React vs. Angular Compared: Which One Suits Your Project Better?

React vs. Angular Compared: Which One Suits Your Project Better?

In the programming world, Angular and React are among the most popular JavaScript frameworks for front-end developers. Moreover, these two – together with Node.js – made it to the top three frameworks used by all software engineers on all programming languages.

In the programming world, Angular and React are among the most popular JavaScript frameworks for front-end developers. Moreover, these two – together with Node.js – made it to the top three frameworks used by all software engineers on all programming languages.

Both of these front-end frameworks are close to equal in popularity, have similar architectures, and are based on JavaScript. So what’s the difference? In this article, we’ll compare React and Angular. Let us start by looking at the frameworks’ general characteristics in the next paragraph. And if you are looking for other React and Angular comparisons, you can review our articles on cross-platform mobile frameworks (including React Native), or comparison of Angular with other front-end frameworks.

Angular and React.js: A Brief Description

Angular is a front-end framework powered by Google and is compatible with most of the common code editors. It’s a part of the MEAN stack, a free open-source JavaScript-centered toolset for building dynamic websites and web applications. It consists of the following components: MongoDB (a NoSQL database), Express.js (a web application framework), Angular or AngularJS (a front-end framework), and Node.js (a server platform).

The Angular framework allows developers to create dynamic, single-page web applications (SPAs). When Angular was first released, its main benefit was its ability to turn HTML-based documents into dynamic content. In this article, we focus on the newer versions of Angular, commonly referred to as Angular 2+ to address its distinction from AngularJS. Angular is used by Forbes, WhatsApp, Instagram, healthcare.gov, HBO, Nike, and more.

React.js is an open source JavaScript library created by Facebook in 2011 for building dynamic user interfaces. React is based on JavaScript and JSX, a PHP extension developed by Facebook, that allows for the creation of reusable HTML elements for front-end development. React has React Native, a separate cross-platform framework for mobile development. We provide an in-depth review of both React.js and React Native in our related article linked above. React is used by Netflix, PayPal, Uber, Twitter, Udemy, Reddit, Airbnb, Walmart, and more.

Toolset: Framework vs. Library

The framework ecosystem defines how seamless the engineering experience will be. Here, we’ll look at the main tools commonly used with Angular and React. First of all, React is not really a framework, it’s a library. It requires multiple integrations with additional tools and libraries. With Angular you already have everything to start building an app.

Angular

Angular comes with many features out of the box:

  • RxJS is a library for asynchronous programming that decreases resource consumption by setting multiple channels of data exchange. The main advantage of RxJS is that it allows for simultaneous handling of events independently. But the problem is that while RxJS can operate with many frameworks, you have to learn the library to fully utilize Angular.
  • Angular CLI is a powerful command-line interface that assists in creating apps, adding files, testing, debugging, and deployment.
  • Dependency injection - The framework decouples components from dependencies to run them in parallel and alter dependencies without reconfiguring components.
  • Ivy renderer - Ivy is the new generation of the Angular rendering engine that significantly increases performance.
  • Angular Universal is a technology for server-side rendering, which allows for rapid rendering of the first app page or displaying apps on devices that may lack resources for browser-side rendering, like mobile devices.
  • AptanaWebStormSublime TextVisual Studio Code are code editors commonly used with Angular.
  • JasmineKarma, and Protractor are the tools for end-to-end testing and debugging in a browser.

React

React requires multiple integrations and supporting tools to run.

  • Redux is a state container, which accelerates the work of React in large applications. It manages components in applications with many dynamic elements and is also used for rendering. Additionally, React works with a wider Redux toolset, which includes Reselect, a selector library for Redux, and the Redux DevTools Profiler Monitor.

  • Babel is a transcompiler that converts JSX into JavaScript for the application to be understood by browsers.

  • Webpack - As all components are written in different files, there’s a need to bundle them for better management. Webpack is considered a standard code bundler.

  • React Router - The Router is a standard URL routing library commonly used with React.

