Does React have a bad effect on Angular?

Original author: Aphinya Dechalert
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The author of the material, the translation of which we publish today, offers to reflect on the future of web development. As technology popularity trends begin to shift towards the React library, it is easy to feel the importance of the question of how relevant, after a while, the Angular framework will turn out to be. It is clear that in the end only one technology will get the first place, and this forces web developers, especially those who are just starting their way, to wonder what to choose.

Since Facebook changed the React license from BSD to MIT, this library seems to have flourished in every corner of the global web development market. However, businessmen and startups usually do not immediately understand this either, React is not a comprehensive system for front-end development. This is just a library, one of many building blocks, among many helping to quickly turn a small application into a larger project, into a system based on components that are isolated from each other.

Confrontation React and Angular

Facebook is often used as a prime example of the success of React. But this library is just a drop in the ocean of the huge amount of technology that this technical giant uses. It is, after all, just a JavaScript library for developing interfaces.

Angular, on the other hand, is a collection of libraries that, working together, form a single whole.

There are some tasks that can be qualitatively solved by means of Angular, which are completely neglected in React, while something else in React is more efficient. Developers will always be inclined to the fact that they know well, and, as a result, will not even try to look at other paradigms that may better suit their situation. Or perhaps this type of thinking is often characteristic of novice and mid-level developers.

Despite the growing popularity of React, one should not forget that Angular enjoys serious support from a company that is not inferior in size to Facebook, or even surpasses it. It's about Google. At the same time, equally powerful ecosystems have developed around front-end development methodologies promoted by Angular and React, in which there are serious events, as well as major specialists who advocate for this or that technology. True, there is another technology that is growing in terms of popularity, located, judging by what it offers the developer, between Angular and React. This is the Vue framework.


Data from Google Trends. The red line is Angular, the blue is React, the yellow is Vue.

The Vue framework is a newcomer to the “class” of front-end development tools, its popularity is gradually growing, therefore, speaking about React and Angular, we should not forget about it. Although the community around Vue is much smaller than the Angular and React communities, the growing popularity of Vue can be explained by the fact that it is a lightweight tool, not as complex as Angular, but offering the programmer more features than is provided in the basic React functionality.

The creator of Vue is very familiar with the AngularJS framework. The principles on which it is based are much stronger than in the case of modern Angular, reminiscent of the principles underlying React.

The challenges of technology adoption and the habits of programmers

Undoubtedly, it’s easy to figure out React, just create a fully functional application based on this library, which, without any problems, can be converted into a native mobile application. This library is popular among beginner developers.

It’s more difficult to master Angular before you can create something on the basis of this framework, you will have to deal with some additional things. This framework borrows Java concepts and ideology, a technology that is primarily used for backend development and plays a critical role in Google’s software infrastructure. On Facebook, on the other hand, PHP is widely used, which, as a result, has led to a strong influence on the principles adopted in this language by React.

You can easily spend the whole day comparing React and Angular, but the most important thing to draw from this comparison is that both of these systems are distinguished by powerful communities and are able to attract programmers with experience with certain technologies. It should be noted that startups are more inclined towards React, as they strive to ensure that the tools they use provide for the lowest possible level of additional burden on developers. Their survival depends on how quickly they are able to enter the market, how well they are able to satisfy demand and how accurately they can fit into trends.

But many startups miss one important thing: the lower the entry barriers, the lower the quality. As more and more self-taught programmers appear, relying on community resources around React, certain things, such as programming paradigms and code cleanliness, fade into the background. This is not to say that everything is much better in the Angular environment, but in the case of Angular, the programmer has to work within the rather rigid framework prescribed by this framework. React has no such framework.

Vue has its own small living space, this framework is intended to be the answer to the question of which is better, Angular or React, for those who do not want, starting the path of a web developer, to step onto the barricades of one of the warring parties.

What uses netflix?

It turns out that Netflix, among many other technologies and infrastructure tools, uses React. If you imagine an application device, so to speak, from a bird's eye view, it turns out that front-end technologies make up only a small part of what is used in the project.

PayPal, on the other hand, uses Angular, it gives out sequences of characters ngfound here and there in the HTML code generated by the company's resources.

HTML code PayPal

Netflix and PayPal are huge companies that occupy certain market niches. Both are completely unrelated to either Angular or React, in the sense in which Google and Facebook are associated with them. But each of these companies, choosing, respectively, React or Angular, solves with the help of one or another technology the task of developing the interfaces of its applications.

Here we can say that the legacy code, or anything else, influenced the choice of technologies by these companies. But both companies have sufficient resources to hire as many programmers as needed to work on their code using the selected technologies.

By the way, it is interesting to note that GitLab, since 2016, uses Vue .

The tool is not the main thing. The main thing is solving problems

There is a feeling that in heated debates about which technology is better than the other, they forget about a very important issue, which is what exactly is best able to solve a certain problem, to help achieve a certain goal.

If the goal is development speed with a small budget, then it is probably best to look towards React. If you need something more ambitious, holistic and well-adapted for sharing, a set of tools that allows, due to the need for a fairly serious study of this set of tools by developers, to create more reliable solutions, then you should choose Angular. But what if you need to take all the best from the worlds of React and Angular? Advocates of Vue will definitely see in this situation a good example of their favorite framework.

The popularity of Angular does not fall over time. Rather, we can talk about shifting the focus of attention. While React is eating up a larger “piece of cake” than the Angular development ecosystem, Angular, despite the growth of React, still does not think of losing ground.

Information about search results from Google Trends for 5 years. The red line is Angular, the blue is React.

It is also worth noting that Angular can be said to have practically rebuilt its community after this framework has evolved from AngularJS to what exists today. Although this framework had a lot of followers, all of them, after the release of Angular 2, had to relearn.

If we analyze the situation with this in mind, it turns out that Angular, in the form in which it is known today, is three years younger than React. The original version of Angular, due to its differences from Angular 2+, can, in fact, be ignored.


If you are a novice developer who is trying to find an answer to a question about what he needs to learn, it is recommended not to think too much about it. After all, in the end, it comes down to ordinary JavaScript, so it may be better to first learn the basic technologies, and then deal with all sorts of “interesting things”.

Whatever technology you choose, you will be dealing with ideas that apply to other technologies that make it easier to deal with. The most important thing is to really study your first framework really well, and learn to do something with it that goes beyond the notorious ToDo application.

Strive to become a developer who is well versed in programming paradigms, do not try to get too attached to one thing. Among other things, study the architecture of applications, design and development of components, understand the features of the behavior of data flows in applications, and master technologies for managing the state of applications.

The ability to freely, regardless of the specific platform, use knowledge and skills of this kind - this is what distinguishes novice and middle-level programmers from high-class specialists.

Dear readers! What considerations do you follow when choosing front-end development tools for your projects?

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