Skills Required for Becoming a React Developer

29 Aug 2022

For front-end developers, React is the ultimate JavaScript library. When it comes to web development in 2021 and beyond, React Js is one of the most favored frameworks. Thus, the demand for highly expert React developers will continue to increase. It is the only powerful framework that executes in the browser and enables you to develop highly responsive web applications. You can develop powerful reusable web applications with the help of custom HTML elements offered by the React community.

ReactJS proves to be an impeccable fit to develop dynamic user interfaces which streamline your business. Some people believe that ReactJS is the replica of front-end development frameworks. However, it is actually the library of user interfaces that leads to the development of feature-rich and appealing applications.

When you intend to develop a JavaScript-based application, recruiting a skilled React developer can simplify your job. Along with the choice of the framework, it is also significant to support the development of JavaScript applications.

Before proceeding with the details of the skills required to become a React developer, let’s first understand why to choose it:

Why Choose ReactJS? 

ReactJS is a renowned platform highly useful for front-end developers. With the help of ReactJS, it becomes simpler to develop dynamic web applications. It demands less coding and appropriate functioning of a program that is otherwise complex.

ReactJS effectively improves the performance and increases the speed of web applications. It effortlessly updates diverse components that are conventional in web applications. Moreover, it assists in building blocks and web application platforms incorporating multiple components.

The corresponding unidirectional flow functions with several other components. Learning ReactJS helps you to debug the development of mobile and web applications.

Skills Required for Becoming a React developer:

Let’s individually explore the skills required:

1. HTML & CSS:

All front-end developers are familiar with HTML and CSS. The capability to work with and design user interfaces is the requirement of every organization.

When it comes to HTML & CSS, React developers should be able to:

  • Implement a CSS reset
  • Work with and write CSS selectors
  • Work with and write semantic HTML tags
  • Understand flexbox
  • Understand the box model and how to reset to border-box
  • Work with and implement responsive web principles incorporating the appropriate use of media queries

Every front-end developer is familiar with how to develop web applications for enterprises with the use of HTML and CSS. However, a few of them possess the ability to work on semantic HTML tags or CSS selectors. Organizations also prioritize hiring those React developers who have an understanding of flexbox and border-box.

2. JavaScript

  • Basic data structures: objects, variables, and arrays
  • Array methods and working with array data: .map(), .filter(), and .reduce()
  • Familiarity with classes and functions
  • Asynchronous JavaScript: promises, making HTTP requests with Fetch API, async/await syntax The DOM: Create, select and amend HTML elements as well as their attributes
  • Object and array destructuring are beneficial for working with data

3. JSX:

Just like HTML, JSX is the extension of the ReactJS environment. Developers hardly delve deep into HTML while working with ReactJS. As an alternative, many of the interactions take place through JSX which is the syntax extension of ReactJS.

The aspect that transforms JSX to be a significant part of the development is that it enables developers to develop applications with the help of API, which otherwise can be a challenging task.

In React, you work with a syntax extension which is essentially one of the greatest remarkable components of the React ecosystem. This extension is none other than JSX. Since JSX appears identical to HTML, you might consider it as HTML-flavored JavaScript. But the fascinating aspect about JSX is that if you know CSS and HTML, you intuitively know the way to work with JSX.

JSX is essentially an abstraction on top of React.createElement() API. One of the reasons why it is crucial to the React library and why the React team chooses it is that the API would be extremely cumbersome to use in regards to scaling. A React developer can use React.createElement() to develop a whole application. But this will not be any more efficient than simply using HTML properly. Firstly, it might feel that we moved backward by adding Markup in template logic. However, spending a few minutes with JSX familiarizes you with the style.

4. React fundamentals:

After you learn and become confident with JavaScript, the next step is to learn the core concepts of React. All these fundamentals are React-specific. They assist us to build applications with React, through the use of patterns that JavaScript lacks.

React fundamentals you should know:

  • Structuring JSX elements and the way it differs from plain HTML
  • Rendering JSX elements and how to show/hide elements depending on certain conditions
  • Splitting JSX into components and reusing and organizing those components to design the app interface.
  • Passing data (with JSX elements and components) to components through props and knowing when to do so
  • Storing and updating data in components using state and know how to "lift state up" to some other components
  • Using event data in React and handling events from onChange, onClick, and onSubmit events (these are events from inputs, buttons, and forms)

5. React Hooks:

Here’s the detail of the 5 React Hooks you must know:

  • useState: For storing and managing data in individual components
  • useEffect: Performing actions like HTTP requests or working with a browser API
  •  useRef: Referencing JSX elements
  • useContext: Accessing data from React Context to easily share data among components more easily (instead of passing props)
  • useReducer: Storing and managing data across multiple components

6. JavaScript Fundamentals + ES6:

Another significant skill to consider is to attain the knowledge and hands-on experience on JavaScript Fundamentals + ES6. If a React developer holds sound knowledge of both, he/she can derive the maximum benefit of the framework. Note that it isn’t only the JavaScript fundamentals that count as a skill but the combination with ES6 which makes a developer proficient in web application development.