  • Similar to Angular, you’re not limited in terms of code choice. The most common editors are Visual Studio Code, Atom, and Sublime Text.

  • Unlike in Angular, in React you can’t test the whole app with a single tool. You must use separate tools for different types of testing. React is compatible with the following tools:

This toolset is also supplied by Reselect DevTools for debugging and visualization and React Extension for Chrome React Developer Tools and React Developer Tools for Firefox and React Sight that visualizes state and prop trees.

Generally, both tools come with robust ecosystems and the user gets to decide which is better. While React is generally easier to grasp, it will require multiple integrations like Redux to fully leverage its capacities.

Component-Based Architecture: Reusable and Maintainable Components With Both Tools

Both frameworks have component-based architectures. That means that an app consists of modular, cohesive, and reusable components that are combined to build user interfaces. Component-based architecture is considered to be more maintainable than other architectures used in web development. It speeds up development by creating individual components that let developers adjust and scale applications with a low time to market.

Code: TypeScript vs. JavaScript and JSX

Angular uses theTypeScript language (but you can also use JavaScript if needed). TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript fit for larger projects. It’s more compact and allows for spotting mistakes in typing. Other advantages of TypeScript include better navigation, autocompletion, and faster code refactoring. Being more compact, scalable, and clean, TypeScript is perfect for large projects of enterprise scale.

React uses JavaScript ES6+ and JSX script. JSX is a syntax extension for JavaScript used to simplify UI coding, making JavaScript code look like HTML. The use of JSX visually simplifies code which allows for detecting errors and protecting code from injections. JSX is also used for browser compilation via Babel, a compiler that translates the code into the format that a web browser can read. JSX syntax performs almost the same functions as TypeScript, but some developers find it too complicated to learn.

DOM: Real vs. Virtual

Document Object Model (DOM) is a programming interface for HTML, XHTML, or XML documents, organized in the form of a tree that enables scripts to dynamically interact with the content and structure of a web document and update them.

There are two types of DOMs: virtual and real. Traditional or real DOM updates the whole tree structure, even if the changes take place in one element, while the virtual DOM is a representation mapped to a real DOM that tracks changes and updates only specific elements without affecting the other parts of the whole tree.

React uses a virtual DOM, while Angular operates on a real DOM and uses change detection to find which components need updates.

While the virtual DOM is considered to be faster than real DOM manipulations, the current implementations of change detection in Angular make both approaches comparable in terms of performance.

Data Binding: Two-Way vs. Downward (One-Way)

Data binding is the process of synchronizing data between the model (business logic) and the view (UI). There are two basic implementations of data binding: one-directional and two-directional. The difference between one- and two-way data binding lies in the process of model-view updates.

One- and two-way data binding

Two-way data binding in Angular is similar to the Model-View-Controller architecture, where the Model and the View are synchronized, so changing data impacts the view and changing the view triggers changes in the data.

React uses one-way, or downward, data binding. One-way data flow doesn’t allow child elements to affect the parent elements when updated, ensuring that only approved components change. This type of data binding makes the code more stable, but requires additional work to synchronize the model and view. Also, it takes more time to configure updates in parent components triggered by changes in child components.

One-way data binding in React is generally more predictable, making the code more stable and debugging easier. However, traditional two-way data binding in Angular is simpler to work with.

App Size and Performance: Angular Has a Slight Advantage

AngularJS is famous for its low performance when you deal with complex and dynamic applications. Due to the virtual DOM, React apps perform faster than AngularJS apps of the same size.

However, newer versions of Angular are slightly faster compared to React and Redux, according to Jacek Schae’s research at freeCodeCamp.org. Also, Angular has a smaller app size compared to React with Redux in the same research. Its transfer size is 129 KB, while React + Redux is 193 KB.

Speedtest (ms)

Source: Freecodecamp

The recent updates to Angular made the competition between the two even tenser as Angular no longer falls short in terms of speed or app size.

