Should I Learn Reactjs or Nodejs First? Here’s What You Need To Know

So, you’re wondering if you should learn React or Node first? Well, that is actually a pretty good question to be asking. While both are popular, powerful technologies, there are a few scenarios where you may want to learn one before the other. In this article, I hope to break down why you might want to learn to react first, and why you might want to learn node first. So without wasting any time, let’s jump right into it!

Learning React and Node Prerequisites

React and Node are both complementary technologies that work really well together. This is mainly due to the fact that they are both written and used in JavaScript. For that reason, you should know JavaScript before you start using React and before you start using node.

In addition to this, you should definitely have a really good grasp of frontend development and HTML, CSS, and JavaScript before learning React. As well as a beginner understanding of what backend development is before you start using Node.

What Technology Should You Learn First: React or Node?

Okay, so the first technology you learn is not that important. You can learn both in isolation and they are roughly the same difficulty level to get started. Neither should be too difficult if you have a strong foundation in JavaScript. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before deciding which one to learn first.

Why Learn React First?

1. You Want To Be a Frontend Developer

It’s no secret that React is the most popular front-end framework out there today in 2022. If you have a strong desire to become a frontend developer, learning React is a very good idea. JavaScript is crucial for frontend development and learning one frontend framework will make learning the next one much easier. So if your interests lie in frontend development, learn React first.

2. You Are A Visual Person

Secondly, it is easier to learn React first if you are a visual learner. It is easier to quickly see changes made to a React project than it is to a Node project. Although the be fair, the changes are always there if you know where to look. As a beginner, it may be easier to start with React. Then, when you finally move on to learning Node, you can display all of the changes you make in Node with a React application or other frontend.

I also personally found it easier to understand the purpose of backend technologies after I had spent a significant amount of time studying frontend development. However, maybe that is just me!

Why Learn Node First?

1. It Is Considered Easier

Nodejs is really just a runtime environment for JavaScript. This means that it’s basically just a way for you to run JavaScript code outside of the browser.

For that reason, the learning curve for writing code in, and understanding Node is probably slightly easier than tackling a frontend framework like React. At least at a basic level. Although you will get into some intermediate topics with Node, such as HTTP servers, connecting to databases, processing streams, callbacks and promises, libraries, etc. it is still easier than tackling React.

So if you are planning on building full-stack applications it may make sense to learn the easier technology first.

2. You Want To Build Full-Stack Applications Quickly

If you do learn Node first and can set up a basic server, this means you now have the capability of combining Node and React and creating full-stack applications. If you learned React without Node, it may be tricky to get a good understanding of how React is used with backend technologies and its full potential. Meaning you will not have a full understanding of React without learning a backend technology like Node.

Summary: Should I Learn React or Node First?

While it is possible to start with either technology and learned the second after, it makes sense to learn one before the other in certain circumstances.

If you are already set on specializing in frontend development and are a visual learner, you may find it easier to begin your studies with React. However, if you want to be a full-stack or backend developer you may find the learning process easier and more fluent if you start by learning Node and work your way up to React.

So that is pretty much it! Everything you need to know before learning React and Node js. If you are a new developer just getting started in web development, check out my list of free resources here. Including my React and Node suggested learning material. If you want to check out some other great courses, you can find them here.

Happy coding!

Grant Darling

Grant is a full-stack / frontend software developer passionate about writing & coding. He has many years experience working in the tech industry both as a freelancer and as an employee.

The Code Bytes is all about providing people with honest information about programming. To learn more about Grant, read his about page!

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