Can Learning React Boost Your Employment Opportunities?

Anywhere I see a Front-End job opportunity, it requires experience using React.js. Others require experience with any Javascript Framework (React preferred). Like it or not, it's a fact. Most companies use React to build their products. I will not question whether React is an excellent choice to make a web application. What I care about is answering the question of whether learning React will impact your job success.

Just another Javascript library

Do you already master another Javascript framework like Angular, Vue, or maybe Ember like me? Learning React does not mean you'll have to ditch what you know already and throw away your investment. You can use your prior knowledge and experience to learn a new tool. After all, it's still Javascript, and most of the concepts are similar. All frameworks try to solve the same problems, often with similar approaches. It's up to you to decide if you're okay with something you might not like compared to what you're already used to. Sometimes, we need to make tradeoffs and get used to new things.

Do you have a choice?

Let me stop for a moment and ask you a question. Would you learn React if it would double your chances of landing a new job? What if it will only increase your chances by 25%? Whatever that number is, it's just better chances. This number is relatively high, given that most jobs require some experience in React.

You can decide that learning React is a great idea or stick to your "loved" framework and double down on it. You always have choices. But you'll have to evolve and learn something new at some point. You get to choose when it's that time, or it chooses you.

How about learning another framework instead?

Many companies use other Javascript frameworks like Vue, Angular, Svelte, or Ember, to name a few. Why not learn one of these as your second framework? You could, but since you are investing in learning something new, investing in something that can significantly impact your career is ideal.

A better engineer

Is it now the right time to transform and add React to your toolbelt? Even if you don't end up with a React job, it's not like you made a wrong decision learning something new. You get to keep the knowledge and the experience, which might grow on you or help you in the future. Nonetheless, it can only make you a better engineer. Acquiring proficiency in another framework can make you a versatile and sought-after developer. It enhances flexibility and adaptability, enabling you to work with diverse technologies and projects. This expanded skill set opens opportunities to tackle various challenges and contribute to a broader spectrum of projects. Who doesn't want to hire this person?

Hard work, planning, and action

Learning React does not happen overnight, let alone getting good at it. It takes time, dedication, and hard work. It will probably not immediately impact your career, and that's fine. It would be best if you started somewhere. Planning and being proactive will help you be better positioned when looking for a new opportunity.

I'm ready. Where do I start?

If you already know you want to learn React, familiarize yourself with the official React docs first if you still need to do so. There are plenty of resources, some free and some paid, and many learning styles. I recommend learning pure, vanilla React without frameworks like Next.js or Remix until you get comfortable with its concepts and patterns.

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