Pre-Built UI Design Elements: Angular Material vs. Community-Backed Components

Angular. The Material Design language is increasingly popular in web applications. So, some engineers may benefit from having the Material toolset out of the box. Angular has pre-built material design components. Angular Material has a range of them that implement common interaction patterns: form controls, navigation, layout, buttons and indicators, pop-ups and modules, and data tables. The presence of pre-built elements makes configuring UIs much faster.

React. On the other hand, most of the UI tools for React come from its community. Currently, the UI components section on the React portal provides a wide selection of free components and some paid ones. Using material design with React demands slightly more effort: you must install the Material-UI Library and dependencies to build it. Additionally, you can check for Bootstrap components built with React and other packages with UI components and toolsets.

Mobile Portability: NativeScript vs. React Native

Both frameworks come with additional tools that allow engineers to port the existing web applications to mobile apps. We’ve provided a deep analysis and comparison of both NativeScript (Angular) and React Native. Let’s briefly recap the main points.

NativeScript. NativeScript is a cross-platform mobile framework that uses TypeScript as the core language. The user interface is built with XML and CSS. The tool allows for sharing about 90 percent of code across iOS and Android, porting the business logic from web apps and using the same skill set when working with UIs. The philosophy behind NativeScript is to write a single UI for mobile and slightly adjust it for each platform if needed. Unlike hybrid cross-platform solutions that use WebView rendering, the framework runs apps in JavaScript virtual machines and directly connects to native mobile APIs which guarantees high performance comparable to native apps.

React Native. The JavaScript framework is a cross-platform implementation for mobile apps that also enables portability from web. React Native takes a slightly different approach compared to NativeScript: RN’s community is encouraged to write individual UIs for different platforms and adhere to the "learn once, write everywhere" approach. Thus, the estimates of code sharing are around 70 percent. React Native also boasts native API rendering like NativeScript but requires building additional bridge API layers to connect the JavaScript runtime with native controllers.

Generally, both frameworks are a great choice if you need to run both web and mobile apps with the same business logic. While NativeScript is more focused on code sharing and reducing time-to-market, the ideas behind React Native suggest longer development terms but are eventually closer to a native look and feel.

Documentation and Vendor Support: Insufficient Documentation Offset by Large Communities

Angular was created by Google and the company keeps developing the Angular ecosystem. Since January 2018, Google has provided the framework with LTS (Long-Term Support) that focuses on bug fixing and active improvements. Despite the fast development of the framework, the documentation updates aren’t so fast. To make the Angular developer’s life easier, there’s an interactive service that allows you to define the current version of the framework and the update target to get a checklist of update activities.

Unfortunately, the service doesn’t help with transitioning legacy AngularJS applications to Angular 2+ as there’s no simple way to do this

AngularJS documentation and tutorials are still praised by the developers as they provide broader coverage than that of Angular 2+. Considering that AngularJS is outdated, this is hardly a benefit. Some developers also express concerns about the pace of SLI documentation updates.

The React community is experiencing a similar documentation problem. When working with React, you have to prepare yourself for changes and constant learning. The React environment and the ways of operating it updates quite often. React has some documentation for the latest versions, but keeping up with all changes and integrations isn’t a simple task. However, this problem is somewhat neutralized by the community support. React has a large pool of developers ready to share their knowledge on thematic forums.

Learning Curve: Much Steeper for Angular

The learning curve of Angular is considered to be much steeper than of React. Angular is a complex and verbose framework with many ways to solve a single problem. It has intricate component management that requires many repetitive actions.

As we mentioned above, the framework is constantly under development, so the engineers have to adapt to these changes. Another problem of Angular 2+ versions is the use of TypeScript and RxJS. While TypeScript is close to JavaScript, it still takes some time to learn. RxJS will also require much effort to wrap your mind around.

While React also requires constant learning due to frequent updates, it’s generally friendlier to newcomers and doesn’t require much time to learn if you’re already good with JavaScript. Currently, the main learning curve problem with React is the Redux library. About 60 percent of applications built with React use it and eventually learning Redux is a must for a React engineer. Additionally, React comes with useful and practical tutorials for beginners.

