React vs Angular vs Vue: Who wins in 2019?

Article #98310931831 on this topic

It doesn’t matter. If you want to be a great programmer, you need to change your mindset and stop thinking in terms of what is best to use. What wins? What will get me the highest salary?

Great programmers think in terms of pros and cons. When should you pick one tool over the other? Why was this tool built? Why would it be good in some situation and not the others?

Ps this is part 1 of a 2 part series. You can read the 2nd part here.

Being myopic and declaring one library/framework to rule them all is only said by people that don’t know their history. jQuery, Backbone, AngularJS, were all useful when they came out. They provided 10x benefit to what there was before. But eventually, they all evolve and move on as the community grows, web platforms change, and user preferences shift.

So what should you learn in 2019? In the end, all of these 3 allow you to build rich front end applications. In general, not one is significantly better than the other (which is required for the next wave).

Angular is the entire kitchen that gives you all the tools necessary for you to build the meal that is your web app . If I am a bank with lots of developers, I like Angular to keep everyone working in the same pattern. React is the oven. You most likely will need more tools to bake that cake, but it allows you the flexibility to pick and chose what tools you want based on your needs. If I’m a tech company with strong senior developers that can make good decisions, I like React.js. Vue is the microwave that allows you to get up and running really fast and make your cooking life efficient and easy. If I am a startup with a young developer team and a strict deadline, I like Vue.js.

Sure, the above is a simple example and there are many more things to consider. However, what you should be learning is not the latest fad, framework, the new experimental React Hook API, etc…Don’t get me wrong: it’s good to know these things if you are working with them directly, but in 5 years time, the landscape will change.

The great programmers are the ones who know how to use at least one of these tools, but more importantly, they see the high level reason for why these technologies exist and can make decisions on when to use one over the other when the time comes. They are ready for the next wave, and they have a longterm mindset: Learn the fundamentals and learn what problems each tool solves and be ready for change.

The more years of experience you have, the more you start to realize, that in order to keep up with the industry, you don’t need to memorize every single API, listen to every single podcast, watch every single conference talk, or read every single blog post. You need the fundamental principles that underlie all these tools. It’s why great programmers know about data structures and algorithms, how compilers work, how design patterns can help build large systems (although you can be myopic in the other way and think these libraries are useless… which simply is just as bad).

React vs Angular vs Vue? Which one should you pick in 2019? It doesn’t matter. Keep learning, and don’t forget about the tried and tested computer science topics that underlie everything. There is a reason big tech companies ask data structures and algorithms questions in an interview.

Just make sure next time somebody asks you: “Why did you pick React?” You have a good answer to give them.

Ps this is part 1 of a 2 part series. You can read the 2nd part here.


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By the way, I have a course that teaches you fundamental data structure and algorithms principles. It’s not too bad:

Master the Coding Interview: Data Structures + Algorithms