How to get a job as a React developer
You want to get a job as a React developer. The problem is that you are just starting out learning React. Are your skills good enough to get a job?
I work as a team lead and have hired many React developers to my team and other teams. I wanted to share how I think about hiring React developers.
When you are looking for a React job, it’s natural to prepare by studying React and working on your React portfolio. That’s great! Having React experience is often a big advantage when you want a React job (it’s not always a strict requirement though)
There are other things that are as important as your React skills when it comes to getting a React job.
Working as a React developer is much more than writing React code.
When you are in a recruiting process, you must show that you have as many of the relevant skills as possible.
Most programming jobs require working together with other people. There is often a team of developers, and often a product owner and a designer that you work very closely with.
You spend much of your day communicating with these people. You must understand what business wants and advise them, tell them what is possible. You must be able to communicate with your fellow React developers, both orally and written: documentation, git commit messages, standups, retrospectives, informal chats, pair programming, code reviews.
There is often also other people that you will have to communicate with: architects, other teams, external partners, customers.
In a recruiting process, you must show your new potential employer that you can communicate well in all your interactions with them: CVs, interviews, emails, etc.
Continuously working on improving your communication skills is as important as working on your React skills.
You are going to spend a lot of time with colleagues. This means you must be a good fit for the team on a personal level. Being polite and create a good atmosphere is often a good idea.
This one is difficult to prepare for but it can be worth knowing that this is something an employer thinks about and evaluate you out from.
I have never seen a job where you only have to code React and nothing else. Even for a frontend position, you need to know more, such as CSS, SASS, LESS, HTML, Node or PHP.
Often the team is working with Git and running their site on Amazon. Devops skills are often a big plus. They might want to write some internal tools, such as a Slack bot for deployments, or a tool for migrating customers from one system to another.
These skills can be as important as React skills.
Other skills can be super valuable for the position you are looking for. Skills that you might already have.
Frontend teams often work with many other things than coding:
- GA (Google analytics) and other analytics tools
- Design skills
- Usability testing
- Lean startup skills such as interviewing customers
- API design
Often the team is working in one established process such as lean, kanban, scrum, etc. Knowledge or experience in that field can be very valuable.
It doesn’t matter if you write a console.log in your portfolio app by mistake, if you don’t have unit tests, or if you don’t know all lifecycle methods by heart. These are details.
This is especially true if you are looking for a junior position. For a junior position, the most important is that the person shows that he can learn. That he is passionate about technology and passionate about working at the company.
As a junior, you can bring enthusiasm back to a team!
So what can you do in addition to learning React when preparing for getting a React job? Here are some ideas:
- Think about what skills you already have that are relevant to the position. Write them down for yourself.
- Put some extra effort into writing a good CV. This is often your first contact with the employer.
- Prepare for the interview. Do role-playing with someone you trust who can give you feedback.