Community and Acceptance: Both Are Widely Used and Accepted

React remains more popular than Angular on GitHub. It has 113,719 stars and 6,467 views, while Angular has only 41,978 and 3,267 stars and views. But according to the 2018 Stack Overflow Developer Survey, the number of developers working with Angular is slightly larger: 37.6 percent of users compared to 28.3 percent of React users. It’s worth mentioning that the survey covers both AngularJS and Angular 2+ engineers.

The most popular frameworks

Source: Stack Overflow

Angular is actively supported by Google. The company keeps developing the Angular ecosystem and since January 2018, it has provided the framework with LTS (Long-Term Support).

However, Angular also leads in a negative way. According to the same survey, 45.6 percent of developers consider it to be among the most dreaded frameworks. This negative feedback on Angular is probably impacted by the fact that many developers still use AngularJS, which has more problems than Angular 2+. But still, Angular’s community is larger.

The numbers are more optimistic for React. Just 30.6 percent of professional developers don’t want to work with it.

Which Framework Should You Choose?

The base idea behind Angular is to provide powerful support and a toolset for a holistic front-end development experience. Continuous updates and active support from Google hint that the framework isn’t going anywhere and the engineers behind it will keep on fighting to preserve the existing community and make developers and companies switch from AngularJS to a newer Angular 2+ with high performance and smaller app sizes. TypeScript increases the maintainability of code, which is becoming increasingly important as you reach enterprise-scale applications. But this comes with the price of a steep learning curve and a pool of developers churning towards React.

React gives a much more lightweight approach for developers to quickly hop on work without much learning. While the library doesn’t dictate the toolset and approaches, there are multiple instruments, like Redux, that you must learn in addition. Currently, React is comparable in terms of performance to Angular. These aspects make for broader developer appeal.

Which is better - Angular 4 or ReactJs?

ReactJS is a JavaScript library and has a view, but lacks model & controller components. React introduced the concept of virtual DOM, which is regarded as one of the most significant advantages of React in comparison of AngularJS. It relies on the conventions of a team to keep code written in a specific style, but its simplicity can be very powerful and expressive. AngularJS Development is a most popular JavaScript framework; its syntax is very heavy.

ReactJS instead of AngularJS

Angular is an open-source front-end JavaScript framework which is used for building Single Page Applications in website and smartphones. ReactJS is an open source, UI JS library created by Facebook for affluent and attractive web apps that provides faster and systematic applications with least programming.

Angular is an open-source front-end JavaScript framework which is used for building Single Page Applications in website and smartphones. ReactJS is an open source, UI JS library created by Facebook for affluent and attractive web apps that provides faster and systematic applications with least programming.


A comparison between Angular and React

A comparison between Angular and React

Do you want to learn about and discover the differences between React vs. Angular? Then keep on reading! I am going to explain to you the similarities, differences, pros, and cons of both React and Angular in this article.

Do you want to learn about and discover the differences between React vs. Angular? Then keep on reading! I am going to explain to you the similarities, differences, pros, and cons of both React and Angular in this article.

You don’t need to be an expert programmer to understand this post but it is encouraged that you are familiar with JavaScript.

*Disclaimer: I have worked extensively with both React and Angular. I used Angular at my job at IBM and React & React Native at my current job. I personally prefer React but will do my best not to taint the article with bias.

History of React vs. Angular

**Angular **is a JavaScript framework written in TypeScript. It was developed and is maintained by Google, and is described as a “Superheroic JavaScript MVWFramework” on Angular’s webpage. Angular (version 2 and above), originally released in September 2016, is a complete rewrite of AngularJS (released in October 2010). The newest major release is version 6 at the time of writing. Google AdWords, one of the most important projects at Google, uses Angular – so Angular is likely to be around for a while.

**React **is a JavaScript library developed and maintained by Facebook. It was released in March 2013 and is described as “a JavaScript library for building user interfaces”. React is used far more at Facebook than Angular is at Google if it’s any indication as to how big Facebook is betting on this technology. By this metric, you can also conclude that React will be around for a very long time.

