6 Hard and Soft Skills a React Native Developer Should Have

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Maciej Budziński

Mar 8, 2024 • 9 min read
The Best React Native Developers - 5 Hard and Soft Skills

The JavaScript-based React Native framework allows you to develop a cross-platform application once, and run it on both the iOS and Android mobile platforms. But… are you able to sort the wheat from the chaff, and find the programmers who can deliver the quality you expect?

Embarking on a career as a React Native developer opens doors to the dynamic world of mobile app development, leveraging the power of the JavaScript library to create seamless, cross-platform applications. This journey demands a blend of technical prowess, continuous learning, and practical experience. As the industry evolves, so too must the developer, adapting to new technologies and methodologies to stay ahead.

The path to becoming a successful React Native developer is multifaceted, involving a deep understanding of both the technical and soft skills required in this field. Mastery of React Native's fundamentals, coupled with the ability to effectively communicate and collaborate within a team, sets the foundation for a rewarding career in developing innovative mobile applications that resonate with users worldwide.

Do you know what hard and soft skills and traits the best React Native developers should have, and what to put in the job description? If your answer is no, don’t worry. Here’s a short crib sheet.

Firstly, let’s focus on hard skills.

Hard skills will certainly let you tell the difference between a real RN expert and one that is just pretending to be a pro. Hence, let’s see what they should know and why.

1. A solid knowledge of JavaScript

Knowing JavaScript inside-out is crucial to building components, creating the entire application logic and services, as well as understanding their flow.

2. A command of native iOS and Android development

Swift, Objective-C, KotlinJava… A good React developer should have the basics covered in order to make your app work, since it’s sometimes necessary to use tools from the native side, too.

3. A comprehension of basic React assumptions

Being able to operate effortlessly within concepts such as JSX, Virtual DOM or component lifecycle is indispensable, so be sure to check and see whether your candidates agree with this. If not… well, just let them go.

4. A profound knowledge of handy tools and technologies…

...or at least the will to learn the ones they’re not yet familiar with. Here’s a list of the most essential ones:
  • Sentry error tracking - for real-time monitoring and fixing crashes.
  • Bitrise - for better workflows and increased automation.
  • App Center - for managing testers and beta distribution.
  • Redux - for managing the application’s global state (it’s an open-source JavaScript library).
  • ESLint - for checking whether the code is written in compliance with JavaScript patterns.
  • Jest - a zero-configuration, ready-to-use framework for testing JS code.
  • React Native Testing Library - simple and complete React Native testing utilities that encourage good testing practices.

5. The ability to keep code elegant and clear

Yes, it’s not only in the fashion industry where you have to be stylish. When developers have ambitions to be the best, they need to follow the rules included in the available style guides, like the Airbnb JS Style Guide or the Google JS Style Guide.

And why is this so important? Because writing readable, consistent source code makes it a lot easier to develop and maintain the app - both in the present and the future.

6. Performance optimisation skills

The success of an app depends on smooth and fast running. That means work on an app does not finish at its launch. React Native Developer needs to know how to optimise its performance. This hard skill is about having a solid understanding of concepts of benchmarking and improving as well as finding the best and feasible solution because optimisation is not only about knowing how to code; it is more about seeing a bigger picture and having deep analytical skills.

Secondly, don’t forget about all-encompassing soft skills.

While the devs’ hard skills lay the foundation for getting your project off the ground, it’s their soft skills that will steer it in the right direction, and help it successfully develop down the road.

The combination of these two skill sets distinguishes an excellent specialist from an entire army of average ones. But of course this pertains not only to RN developers - it’s more of a universal truth.

So, let’s see what traits they should possess in order to be worth hiring.

1. Great communication skills

React Native developers work closely with team members, including designers, testers, and project managers. Effective communication ensures that everyone is on the same page, facilitating smoother project progress. Collaboration skills are equally important, as they enable developers to work harmoniously within teams, leveraging diverse perspectives for better solutions.

2. Open-mindedness

Great devs are also open to ideas and solutions proposed by others. They cannot be blinded by their own egos.

3. Lust for knowledge

They should be willing to learn new technologies as they grow, too.

4. Problem-solving approach

Developing mobile applications often involves tackling complex challenges. React Native developers must have strong problem-solving skills to navigate these issues effectively. Creativity also plays a crucial role, as thinking innovatively can lead to more efficient and user-centric solutions.

5. Giving constructive feedback

Every suggestion and piece of criticism should be backed by matter-of-fact arguments. There’s no room for emotions, or personal differences.

6. Team player

A React Native developer does not work alone. Coding, testing, prototyping is not done in isolation; a developer needs to cooperate with others to deliver the final product. A team of people get the things done. A good team player plays a crucial role in agile teams, where cooperation and working together on common goal is crucial to finish the sprints.

Enhancing Your Career with Continuous Learning and Specialization

Continuous learning and specialization are key to advancing a React Native developer's career.

Staying Updated with the Latest React Native Updates

React Native developers must stay updated with the latest platform updates, new libraries, and development tools. This continuous learning ensures they can leverage the latest features and improvements in their projects, maintaining the relevance and efficiency of the applications they develop.

Considering Specialization Areas

Specializing in specific areas can significantly enhance a React Native developer's career prospects.

Focusing on Niche Industries or Advanced Technologies

React Native developers can enhance their marketability by focusing on niche industries like finance or healthcare, or by mastering advanced technologies such as blockchain or machine learning within their mobile applications. This specialization not only increases their value to employers but also opens up new avenues for creative and impactful work.

The Role of Certifications and Advanced Degrees

Certifications and advanced degrees in computer science or related fields can significantly bolster a React Native developer's career. Such qualifications demonstrate a deep understanding of underlying principles and a commitment to the profession, making developers more attractive to employers and primed for leadership roles.

When in doubt, bet on experience

As you can see from our list of 6 hard and soft skills a React Native developer should have, your team needs someone that has a solid knowledge of JavaScript, a good commend of native iOS and Android development, a comprehension of basic React assumptions as well as must have excellent communication skills, be a team player, and show problem-solving approach.

Hiring a capable team of RN developers is not an easy task. Especially for anyone who has even the vaguest idea about development from the technical side. But you can always make a safe bet, and hire an existing team of devs instead of building one from scratch. A team with experienced members who can efficiently cooperate with each other, as well as with clients. And which already has a number of successfully deployed apps in their professional portfolio.

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Maciej Budziński

React Native Developer
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