React is essential for every front-end developer. This versatile library can help you build resilient user interfaces.
As a React developer, I work with this library every day. If you are curious about my job and wonder how to become a React dev, you are in the right place. I will share seven steps to kickstart your journey. So, let’s check!
React can help make single-page and mobile apps. And React developers are in charge of these tasks. So before learning how to become a React dev, explore the ins and outs of this job first.
A React developer writes code and creates UI using React. Their code structures must be efficient so the apps can work responsively.
Often, a React developer has experience in software engineering. Since they are front-end developers, they work on interactive elements of a website or app. Those elements can be animations, online forms, or buttons.
I’m working as a React developer. Since it’s a full-time job, I must work about 40 hours a week. But sometimes, if there are too many deadlines, I don’t mind tackling them the whole weekend.
I work in an office with my team. This working environment is quite common for React developers. Yet, you can choose to work as a freelancer. This way, your schedule will be more flexible. Plus, you won’t have to go to the office every day.
Many React developers obtain a bachelor’s degree in computer science or IT. However, it’s not compulsory. You can learn React from online resources. Then, earn certifications to level up your skills and expand your knowledge.
I have many tasks to cover. Here is what makes my day so busy:
- Write code: I work on the UI of an app, which determines how users can interact with it. So, I try to make it effective by maximizing performance and reducing load time.
- Test code: After writing, I have to test the code. If I detect any bugs or errors, I will fix them immediately.
- Optimize existing code: The app may degrade over time. Moreover, clients want it to be better every day. Hence, as a React developer, I have to find ways to optimize it.
- Collaborate with other developers: Front-end code is just part of software development. It means I have to work with back-end developers and designers to ensure the best product.
To become a React developer, you will have many things to do. But don’t fret! I will explain everything you need on this journey now.
Next, move to HTML and CSS! These two components are the most important for building a website.
Many people consider HTML a programming language. In fact, it’s a hypertext markup language that can also help you make web pages.
More specifically, you can use HTML to create structure and style for a page. Then, add content to it. You can even include images and pictures to make it more lively.
The HTML syntax is super simple. You just need one to two weeks to grasp the basics of HTML. Then, spend one month practicing to work with it comfortably.
CSS means Cascading Style Sheets. It helps you determine how your web page looks by working with its fonts, colors, and layout. You can also use it to set up transitions and animations.
Like HTML, CSS has a simple syntax. You just need to specify styles or groups applied to certain elements. That’s how you define the rules for your website.
Here comes the most important step: learn React. You can start by reading books and watching tutorials. Courses on Coursera and Udemy may also help you build a solid foundation. Here are some React essentials to focus on:
- React router: Routing refers to how users can navigate your website. It often links your app and URL. For example, a visitor can click a button on your homepage to access your bio page. This transition is a routing.
- Components: Every React app has multiple building blocks, and each is a component. On a website, a component can be a web page or an article.
- States: A state means how each element on your website appears. Each component in your app has its unique state.
- Props: You use props for sharing code between those components.
- Webpack: A webpack has codes and files. They are the assets of your website.
Once you grasp the basics, practice using React. Start with small-scale projects first. You can ask your friends to join. Then, you will learn a lot from them.
Unlike many other frameworks, React doesn’t call for strict rules when writing code. Thus, you will be free to implement conventions. It’s a big advantage for every React developer.
Styling is a crucial step in designing a website and app. You need styling frameworks to make your digital product responsive and attractive.
I highly recommend working with Bootstrap. This open-source platform is the most used CSS framework for worldwide developers.
Bootstrap has many components. Once you’ve been familiar with them, you will develop an appealing web app. Some components to start are:
- Jumbotron: With this component, you can make a particular content larger. Then, it will be easier to see.
- Alerts: You use alerts as messages that appear on the web after a specific action.
- Buttons: You can design buttons used for different purposes. The idea is to make them stand out and guide users to the right action.
- Cards: You use cards to contain information.
- Badge: This labeling component allows you to add additional info.
You need technology and soft skills to become a good React developer. And even when you have them, keep honing them.
- Server-side: Before sending your pages to the browser, render them on a server first. So, you can improve their performance and responsiveness.
- Web architecture: Your ultimate goal is to create the best interfaces between data and apps. Thus, you need technologies for handling web architecture.
- Web design: You also need to structure your code to improve UX. Learning web design principles to perform well at work would be best.
- Problem-solving: Problems may arise at any time. If you can’t prevent them from happening, learn how to solve them.
- Attention to detail: You work with small details to build a complete user interface. So, pay attention to detail to ensure its performance.
- Communication: You have to collaborate with other developers and designers. Communication skills will then help you execute projects smoothly.
- Time management: There are many tasks for a React developer, right? But you will deal well with them if you can effectively use your time.
- Adaptability: You should be able to adapt to unexpected situations. This skill requires a deep understanding of your job.
Now you have the skills and knowledge. It’s time to find a job. But before that, ensure your resume can attract your potential employers.
Your resume should highlight your best skills. Also, mention your certifications and experience. They will help you stand out from your competitors.
Besides, customize your resume so it aligns with the job requirements. Imagine that employers need experienced developers in the healthcare sector. If you have worked in this industry before, mention your experience in the resume.
Finally, build apps using React. This career is an ongoing learning path. So, keep working to become an excellent developer.
Stay up to date with the latest trends, too. Thanks to the advancements, you may be able to solve your problems.
After completing an app, add it to your portfolio. Then, when applying for your favorite job, your potential employers know what you can do.
Learning React is a tough journey. I have some tips for you here to help you with this career path:
- Learn the fundamentals first. You can’t build a house if the foundation is not stable.
- Then, read books and any other materials carefully. There are tons of online sources to assist you.
- Check tutorial videos to see how experienced developers build apps.
- Visit blog posts and join communities for React. You can learn a lot of things from these places.
- Don’t be shy to ask! It’s the fastest way to grow.
In 2023, a React developer can earn about $139,856 annually. And skilled developers may even make $158,500.
The demand for software developers is high. Meanwhile, React is the second most popular web framework. So, if you pursue this career, you will have many job opportunities.
React is not easy for beginners because of its modular nature. You have to understand its ecosystem and core before digging deeper into it.
Learning something new is hard. But I have overcome the challenges. So keep your goal in mind! Then, you can master React soon.
With the necessary experience and skills, you can find a React developer job. But it may not be as simple as it sounds.
The demand for this job is high. However, you have to compete with many other talented developers. Here are some tips to help you settle on your dream job:
- Join public projects. They will demonstrate your dedication and expertise in your job. Then, you can use those projects to show off your skills in your portfolio.
- Try to network, too. You can attend meetups or conferences. They are where experts in the industry gather. Who knows, they may give you job opportunities.
- Practice answering interview questions. Then, you will be more confident in front of the interviewers.
There are seven steps to take. They focus on building your skills, experience, knowledge, and confidence. As long as you work hard, you can speed up the process.
So, are you ready to become a React developer? Start your journey today! Keep coding and shining in your role!