Both Frameworks are available under the MIT license.

Architecture of React vs. Angular

Framework vs. Library

Angular and React have many similarities and many differences. One of them is that Angular is a full-fledged MVC framework and React is merely a JavaScript Library (just the view). Let me elaborate. Angular is considered a framework because it offers strong opinions as to how your application should be structured. It also has much more functionality “out-of-the-box”. You don’t need to decide which routing libraries to use or other such considerations – you can just start coding. However, a drawback is that you have less flexibility – you must use what Angular provides.

Angular provides the following “out of the box”:

  • Templates, based on an extended version of HTML
  • XSS protection
  • Dependency injection
  • Ajax requests by @angular/HTTP
  • Routing, provided by @angular/router
  • Component CSS encapsulation
  • Utilities for unit-testing components.
  • @angular/forms for building forms

React, on the other hand, gives you much more freedom. It only provides the “view” in MVC – you need to solve the M and C on your own. Due to this, you can choose any of your own libraries as you see fit. You will end up using many independent, fast-moving libraries. Because of this, you will need to take care of the corresponding updates and migrations by yourself. In addition, each React project is different and requires a decision requiring its folder hierarchy and architecture. Things can go wrong much more easily due to this.

React provides the following “out of the box”:

  • Templates, based on an extended version of HTML
  • XSS protection
  • Dependency injection
  • Ajax requests by @angular/HTTP
  • Routing, provided by @angular/router
  • Component CSS encapsulation
  • Utilities for unit-testing components.
  • @angular/forms for building forms

Some popular libraries to add functionality are:

  • Templates, based on an extended version of HTML
  • XSS protection
  • Dependency injection
  • Ajax requests by @angular/HTTP
  • Routing, provided by @angular/router
  • Component CSS encapsulation
  • Utilities for unit-testing components.
  • @angular/forms for building forms

Regular DOM vs. Virtual Dom

React’s use of a **virtual DOM **is one of its features that makes it so blazingly fast. You’ve probably heard of it. It was React’s “killer feature” when it was first released. Let me give you an example scenario:

Let’s say that you want to update a user’s age within a block of HTML tags. A virtual DOM only looks at the differences between the previous and current HTML and changes the part that is required to be updated. **Git **employs a similar method, which distinguishes the changes in a file.

Conversely, Angular opted to use a **regular DOM. **This will update the entire tree structure of HTML tags until it reaches the user’s age.

So why does this matter? The example above is trivial and probably won’t make any difference in a real app. However, if we’re dealing with hundreds of data requests on the same page (and the HTML block is replaced for every page request) it drastically affects the performance, in addition to the user’s experience.

Templates – JSX or HTML

React decided to combine UI templates and inline JavaScript logic, which no company had ever done before. The result is called “JSX”. Although it may have sounded like a bad idea, Facebook’s gamble paid off big-time. React uses something called a component, which contains both the markup AND logic in the same file. It also uses an XML-like language that allows you to write markup directly in your JavaScript code. JSX is a big advantage for development, because you have everything in one place, and code completion and compile-time checks work better.

Ex. In this example, we declare a variable name and use it inside JSX by wrapping it in curly braces:

const name = 'Josh Perez';
const element = # Hello, {name}
;

Angular uses templates that are enhanced HTML with Angular directives (“ng-if” or “ng-for”). React only requires knowledge of JavaScript, but with Angular, you must learn its specific syntax.

React Fiber

I’m not going to go into too much detail, but React Fiber is going to take React from “fast” to “blazingly fast”. Fiber is a backward-compatible, complete rewrite of the React core. It was introduced to React v16 and the upgrade went so smooth that you most likely didn’t even notice it happened. With Fiber, react can pause and resume work as it sees fit to get what matters onto the screen as quickly as possible. I encourage you to do more research into React Fiber – it is a killer feature.