The following section describes the top ES6 skills:

Variables & Scoping:

A general trend for storing variables is through the use of the ‘var’ keyword. With the help of ES6, React developers can select from a broad range of keywords like ‘const’ and ‘let’. As a result, it allows developers to avoid using var whenever not needed. Variables are the methods equipped with JavaScript which let you hold onto data in the memory and access the particular data later on in your applications. If you absolutely need it, you can use ‘const’ but the default option is ‘let’.

Arrays and objects:

React recommends a pattern that implies that your view is a function of your state. Arithmetically, it is denoted as ‘v = f(s)’. State is data that we wish to depict to items or users in memory which we can access to permit users to interact with data. All of the data which we present is stored on an object known as the state. These bits of data are accessed through properties on this state object. When the state changes, the view also updates i.e. v = f(s). This is the way how React obtained its name. Hence, your view reacts to the modifications which are done inside your state object.

React developers should know how to alter objects and alter values of properties inside them. React looks after the system via a nifty function known as ‘setState()’.

Functions and arrow functions:

In React, each component you build is a function. Keep in mind that ‘classes’ are ‘constructor functions’ under the hood. Irrespective of the syntax being used, when building ‘class components’ or ‘functional components’, you are using some kind of a function.

The odd of using JavaScript functions to construct tiny pieces of UI is similar to constructing a Lego set without instructions. Every piece of UI is an encapsulated function that comprises the state data that your elements want to presents, the elements (themselves), and the formal component logic you require to implement that logic. Every component is a Lego brick; you need to assemble them together.

Array methods:

It may be tough to store and access data. Although it may be easy for you to store data in arrays, it is difficult to retrieve and manipulate them. To deal with array methods, JavaScript offers a bundle of tools like “.filter”, “.map”, and “.reduce”.

Storing data and accessing it in objects and arrays is one thing; the ability to properly manipulate that data is another thing. The incorporated JavaScript array methods are vital tools in the toolbox of all developers.

7. DOM Manipulation and event handlers:

It is rare to manipulate actual DOM elements in React. You can use JSX abstraction. The native event object which you obtain with the normal DOM manipulation in React is enclosed in the SyntheticEvent. So, React developers must be able to attach various types of events to HTML elements like ‘onchange’, ‘onclicks’, ‘mouseenter’, etc.

8. Higher-order functions and callback functions:

The concept that functions can be passed in form of arguments, especially in the case of the high order callbacks ad functions is what powers the ‘input/output’ model of the functional programming.

Handlers can be passed everywhere in React. The majority of the times, handlers you pass around are present as methods that are attached to an object and then accessed as properties. The same will be bound up in the prototype chain. In some cases, you have to reach out of the React component model or design a few unique types of components which extend a few of the functionalities. Such patterns are typically regarded as advanced React patterns. React developers must know how to use higher-order functions and callback functions to keep pace with the creativity and scaling of React.

9. Prototypal inheritance and object creation:

In many aspects, React is a kind of a functional programming model. But you work in the world of classes and objects. If you comprehend the fundamentals of how the prototype chain functions in JavaScript, you can know how to achieve inheritance in JavaScript. Note that there are not any traditional classes in JavaScript. The class keyword is only a semantic part on top of the ‘object prototype’ chain in JavaScript.

10. The ‘class’ keyword:

JavaScript classes are different from classes used in traditional programming. You make classes that encapsulate your formal JavaScript logic, template logic, and also styles known as components. Such components work as the building blocks of a React application. Two ways to write the basic component are either by declaring it as a class or declaring it as a function.

You can evaluate your expertise with classes by answering the following questions:

  • How to set up methods for a class?
  • How to bind those methods together?
  • How to create objects that will be considered ‘children’ of parent objects?
  • How to access properties which are found on the constructor?

11. Git:

All React developers should be familiar with the Git toolkit. This is because it facilitates them with the flexibility to add/update projects on various coding forums like Gitlab, GitHub, and BitBucket.

Examples of some typically executed tasks are merging strategies and managing conflicts, the use of push and pull to interrogate changes, etc.

React developers should know how to use such platforms that involves:

  • Tracking modifications with a comment
  • Merging and branching strategies
  • Handling merge conflicts

12. Redux:

Known as React’s state management library, Redux, is another key skill that every developer should have. A few years back, developers faced difficulty dealing working with the asynchronous character of React updates. To solve it, React now presents a hot button feature known as Redux.

