React vs Angular vs Vue: Who wins?

Andrei Neagoie

Andrei Neagoie

Last updated: December 20th, 2021

Article #98310931831 on this topic.

Spoiler alert: It doesn’t matter. If you want to be a great programmer, you need to change your mindset and stop thinking in terms of which one is best.

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 situations and not in others? What end goal am I trying to achieve and what tool is best to achieve that goal?

These are the questions you should ask.

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 (now just Angular), 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 this year? 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 not only 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. They are ready for the next wave by having a long-term mindset. Learn the fundamentals and learn what problems each tool solves so that you are always 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 to learn and understand the fundamental principles that underlie all these tools. That's why great programmers know about data structures and algorithms, how compilers work, how design patterns can help build large systems, etc.

You can be myopic on the other end of the spectrum and think that all these libraries and tools are useless… This is just as bad. If you have a drill available to you, why waste time and effort using a screwdriver...

React vs Angular vs Vue? Which one should you pick? 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 their interviews.

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

This is part 1 of a 2 part series. Read Part 2 here.

By the way, my full time job is to teach people to code in the most efficient way possible as the Lead Instructor of Zero To Mastery Academy. You can see a few of my courses below or see all of my courses by visiting the courses page.

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