Components

You’ve heard of components, haven’t you? Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure that you have. Both React and Angular are both component-based. A component receives an input, and after some internal logic returns a rendered UI template (a sign-in form or a table for example) as output. Components should be easy to reuse within other components or even in other projects. For example, you could have a sign-in component consisting of two text inputs (user & password) and a “Login” button. This component may have various properties and underlying logic, but it should be generalized so that you can reuse the component with different data on another page or in another app.

Components are meant to be self-contained “chunks” of your app that you can reuse in different situations. They are meant to encapsulate logic. The web is slowly becoming component-based, so I recommend you start getting accustomed to them right away.

State Management

There are states everywhere in an application. Data morphing over time involves complexity. Do you want to know how it works? The UI is described by the component at a given point in time. Then, the framework re-renders the entire UI of the component when data changes. This ensures that the data is always up to date.

To handle state in React, Redux is often used as the solution. In Angular, you may not need Redux. But, if your application becomes large enough, chances are that you will. Some developers, including me, opt to use MobX instead of Redux. MobX has more “magic” (things automatically done for you behind the scenes) and I personally prefer it. Although Redux and MobX go beyond the scope of this article, I highly encourage you to do some more research on them.

Data Binding

A large difference between React and Angular is one-way vs. two-way binding. Angular uses **two-way binding. **For example, if you change the UI element (a user input) in Angular, then the corresponding model state changes as well. Additionally, if you change the model state, then the UI element changes – hence, two-way data binding.

However, React only has one-way binding. First, the model state is updated, and then it renders the change in the UI element. However, if you change the UI element, the model state **DOES NOT **change. You must figure that out for yourself. Some common ways are through **callbacks **or state management libraries (see State Management in the previous section).

I must admit that Angular’s method is easier to understand at first. However, as the project becomes larger React’s way results in a better data overview (making debugging much easier). Both concepts have their pros and cons. You need to understand the concepts and determine if this influences your framework decision.

TypeScript vs JavaScript/Flow

React uses JavaScript, a dynamically-typed language (which means you don’t have to define the variable’s type). Because many developers already know and love JavaScript, this can be seen as a pro.

Conversely, if you want to use Angular you’ll need to get comfortable with TypeScript. TypeScript is a statically typed language, which means you must define the variable’s type (string, number, array, etc). It is simply a transpiler that compiles TypeScript to JavaScript code, which also means you can write ES5 code in a TypeScript file.

TypeScript’s purpose is to ensure a smooth transition for programmers with an Object Oriented Programming (OOP) background. TypeScript was also released in the period of ES5, and during that time, ES5 was not a class-based OOP language.

Since then, JavaScript has grown and garnered lots of great changes. With ES6, you have modules, classes, spread operators, arrow functions, template literals and more. It allows developers to write declarative code while having the characteristics of a true OOP language (that is, including class-based structure).

But, an advantage of TypeScript is that it offers more consistency in examples found online (React examples can be found in either ES5 or ES6).

You should also probably know that you could use Flow to enable type checking within your React project. It’s a static type-checker developed by Facebook for JavaScript. If you so choose, you can also use TypeScript in your React project (although it isn’t natively included).

**Ex1. **Property comparison between JavaScript and TypeScript

// JavaScript (ES6)
const name;

// TypeScript
const name: string; // <-- static typed!

**Ex2. **Argument comparison between JavaScript and TypeScript

// JavaScript (ES6)
function getName(name, age){
   return name + age;
}

// TypeScript
function getName(name: string, age: number){ // <-- static typed!
   return name + age;
}

**Ex3. **Here is a simple class-object comparison between JavaScript and TypeScript

// JavaScript (ES6)
class Greeter {
   constructor(message) {
      this.greeting = message;
   }

   greet() {
      return "Hello, " + this.greeting;
   }
}

   let greeter = new Greeter("JavaScript!");
   greeter.greet()

   //  Hello, JavaScript!

// TypeScript
class Greeter {  // <-- static typed!

   greeting: string;

   constructor(message: string) {
      this.greeting = message;
   }

   greet() {
      return "Hello, " + this.greeting;
   }
}

   let greeter = new Greeter("TypeScript!");
   greeter.greet()

   //  Hello, TypeScript!

