State of the React Job Market: 2019–08–17

Charles Stover
Aug 17 · 7 min read

The State of the React Job Market details various aspects of a React developer’s career prospects. What are the minimum and desired qualifications? What are the anticipated tech stacks? Are most positions salaried or contractual? Will it be full time or part time? Is it remote, remote-friendly, or in office? Where are the jobs located? How much does it pay?

About the Author

My name is Charles Stover, and I’ve been a JavaScript developer since I was a teenager. I am currently a Front End Engineer at Amazon, and I am passionate about helping new developers succeed in the industry.

If you want to follow my publications or other projects, you can add me on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Preface ⏮

Like many, I often receive “recruiter spam” on LinkedIn — companies throwing a wide net in an attempt to fill empty slots on their development teams. Unlike many, I engage recruiters. I try to politely respond to all of them and acknowledge their potential for mutual benefit. After all, my Amazon career started from a recruiter reaching out! When I was underemployed, I would ask details about the desired qualifications in order to make self-improvements. When I was undercompensated, I would ask my value to other companies to gauge the worth of my contributions. Recruiters are very knowledgeable individuals when it comes to the industry. They have a wealth of information about what is in demand. Not only are they a great resource if I ever find myself seeking a career shift, but they are a great resource for self-improvement while employed.

This State of the React Job Market is a collection of job qualities as described by recruiters and targeted to me specifically. As such, statistics will be skewed toward my years of experience, my location of employment, and my work history. Take this into consideration before feeling that your experiences do not align with the data provided here.

Desired Qualifications 🎓

Experience:

Five companies desired approximately three years of experience with front end technologies. For junior developers, I always recommend you consider your education to contribute to your years of experience when facing numbers like this.

One company sought 5 years of experience, and two sought 10 years.

One company sought 1 year of experience with software-as-a-service. For self-driven entry into software as a service, I recommend integrating your web applications with PayPal or Stripe. As a bare minimum, a “donate” button and a “submit feedback” form should qualify you as offering software as a service. If you have enough free time and drive, take one more step by integrating those donations into persisted storage, allowing you to offer advanced features for a fee.

One company sought 2 years of experience with specifically large scale web architecture. You’ve either worked at a company that offers this, or you haven’t.

One company sought 2 years of experience with Redux.

One company sought 2 years of experience with iOS/Swift development.

One company sought 5 years of experience with web application testing. If you do not have experience with testing, and you feel you have a strong enough grasp on the root technologies (JavaScript, React, Redux, etc.), you can spend your learning time on good testing practices and philosophies. While I am surprised how few companies listed testing as a prerequisite, it is always a great way to wow an interviewer.

Technical Skills:

General technical skills that came up as a requirement included:

  • Two companies desired strong object-oriented programming skills.
  • One company desired solid performance optimization skills.
  • One company desired testing experience.

Overall, the only one of these things I’d recommend everyone have when applying is object-oriented programming skills.

Front End Technologies:

Front end technologies are pretty vast, since React is so tightly associated with the front end.

For frameworks:

  • Three companies were happy with Angular experience.
  • Three companies were happy with React Native experience, with one seeking iOS/Swift experience specifically.
  • One company was happy with Backbone experience.
  • One company was happy with Cordova experience.
  • One company was happy with Electron experience.
  • One company was happy with Ember experience.
  • One company was happy with jQuery experience. If you do not already know jQuery, I would not recommend learning jQuery to appease interviewers.
  • One company was happy with Meteor experience.

For CSS:

  • Two companies sought strong CSS experience.
  • One company sought Bootstrap experience.
  • One company sought SASS experience.

For packages:

  • Three companies sought Redux experience.
  • One company was happy with Material UI experience.

Miscellaneous:

  • Two companies sought TypeScript experience. If you are using Flow, I would strongly recommend switching over to TypeScript.
  • One company was happy with SEO experience. SEO was a very powerful motivator in the past, but seems to be decreasing in job-posting popularity.

Tooling:

Companies did not often mention the tooling behind their tech stacks.

  • One company sought Git experience. I imagine almost every other company wants the same, and I would recommend having strong Git experience, if only for managing your own projects on GitHub.
  • One company sought analytics experience. This is a pretty obscure requirement. I imagine the company tracked analytics for profit, and I wouldn’t pick it up if you don’t already know it.
  • One company was happy with popular build tools like Bower or Webpack. For a React developer, I would strongly familiarize yourself with Webpack. It is the most popular React build system, powering create-react-app and its associated react-scripts package. Larger companies often “eject” from react-scripts in order to use home-rolled Webpack configurations.

