React knowledge ‘big opportunity’ for marketable developers, argues HackerRank

Organisations continue to look for expertise in JavaScript and Java above everything else – yet a skills gap is apparent when it comes to frameworks.

That is the key analysis from a new report by technical recruiter HackerRank. The report, titled the 2018 Developer Skills Report and which polled almost 40,000 developers, found React to have the biggest disparity; 19% of developers said they knew it, while 33% of companies require it.

The report argues that knowing React – which this publication has reported on earlier this month as being an in-demand skill – is a ‘big opportunity’ for developers as a marketable skill that companies need today.

More than a quarter of those polled said they started coding before the age of 16. 21% wrote their first piece of code between the ages of 11 and 15, with 4.8% starting even earlier. It’s not all bad news for the late bloomers, however; of the 5.2% of respondents who took up coding after the age of 26, more than a third (36%) are now senior or higher-level developers.

Despite the fact more than two thirds of those polled have computer science degrees, almost three quarters (74%) say they were at least partially self-taught. When it came to those resources, Stack Overflow was not surprisingly the number one portal, cited by 88.4% of respondents overall.

Yet the more interesting story was around the use of YouTube as opposed to books for learning. YouTube was the more popular resource among all respondents (63.8% versus 60.5%), and significantly so among younger developers, though with those aged 55 and over books were cited by 67.5%, compared with 53% for YouTube.

“Both have unique advantages,” the report notes. “YouTube enables a systematic teaching paradigm, which allows for structured, steady progress that mimics university curriculums, except you can do it at your own pace. “Another benefit is adaptability…anyone can produce a new YouTube tutorial in less than a day, though it won’t offer textbooks’ years of carefully thought out lessons.

“Either way, one thing is clear: we are on the cusp of an evolution in coding education.”

You can read the full report here.

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P.K. Maric
30 Jan 2018, 11:15 a.m.

Well JavaScript frameworks are built with JavaScript. So it makes sense to prioritize core JS knowledge because that will make learning and using the framework easier. Most companies tend to evaluate candidates with JavaScript interview questions:

They'll most likely hire someone good with JavaScript but lacking specific framework knowledge than the other way around. Because adapting and learning a new framework is easy compared to filling the gaps in your knowledge of the underlying language the framework is built with.