Mobile Solutions of React vs. Angular

Angular and React both offer solutions to create mobile applications.

Ionic is a framework for developing hybrid mobile applications. It uses a Cordova container that is incorporated with Angular. Ionic provides a robust UI component library that is easy to set up and develop hybrid mobile applications with. However, the resulting app on a device is simply a web app inside of a native web view container. Because of this, the apps can be slow and laggy.

React Native, on the other hand, is a platform developed by Facebook for creating truly native mobile applications using React. The syntax is slightly different, but there are much more similarities than differences. Unlike Ionic, which is simply a glorified web app, React Native produces a truly native UI. It also allows you to create your own components and bind them to native code written in Objective-C, Java, or Swift.

Testing in React vs. Angular

Jest is used by Facebook to tests its React code. It is included in every React project and requires zero configuration to use. It also includes a powerful mocking library. Many times Jest is used in combination with Enzyme (a JavaScript testing utility used at Airbnb).

Jasmine is a testing framework that can be used in Angular. Eric Elliott says that Jasmine “*results in millions of ways to write tests and assertions, needing to carefully read each one to understand what it’s doing”. *The output, in my opinion, is also very bloated and difficult to read. Here are some educational articles on the integration of Angular with Karma and Mocha.

Learning Curve of React vs. Angular

An important decision you must make in choosing a new technology is its learning curve. The answer depends on your previous experience and familiarity with the related concepts. However, we can still try to assess the number of new things you’ll need to learn before you get started:

React:

The first thing you’ll learn in React is JSX. It may seem awkward to write at first, but it doesn’t add much complexity. You’ll also need to learn how to write components, manage internal state, and use props for configuration. You don’t need to learn any new logical structures or loops since all of this is plain JavaScript.

Once you’re done learning the basics, you’ll need to learn a routing library (since React doesn’t come with one). I recommend react router v4. Next comes state management with Redux or MobX. I’ve already touched upon this subject, so I’ll skip this. Once you’ve learned the basics, a routing library, and state management library, you’re ready to start building apps!

Angular:

Angular has many topics to learn, starting from basic ones such as directives, modules, decorators, components, services, dependency injection, pipes, and templates. After that, there are more advanced topics such as change detection, zones, AoT compilation, and Rx.js.

The entry barrier for Angular is clearly higher than for React. The sheer number of new concepts is confusing to newcomers. And even after you’ve started, the experience might be a bit rough since you need to keep in mind things like Rx.js subscription management and change detection performance.

It may seem like React has a lower barrier for entry, and I would most certainly have to agree. However, that doesn’t mean that React is “better”. I encourage you to try both React and Angular to see which one you personally prefer.

Popularity & Growth Trajectory of React vs. Angular

Before you choose a framework/library to work with, it’s important to look at its popularity for the sole purpose of job prospects. The more popular a technology is, in most cases, the more jobs you can find. Let’s take a look at some statistics:

On GitHub, at the time of writing, Angular (version 2 and above) has 40,963 stars and 732 contributors. However, it also 2,162 issues (which are to be expected, since Angular is a full-fledged framework as opposed to just a library). Over the last 12 months, Angular has managed to garner 35 stars/day (on average).

source: https://bestofjs.org/projects/angular

Conversely, on GitHub, React has 111,927 stars and **1,242 contributors. **As far as issues go, React has far less than Angular, at **287 **(which is to be expected since React is merely a view library). As you can clearly see, React has more than double the amount of **GitHub stars **and almost double the number of contributors. Of course, it could also be argued that React came out sooner than Angular (version 2+), so it’s had a longer amount of time to collect these stars/contributors. However, React is growing faster, as it is has collected 97 stars/day over the last 12 months.

source: https://bestofjs.org/projects/react

Other important metrics you need to look at are downloads and **Google Trends **search hits. According to npmtrends.com, you can see that downloads of both Angular and React are growing at incredible speeds. However, React currently has about 10,000 more downloads than Angular. This is significant.

