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Kong Yang
Kong Yang

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Front End Stuff

I have a genuine question about the popularity of the React framework. Just for context, I'd say I'm between and Junior and Mid developer - probably closer to Junior in many respects. As I'm looking at the job market for Front-End work, React is a requirement for quite a few of those positions. Every once in a while, I'll see postings for Angular or Vue. So again the question, why React?

I'll be totally honest honest here. I don't know enough about all these amazing frameworks to say one is better utilized this way or that way. I'm certainly not trying to stoke another war over which framework is best or whatever. What I do know is that the underlying tech for all of these is Javascript.

Now, based on my primitive knowledge of these frameworks in general, I'm beginning to see how these frameworks are abstractions of the Javascript programming language. The "magic" is happening behind this layer of abstraction - which makes things easier for a developer right?

I want to circle back to my initial question. What does React do well that Angular or Vue or any other front-end framework doesn't? What makes it so popular to use? Is it a ecosystem thing where once you use it, you just have to? Or is it because of the ease of development? I genuinely want to know because the market does seem to prefer React as the "de-facto" framework. I'd love some insight into this.

Top comments (2)

terabytetiger profile image
Tyler V. (he/him)

My interpretation of why React is more popular is because it was:

  • In the market before Vue
  • Powered by FaceBook
  • Didn't have the major change Angular did

(This is all based on the historical context I've picked up on hearing devs talk about it on Twitter/DEV - a more experienced developer might need to correct me on some of these, particularly the Angular point)

Anecdotally, I think developers that have used Vue and React tend to prefer the developer experience of working with Vue more (This could very easily be skewed by my involvement with the Vue Twitterverse and not the React Twitterverse). But React was available for companies to latch on to sooner and company owners like to be able to say "I use the same framework as Facebook (because I'll be that big some day!)".

Angular is a bit strange because my understanding is that it was popular, but then a new version released that completely upended the framework into essentially a new framework (I want to say Angular 2 vs Angular 3?). This caused developers to be frustrated and feel encouraged to move to another framework (assuming they had the influence to do so).

React does handle some things better than Vue 2 - I think Vue 3 is going to bring them to much more equal footing. React also has the advantage of React Native so Frontend Devs can also build mobile apps using (more or less) the same framework/code patterns they are familiar with.

These are my ramblings 😅

kmongy profile image
Kong Yang

Thanks for your insight! I appreciate that. I too have used Vue and love it! I'm sure there are others who feel the same way about React. But your points are well taken. I think the whole FB thing probably does play a role - something I didn't consciously think about until you stated that.