Whether you are a junior, middle, senior developer, freelancer or project lead it is helpful to know all the pros and cons of each framework in detail. A couple of years ago, there were debates over whether to use Angular or React. What is important to mention immediately is that these are large projects that are very quickly and constantly being improved and changed. Very soon after Angular and React, the Vue framework appeared, whose community is growing day by day.
This article is intended to remove some doubts if they exist about these frameworks and to help you choose which of these frameworks is the right solution for you.
1. Overview and History of Angular, React, and Vue
However, big changes occurred in 2016 when Angular 2 or the second version (2.0) was released. Since there have been big changes and Angular 2 is different from AngularJS, Google dropped JS from the name to separate these two versions. These changes created certain problems because developers had to migrate applications from the AngularJS version to the Angular 2 version which was not so easy. All versions after Angular 2 retain the name Angular, although AngularJS is still getting new updates, in this article, we will focus only on Angular.
Angular has a tradition of releasing a new version every 6 months. It is a complete framework, many things are already built-in. It comes with pre-packaged items that are needed within the application development process. There is an already designed structure on the file setup and when you create components what the file structure should look like. There is also an Angular CLI that allows components to be generated. The latest version that came out was Angular 11 and was released in November 2020.
React was developed in 2013 by Facebook. Facebook primarily developed React for its products however since it is open-source, React has gained immense popularity and developed a large community thus becoming a competitor to Angular. Facebook uses React for its products such as Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
React is the complete opposite of Angular in terms of pre-packaged items. It is minimal and therefore it is necessary to get packages for almost everything. For this reason, React is considered to be a library and not a framework which makes it lightweight in terms of code.
The latest version that came out was 17.0.2 and was released in March 2021.
Vue is the youngest member of the group. It was developed by former Google employee Evan You in 2014. Although the youngest, Vue has had a great deal of popularity in the past few years. Bearing in mind that Vue does not come with the background of a large company, this is a great success. The latest version that came out is 3.0.11 which came out in April 2021.
2. Learning curve
The Vue provides the highest adaptability and flexibility, which is why it can be easier to learn than Angular or React. The Vue also uses similar functionalities such as components the same as Angular and React which allows a simple transition to Vue. However, this simplicity and flexibility is a double-edged sword because it allows writing bad code and makes it difficult to remove errors as well as testing.
The difference in the learning curve is that Angular is more powerful with built-in stuff but also harder to get started and learn, where on the other side React a little easier to start but then we have extra work to bring in the necessary packages. Vue is a code-focused framework and we can position it between Angular and React. It has some built-in features that Angular offers but not all, however, certain features are managed by the community. We can say that Vue is more than React but less than Angular. However, compared to Angular and React, Vue has the simplest learning curve.
There are quite a few different frameworks built on top of React. There are Next.js and Gatsby.js that add different things to React which gives us a lot of options. This way React has more flexibility compared to Angular, as Angular doesn’t have as many additional things that provide great flexibility. Using Angular it is possible to do anything but the ecosystem itself is not as developed as with React.
Vue tries to pick the middle ground. Vue.js provides a lightweight framework surrounded by an ecosystem that is officially maintained by the Vue team. Just as React has Next.js and Gatsby.js so Vue has Nuxt.js which is equivalent to Next.js and Gridsome which is equivalent to Gatsby.js. React as the ecosystem has a few more options, a few different competing frameworks on top of it than Vue does. Vue has a decent ecosystem and enjoys all the right characteristics of React library and Angular framework.
The community is incredibly huge for all three. You can’t go wrong in that sense. People are willing to share, they like to make content about these frameworks. Community is simply a plus for all three.
The interesting thing here is that Vue has the most stars on GitHub compared to Angular and React.
Source: Star History
If we check Google Trends, we can see that React leads convincingly. It should be borne in mind that this is shown on a global level and that this metric is not 100% accurate since these words may have different symbolism.
Source: Google Trends
By the number of downloads, React dominates again.
Source: NPM Trends
If we look at Front-end framework usage, we can see the same.
Source: Front-end Frameworks
5. Job opportunities
Since this is a specific situation for everyone, the best advice would be to research the area where you live and check all the companies, and based on that, to conclude which of these frameworks is most used. Even if you make the wrong decision, you will gain a lot of experience and it will be easier for you to learn another framework. No matter which framework you learn first, that doesn’t mean you won’t learn the other.
Angular is more used in enterprise companies because of the structure itself and the strong typing that comes with TypeScript. Since such companies use .NET, Java and C ++ a lot, the structure used by Angular suits them better.
React was not as popular at first as it is now. However, React has also started to be used in large projects and you will hear more often that a company has switched from Angular to React than vice versa.
Vue consists of a large number of unique factors, which can be a disadvantage instead of an advantage. Vue is very versatile and therefore can often be overly flexible for organizations that have a lot of developers. Currently, Vue is highly sought after in the Asian market and is best suited for providing modern and high performance apps. Vue could be the best option if you need to make a prototype quickly.
Source: Zero To Mastery
Vue is less popular with employers than the other two frameworks, simply because Angular and React have existed longer and because they have been backed by big companies like Facebook and Google. Primarily looking for a job, Vue is not a good choice because it has fewer jobs.
Taking into account the statistics we have shown, React is definitely coming out as the winner. That doesn’t necessarily mean that React is the best, but it is certainly the most popular.
Any of these frameworks is a good choice, especially based on your area. Given the excitement and momentum that React has, the content around React, the tutorials and workouts around React and that it’s easier to start with the flexibility it offers, React is definitely the best recommendation.
Angular is also a good choice since you can easily switch to React later, but React is easier to get into. On the other hand, if finding a job is not a priority or if you are programming from a hobby, Vue is certainly the best choice in that situation.
So, it is not possible to say exactly who is the winner here, since all frameworks offer great possibilities and everything depends on your personal needs. But to help you we can make one small list by putting React as number one in the current situation by all parameters and because of popularity. We will put Angular as number two since it is less popular in the current situation compared to React. And as number three we will put Vue only because there are currently fewer jobs in the job market.
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