source: https://www.npmtrends.com/@angular/core-vs-react

On this chart collected from Google Trends over the last 2 years, you can see that React is on a much faster upwards trajectory than Angular, which has lost much of its momentum. This indicates that React is growing faster than Angular. Regardless, both technologies seem to be doing great and their futures look quite bright.

source: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?cat=31&date=today%205-y&q=React,Angular

Most Loved, Dreaded, and Wanted Frameworks, Libraries, and Tools

Another important statistic you should look at is the percentage of developers that love, dread, and want to learn a specific technology. A few statistics from Stack Overflow’s 2018 Developer Survey can be found below. React is the 2nd most loved technology. Angular is ranked far lower, in 9th place.

source: https://insights.stackoverflow.com/survey/2018#most-loved-dreaded-and-wanted

As far as dreaded technologies Angular is the 4th most dreaded, whereas React is the 11th most dreaded. That could mean a number of things: developers may find Angular hard to work with, the speed of development could be slow, or maybe it’s just not flashy enough. Either way, it’s not good for Angular to be so high on this list.

source: https://insights.stackoverflow.com/survey/2018#most-loved-dreaded-and-wanted

Lastly, we come to the statistic that shows which technologies developers want to learn the most. It’s not surprising to see React sitting in 1st place. However, Angular is in 4th place, which isn’t too shabby either.

source: https://insights.stackoverflow.com/survey/2018#most-loved-dreaded-and-wanted

Companies Using

HUGE companies are utilizing both React and Angular. I’m talking some of the biggest in the world. Here is just a small sample:

React:

  • Templates, based on an extended version of HTML
  • XSS protection
  • Dependency injection
  • Ajax requests by @angular/HTTP
  • Routing, provided by @angular/router
  • Component CSS encapsulation
  • Utilities for unit-testing components.
  • @angular/forms for building forms

Angular:

  • Templates, based on an extended version of HTML
  • XSS protection
  • Dependency injection
  • Ajax requests by @angular/HTTP
  • Routing, provided by @angular/router
  • Component CSS encapsulation
  • Utilities for unit-testing components.
  • @angular/forms for building forms
Conclusion of React vs. Angular

As you have seen through my many examples, React and Angular are two titans in a cutthroat industry. In a business where only the strongest survive, you can easily conclude that these are some of the best technologies on the market. You can’t go wrong with either one.

Recap

Let’s recap what you’ve learned in this article:

Angular:

  1. Is a full framework
  2. Has a Regular DOM, which renders updates slower than React’s Virtual DOM
  3. The rendered JavaScript and HTML maintains a physical separation
  4. Utilizes Components: emerging web components standard
  5. Data Binding: two-way
  6. You must use TypeScript
  7. Mobile: Ionic and Cordova are slower than React Native
  8. Testing: Jasmine & Mocha
  9. Learning Curve is higher, but once you understand it you have an entire MVC framework
  10. Scalability: easy to scale
  11. Popularity: dropped since AngularJS (Angular 1)
  12. Open source: GitHub stars: 40,963 / Contributors: 732 / Issue: 2,162
  13. Size: larger, resulting in longer load times and performance on mobile
  14. Used on: Google, Nike, Forbes, Upwork, General Motors, HBO, Sony

React:

  1. Is a full framework
  2. Has a Regular DOM, which renders updates slower than React’s Virtual DOM
  3. The rendered JavaScript and HTML maintains a physical separation
  4. Utilizes Components: emerging web components standard
  5. Data Binding: two-way
  6. You must use TypeScript
  7. Mobile: Ionic and Cordova are slower than React Native
  8. Testing: Jasmine & Mocha
  9. Learning Curve is higher, but once you understand it you have an entire MVC framework
  10. Scalability: easy to scale
  11. Popularity: dropped since AngularJS (Angular 1)
  12. Open source: GitHub stars: 40,963 / Contributors: 732 / Issue: 2,162
  13. Size: larger, resulting in longer load times and performance on mobile
  14. Used on: Google, Nike, Forbes, Upwork, General Motors, HBO, Sony