Native mobile App development has grown in popularity significantly since the public release of SDKs that allowed developers to create mobile Apps. Using compiled languages like Objective-C, Java and Swift enabled developers to create faster-performing applications and access native APIs of the platform. However, this increased control over the application and the base platform made development more unstable. Developers were prone to crashing their applications if one state was not changed correctly or a single view wasn’t connected to a component, causing a null pointer exception. These problems were all issues that were facing developers before the introduction of hybrid applications.
Because React Native follows an almost similar paradigm to React for development, developers well versed in React can easily transition over. However, there are a few nuanced differences between the two that change development a little bit. While React Native retains the declarative nature of React, enabling developers to simply explain the state of their components, from which the compiler would handle the functionality, React Native uses different components with different lifestyles. These components are similar to native mobile App components and allow for user interface differences to be minimized.
React Native also allows developers to interact with native mobile APIs. Many hybrid application platforms have limits when it comes to the level of hardware which it can access. React Native has libraries that enable bridges between the native APIs and React Native. This allows users to access native hardware like the camera, gyroscope, GPS and other sensors that can be on a phone. However, it takes time for libraries to be created that allow developers to access such APIs. A recent example is with the ARKit SDK released by Apple to enable augmented reality in their applications.
React Native also enables developers to hot swap code to more easily prototype their applications and test them. This allows developers to more quickly see changes in their application, as only one part of it is actually being compiled as opposed to the entire App. This can be beneficial for changing small differences in a feature of an App which wouldn’t change the functionality of the App as a whole.
Programming Languages and Resources for App Developers
React Native coding is well suited for those interested in pursuing a career in mobile App design and development; however, other options are, system admin, web design and development and software engineering. It is advisable to consult with an IT career counselor to understand what career options best fits your skills. For instance, if you want to be a software engineer, learning HTML and CSS might not fit the bill. Here is an excellent article for learning more on coding and technology career roadmap. Once you know what career path you wish to pursue, you can make a plan on what, when, and how to learn. There are lots of online resources for learning coding and technology in general. For teenagers and high school students, High School Technology Services offers variety of hands-on training. For adults and professionals, Coding Bootcamps and DC Web Makers Companies offer basic to advance project-based programming and technology classes.