Back End:

I am generously calling anything “not front end” as back end, implying these are desired or required technologies that are not based on the UI.

  • Four companies required Node experience.
  • Three companies sought REST API experience, one of which only considered it nice to have. Whether developing them or only using them, it’s good to know how they work.
  • Two companies sought full-stack experience, one of which considered it nice to have.
  • Two companies sought Java experience, one of which considered it nice to have.
  • Two companies required Python experience.
  • Two companies sought experience using “the cloud,” e.g. Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure. One considered it a requirement, while another considered it nice to have.
  • The following back end technologies were considered a minimum requirement by one company each: C++, databases, DevOps, and Ruby.
  • The following back end technologies were considered nice to have by one company each: ASP.net, Express

Soft Skills:

Soft skills are often overlooked on requirements, but there’s a reason companies list them. Amazon strongly integrates them as a part of the interview process.

  • Three companies required a Bachelor degree in Computer Science, but oftentimes “equivalent experience” is enough.
  • There companies explicitly required strong communication skills. Practice this if you don’t already. Writing Medium articles or blog posts is a great way to hone this talent.
  • Two companies sought a passion for learning. You will see this everywhere, and I would argue it is my personal favorite behavioral skill to see in a candidate when conducting an interview.
  • Two companies sought strong teamwork experience.
  • One company sought experience with agile methodology.
  • One company thought that ownership was a nice behavioral skill to have.
  • One company sought passion in your what you do.

Tech Stack 👨‍💻

The tech stack used by the company is often different than the requirements. These skills will typically impress the interviewer more, but are not often a requirement because they can be learned on the job.

  • Three companies expect full-stack work.
  • Three companies use Java.
  • Three companies use Python.
  • Two companies use React Native.
  • Two companies use Redux.
  • Each of the following technologies were only mentioned to be used by one company: Adobe Launch, Go, GraphQL, Kubernetes, NodeJS, NoSQL, TypeScript

Contract vs. Salary 📃

There was a very even divide between whether or not career opportunities were contract or salary.

  • Four companies were seeking contract employees.
  • Four companies were seeking salaried employees.
  • Three companies were seeking contract-to-hire positions.

Full- or Part-Time 🌓

Of 11 employers who disclosed this information, 100% of them claimed to only be seeking full time employees.

Location, Location, Location 🌎

My location in Seattle likely skews the location of offers in the direction, but the rest (Seattle still included!) are likely indicative of the largest hiring areas for React developers.

  • Only three companies offered remote positions. Two other companies were remote-friendly, but had on-site locations.
  • In Washington, five companies are located in Seattle, and two companies are located in Bellevue.
  • In California, one company is located in San Francisco, and one company is located in Sunnyvale.
  • In Texas, one company is located in Irving.
  • In Montana, one company is located in Missoula.
  • In New York, one company is located in New York City.
  • In Oregon, one company is located in Portland.
  • In North Carolina, one company is located in Raleigh.

Compensation 🤑

Companies are not prone to disclosing salaries up front, so data is sparse. I’ve segregated them by location, because location is the largest influencer of salary, as the cost of living can be so drastic between many cities.

  • For remote work, the disclosed salaries were $115k, $135k
  • In Seattle, the disclosed salaries were: $115k, $120k, $140k, $140k, and $160k base+ $40k equity,
  • In Bellevue, the disclosed salary was $115k.

The Companies 🏢

For the few companies that provided their names, I am listing their job postings or recruiters for anyone interested in reaching out to them.

The following companies did not offer me any referral bonuses:

NordstromOfferUpParsedTrustworkUiPath

The following companies offered me a referral bonus if you tell them that Charles Stover sent you:

Smartsheet

Let me know if any of the above resources get you hired. I included this section as a form of full disclosure, completeness of data, and to aid anyone job seeking to the best of my ability. If no one finds it useful, I can scrap it to help keep the publication shorter.

Conclusion 🔚

If there is anything you would like to know in future postings, leave a comment, and I’ll add it to my barrage of questions for the recruiters and include it in future publications.

If there is anything you did not like about this article, leave a comment, and I’ll adjust the design and flow in response to reader feedback.

You may also contact me on LinkedIn, Twitter, or through any of my contact channels on CharlesStover.com.

Charles Stover

Written by

Senior Full Stack JavaScript Developer / charlesstover.com

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