Which Tech Should You Learn Now?
There are so many tech stacks and platforms to chose from. Should you learn Angular 2, React, Node, or something else entirely? Let’s take a look at some data and trends and try to identify the most valuable technologies you could be learning today.
If I were picking one stack to back right now, it would be Node + React (with Redux). Easy choice, but let’s look at some data.
According to StackOverflow’s 2016 developer survey:
Almost half (45%) currently use Angular, and more than half (66%) are interested in React. There are fewer people interested in Angular than using Angular, and that may spell a pending decline in Angular use.
Angular currently dominates the front end component library landscape, but judging by these results, React seems poised to give Angular a run for its money in the coming months.
That said, Angular is still very popular, and I believe the over-all popularity of Angular is still growing — just not as fast as the popularity of React. Candidates with Angular experience get paid more than average, but that’s also true of React and Node.
So, my advice based purely on statistics: Learn React and Node first. If you’re interested in Angular, learn that, too, and it will certainly not look bad on your resume.
For state management, Redux is currently my pick. It’s a solid architecture based on pure functions, it has great dev tools, including time travel debugging, and it’s built to scale to any size app.
It’s early days for these new query systems. I believe RESTful APIs will be popular for several years at least, but GraphQL could become an important technology if enough developers adopt it and build great tools for it. Several other web-based query languages have appeared and vanished in recent years (notably, eBay’s now defunct ql.io). Developer adoption will play a major role in the success of new options.
AR & VR
A developer ignoring AR/VR would be like the music industry ignoring the internet. Eventually, today’s model won’t exist anymore.
If you want to start learning AR/VR development, I have good news and bad news. The good news is, you can start experimenting with the platforms for free. There are plugins available for Unreal Engine 4 and Unity that can help you get started with AR, but as I mentioned in the video, the AR revolution will not live up to its initial hype for the first 3–5 years, so you have plenty of time to learn. You can start by practicing with VR. I think you’ll find AR tracking capabilities using these options disappointing for a few years.
If you want much better tracking and AR capabilities without the wait, and you have $3k to spend on a platform with no current consumer market, Microsoft’s Hololens developer kit is shipping in about a week.
Meta’s SDK will be shipping Q3 this year, and costs less than $1,000, but it’s tethered and you’ll need a powerful computer to pair it with. Meta is the company that blew Robert Scoble’s mind and demoed at TED 2016 in February:
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