolkit: React has a wide range of debugging and interface design tools.
  • Strong user community: Since a large number of teams are deploying the framework, the tool is regularly updated. There's also no shortage of user-generated content, with dozens of useful React tutorials and case studies available to help you get the most out of the framework.
  • React is Light: React is lighter than most other libraries/frameworks and available to use in multiple ways.
  • Desired by one in four developers: React is the most wanted in 2021, desired by one in four developers.
  • Affordable remote react developer salary: It’s one of the most in-demand frameworks at the moment — that’s why business owners are willing to find professionals to hire.

React Job Market

React JS is commonly regarded as one of the most popular JavaScript libraries. It's widely chosen on over 9,670,000 websites, according to SimilarTech. Along with its growth, the demand for remote React developers and React JS services have been growing too. Based on a survey that StackOverflow performed, 85.3% of developers who took the survey were using JavaScript as their main programming language.

With these data in hand, there is no doubt that the need for JavaScript developers is higher than it has ever been. Furthermore, the popularity of React among remote frontend devs grew considerably in 2016 till now.

According to the Zip Recruiter statistics, on Nov 9, 2021, a React JS developer is getting paid an average salary of $108,175 per year which is equivalent to an hourly rate of $52, $2,080 per week, or $9,015 per month.

Looking at these statistics, is there a better time than today to learn React?

Top 10 organizations that use React

  1. Facebook: React was invented by a Facebook software engineer. Facebook has maintained the framework since then, despite the fact that it is still open-source. As such, it would be unusual if Facebook does not use it while others do.
  2. Instagram: Instagram is an American photo and video sharing social networking service.
  3. Twitter: The bird app is a great example that is built using React which provides high client-side performance.
  4. BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation): This is another one of the top websites built with React. The BBC has migrated its website since 2015 and it's still in use.
  5. Netflix: Netflix is another fantastic React app example. Many beginners trained by building Netflix clones at some point in their development. The library has become so closely tied with the video streaming platform. Netflix uses it to render the server side of its web pages, especially for its registration flow. This has resulted in improved performance.
  6. Salesforce: Salesforce is another example that is built with React and was an early adopter.
  7. CNN: CNN is a news website which is created 40 years ago. Now CNN is a great React JS website example, which provides high performance and a rich user interface.
  8. Airbnb: Airbnb is an online community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book accommodations around the world.
  9. Asana: Asana is a web and mobile application designed to help teams organize, track, and manage their work.
  10. PayPal: PayPal Holdings, Inc. is an American multinational financial technology company operating an online payments system in the majority of countries that support online money transfers,

Final thoughts

React is a free and open-source front-end JavaScript library for building user interfaces. It's maintained by Meta and a community of open-source developers. React makes it painless to create interactive UIs and developers can build encapsulated components that handle their own state to create complicated user interfaces.

React JS is commonly regarded as one of the most popular JavaScript libraries as one of four developers uses it as a go-to tool for Front-end development. It's widely chosen on over 9,670,000 websites. The average salary of a React JS developer is $108,175 per year.

Some of the world’s top tech teams use the tool to design scalable, easy-to-maintain solutions — Netflix, PayPal, Twitter, eBay, Airbnb, and more.

Can you imagine a better time than today to learn React? Dive in and start creating awesome things.

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