It is more like the standards of functional programming and immutability. But don’t get misguided by considering it as a solution that fits all. This is because its applicability relies on the state. Therefore, React developers must be proficient at it.

 Redux is not a framework but a state management library. It serves as a way of working with data. It is important to master the concepts of fundamental React programming before understanding Redux deeply.

13. Node + npm:

It may feel surprising why one needs to learn Node if he/she wants to become a client-side React developer. Though you can include React into any HTML file, several other packages are available that will enable you to expand the React library.

React developers must possess a strong understanding of the npm registry. It allows software developers to build software. The npm is all about cloud storage for packages which we call dependencies. React developers with sound knowledge of nodes can successfully fulfill the development demands of the client-side.

14. Fetch data from APIs (GraphQL & Rest):

ReactJs is a front-end development framework. So, when it comes to web application development, React can be employed for the front end to retrieve data from the back end. The most prevalent way to retrieve data from the backend is to use the Rest API. But GraphQL is the latest approach to do this. It is beneficial if React developers are skilled at fetching the data with the use of GraphQL & Rest API.

15. Styling React apps:

It is important to be skilled at how to style React apps with a utility class library or component library. All React apps require styling for their appropriate appearance. One of the common choices is to use plain CSS which lets you write your own styles and include them in a distinct style sheet.

In addition to CSS, several React developers use a component library for convenient styling. A component library provides reusable components which include their pre-made styles. Material UI is the most famous component library for React. You can choose from plenty of other component libraries.

React developers also use tools that offer pre-made class names known as utility class libraries. Contrasting to a component library, a utility class library includes pre-made classes to perfectly style your elements. It proves effective to style your apps by employing class names to every element. This eliminates the dependency to write any styles on your own. Tailwind CSS is the most famous utility class library. Being a React developer you will come across both of these. Hence, it is recommended to get familiar with a utility class library and a component library.

16. React router:

Whichever website you visit, has multiple pages that you can browse by moving backward or forward in the browser’s history. If you want to make such unique routes or pages in React then you need to use a router. React doesn’t have its own router; hence, you need to use a third-party library known as react-router-dom.

React-router-dom proves to be inevitable for designing pages in an app. It also helps in navigating around each page. With its help, you can create links to diverse pages of an app and then navigate them or redirect them to other pages if required. This useful functionality suggests that React developers should be skilled in React Router.

Here is the list of features of React-router-dom you must know:

  • Creating app routes with the help of the <Switch />, <Route />, and <BrowserRouter /> components
  • How to navigate users to various pages through the <Link /> component and programmatically using the useHistory() hook
  • How to prepare dynamic routes through the path prop (for example <Route path="/posts/:post-slug" component={Post} />) and obtain the path's value through the useParams() hook
  • How to redirect users from protected content through the <Redirect /> component

17. Navigation:

Navigation is a critical component of mobile applications. It is always better to have extremely user-friendly navigation for the app. It is possible to build smooth and user-friendly navigation with the help of tools like React Native Navigation and React Navigation. So, React developers must know how to use these tools.

18. Debugging and testing:

In the application development process, errors must be fixed and your apps must be tested to determine whether it’s working flawlessly or not. Hence, debugging and testing skills are vital skills that React Native developers should possess.

19. Performance optimization:

Using fast apps is the demand of all app users. If an app is performance efficient, it can scale up your business. So, React developers must be proficient at developing an app that runs smoothly and super-fast. Different ways are available to boost app speed. They must know how to enhance the performance of a particular React Native app.

20. Communication skills:

 Writing code is not just enough. React developers should also be capable to motivate others in the team. Those React developers with excellent communication skills can provide better value than one who merely knows coding. Along with being proficient at coding, React developers should also understand the client’s requirements. Being good at English, they can effortlessly comprehend the client’s requirements.

Along with communication skills, writing skills are required if React developers are appointed to write a user manual or app documentation. Writing skills are critical not only for writing documentation but for providing instructions to junior developers. Also, writing skills are useful for replying to the messages of project managers in fluent English.

21. Knowledge of other tools and technologies:

React developers should also be skilled at the following tools and technologies:

  • Sentry: Real-time monitoring and fixing crashes
  • Hockeyapp: Crash reporting, managing testers, beta distribution
  • Bitrise: Increased automation
  • ESLint: Validating the code in conformity with JavaScript patterns
  • Jest: Ready-to-use tool for testing JS code
  • Enzyme: Facilitate the testing of React apps


In recent times, React is one of the most extensively used frameworks which enable software developers to develop engaging applications. Owing to its high demand, React developers are expected to have extraordinary skills. Though it is a bit challenging to hire a proficient React developer, assessing the skills discussed above can simplify the hiring process. A React developer equipped with the discussed skills can effectively accomplish the corresponding app development project with great precision.


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