Angular vs React vs Vue?
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What’s best: Angular, React or Vue?

Published 26/02/2020

What’s best: Angular, React or Vue?

It only takes five minutes at a web developer’s conference before a horde of hyper-caffeinated engineers start ‘discussing’ which frontend framework is supreme. Usually the fight is over Angular, React and Vue; the three main frontend technologies in use today, but which technology really is the best, and what benefits do each offer to a frontend developer?

Angular has the depth

The daddy of front end has been around since 2009, and with the backing of Google, a well-documented framework and an engaged developer community, it’s easy to see why it has become one of the go-to frameworks for the market. Its ‘separation of concerns’ principle has won over many developers who value the cleanliness and order of separating HTML, Javascript and CSS code into entirely different files.

Angular uses Typescript, a popular front-end technology with great job prospects in today’s market. While it is also possible to use Typescript with React and Vue, Angular made it integral to any development with their framework. This means that learning Angular is the same as learning Typescript, and the vast majority of example code will make use of it too. Choosing Angular is a great way to improve in this area and therefore take advantage of the growing market.

React keeps the coding together

ReactJS adoption has been rapid with npm reporting downloads of 4-6 million per week. One of its biggest strengths is perhaps the way it breaks from the ‘separation of concerns’ principle by combining the view and javascript code using a special syntactic sugar called JSX. This is beneficial to developers who enjoy performing direct operations on the DOM, such as generating lists or using conditionals.

React has a popular sibling framework called React Native which is used to build mobile applications, and both technologies share many similarities. Learning React therefore opens up opportunities for mobile application development.

There is great demand for React developers due to the quick growth of this technology and a simple job search on LinkedIn shows thousands of opportunities in the UK alone.

Vue is lightweight and adapt

VueJS is the relative baby of the group with about 1 million weekly downloads. Its main selling point is its ability to reduce development time. Vue has a CLI which can set up projects fast, and it adopts a much more lightweight approach to development; in fact, its use of common-sense directives to link code to the DOM means that its quicker to perform certain operations in Vue than React. Vue has taken elements from both Angular and React to give developers a better user experience. It doesn’t mix the view and controller code directly, but it does keep them all in the same file. This approach is great for developers who value some order but still want to quickly find on which part of the DOM their operations are being performed.

Demand for Vue developers is growing with particular growth from businesses looking to provide customer solutions faster than their competitors using less agile frameworks.

So which is best?

Each performs well in its own space, and as a developer it is important to assess your problem before reaching for the technology you always use. Angular is going from strength-to-strength, and version 10 is due to be released in May 2020. With React growth seeing it take more market share, 2020 will also be a big year for this framework. And with the speed advantage that Vue offers, it is becoming a lot more attractive to businesses looking for fast solutions to changing customer needs.

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