There is lot of buzz in the market about Angular and React. You might have come across these two front-end technology stacks, irrespective of whether you are an experienced professional or a beginner in the field of programming. A question that may plague most of you is---which of these two is the better technology to master, in terms of a career and which one is easier? Being a full stack developer, I will try to explain in-depth the difference between the two, based on my personal experience.
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|Document Object Model||Real DOM – DOM organizes the HTML documents in the form of a tree. In Angular, Real DOM is used which means the whole tree structure is refreshed when a single change is made. This makes the process slower.||Virtual DOM – With this you can change any element very quickly and without needing to render the whole DOM. It drastically changes the performance from good to excellent.|
|Data Binding||Two-way- In which model state changes automatically when any change in UI element is made, and vice-versa.||One-way- In which the UI elements can be changed only after changing the model state. The developers cannot alter the UI elements without updating the corresponding model state.|
|Performance||Because of real DOM it is slow compared to React||As React uses virtual DOM, it is faster than Angular|
|Types of Apps||Using Angular we can build large complex Enterprise applications, Single Page applications, as well as Mobile Applications||Small Applications, Native mobile applications|
These are the key differences between these two technology stacks. If you wish to dig deeper, you can find more differences over the internet.
So are you planning to master either of these two? You can, but there are certain prerequisites you should know before you get started.
Generally, for Angular based applications Testing and Debugging are possible with a single Tool. Whereas for React applications, we have to use various sets of tools for Debugging and Testing.
Being a developer, I always love to understand concepts using sample code snippets. Here are some code snippets, to help you understand these technology stacks better.
Above is a simple Angular component file which is written in TypeScript where @Component defines the metadata of component. The selector is the custom HTML name we’ll use to include this component. We’ll add a message variable inside of the demo component class and define its type as a string. Inside the ngOnInit method, we’ll give it a default value. ngOnInit is a life cycle method that executes before the component is mounted. We can also use the constructor for this purpose, as they will both give the same result for this application.
Next, we have created the HTML, where we are using an H1 tag to display the current value of the message variable. The double braces are used to interpolate the value of the message. We’ll also create a form without an action, which consists of a label and an input field of type text. To create a two-way binding, we need to use ngModel which will allow us to change the value of the message variable and then the name property will display the value of the variable inside of the input field. So, before we type anything, it should have the default value “Hello” written into it.
Once we include this component inside our main component and run the application, we will see the output as Hello.
This is an example of Two-way Data Binding, since changing the input immediately reflects on the browser.
I have written these two-sample codes to explain the approach of React and Angular. Notice how the different coding styles can help differentiate between the code written in Angular and React.
For a beginner or experienced programmer, it is important to get the hang of the coding style of a particular language to develop expertise in it.
Till now we have seen the technical differences of Angular and React. But to understand which technology stack to pursue it is important to gauge your interest in the particular framework or language and its popularity in the real world. In other words, understand which companies are using that technology.
Let’s now look at who around the world is using React and Angular.
This helps us gauge the popularity of React and Angular. Facebook and Google are just two of the most popular companies using these technologies. There are several enterprises around the world that have adopted and benefited from React and Angular.
So, now that you know that both are equally popular, let us try and understand which one of the two is easier to learn.
Since to learn anything it is important to have a solid foundation, the easier technology to learn would be the one where the prerequisites to learn it are easier. Another important factor is Community Support which is very important when it comes to learning a new technology. A growing and active community plays a major role is helping one master a technology stack.
If you want to explore the ways to get started with React, please go through these listed resources which are very useful for a beginner:
Beginners should always start with what is easier, and then gradually move towards complex code, so it makes sense to start learning React first and then get into Angular.
I am going to list a few blogs as references, which I think are wonderful resources in the journey of exploring and learning Angular and its concepts.
Angular releases newer versions or updates every six months. So, in a year, there are two major releases or updates to make necessary changes. Developers have experienced many changes since its release and the current version is version 10. Angular is supported by huge and active communities of Google.
React is maintained by Facebook and its current version is 16.13.1. Upgrades in React are easier than in Angular. Also, stability is a major concern when it comes to releasing newer versions of React, since big companies like Twitter and Airbnb use it. It also has good community support.
Updates and Migration are also important aspects of any project created in React or Angular. React projects are easy to migrate and update as Facebook developers give regular updates along with breaking changes updates.
With migration projects, we can migrate one part of a page component wise. This ensures that there are no breaks in the other functionalities of a working project. Because of this feature, Facebook has been successful in migrating many of its pages into React components.
Whereas, Angular is not that easy to migrate, as a lot of its libraries have to be used in a single project and because of its two-way binding it is connected to modal state as well. Angular projects are large and complex, and it takes proper planning and timelines to migrate full projects.
When you are migrating your project, there may be a need to add some React code to the site. To learn more about how you would do this, read.
Let’s see the latest Google Trends to compare the popularity of Angular and React along with stack overflow Trends.
The above graph gives you an idea of the presence and popularity of React and Angular in the present market. React leads the race because of its simple and easy syntax that makes it more appealing to beginners and companies who are adopting it for small projects. But Angular also has its own unique features which are being used by lots of developers for enterprise level applications.
Through this post I have tried to explain some important aspects of React and Angular and the differences between the two. I would recommend that those who wish to master these two technologies, go through the official documentation of Angular and React as it explains a lot of concepts and components in a detailed manner. Going through the official documentation is always a great option to learn any new technology and follow along. At the end I am listing out the links of official sites for learning resources of Angular and React. I am also going to list out a few references of important concepts of React and Angular which are very important for a beginner to start with.
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