How React Native is enhancing development teams capabilities
Since launching in 2015, React Native has moved from the fringes to the mainstream and now occupies an increasingly secure place in the ecosystem.
“At first, the bigger companies are afraid to use [newer] technologies because they’re not sure what’s going to happen,” notes Nader Dabit, Founder of React Native Training and author of React Native in Action. “[But] then when you see one big company come out and say we’re using it, then you see a domino effect. What we’ve seen this year [and] in the last six months, we’ve had dozens and dozens of companies reach out to us for training, but some of the bigger companies are... really [diving] into React Native, companies like Salesforce, Microsoft, Verizon, even GoDaddy and Amazon, Warner Bros., CNN... But we’re seeing a huge adoption this year by enterprise and medium-to-large companies picking it up.”
Is there a risk to native developer jobs?
There is some resistance to the technology. Alexander Grigoryan, senior director of software engineering at Walmart Labs, speaking at Node Summit, jokingly said that he received “death stares” and “three-minute silences” when pitching React Native to engineers.
“Native developers can... actually view [React Native] as a threat, because they think if everyone starts doing this abstraction, they won’t need me any more – which isn’t really true at all,” comments Nader.
But there has been no reduction in the demand for native developers as the growth of JaveScript developers for React Native has increased. And with the forecasted level of demand for native developers remaining high it is clear that firms are not replacing one of the other.
Businesses are successfully showing that incorporating React Native teams into their development function is not having an adverse effect on native developers.
One of the merits of the framework is that apps can use both React Native and native code – which Facebook itself does. Where apps require multiple library integrations and third party APIs, then native code may be a better choice; and it can be a notable challenge to integrate React Native into existing native applications.
Looking ahead, though, a great deal of change is expected in the months ahead.
Is the future React Native?
“Facebook has a pretty large team that is dedicated to doing nothing but working on and improving the framework and they have a lot of plans over the next 6 to 12 months to re-architect the framework to be even faster and to address whatever issues people have had with it up until this point,” says Nader. “They’ll be incrementally improving the framework at a core level.”
Is the future React Native?
React Native now also has a competitor for cross-platform mobile development, in the form of the Google backed Flutter.
Given its relative age, React Native has a far larger community and much wider industry adoption than the younger technology. Meanwhile, though Flutter is evolving and is notably strong when it comes to documentation, React Native is still reckoned to have the upper hand.
The only thing we can be sure of is that we’re likely to see a great deal of change.
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