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You’ve done it! You worked hard, learned how to code, and now you’ve landed a job as an entry-level React developer. You spend your days pairing with more experienced developers, debugging by clicking around in Chrome dev tools, and crafting nifty components in React.
Getting to the next level in your career involves adding new skills, both technical and interpersonal, being proactive with responsibilities, and throw in a healthy dose of determination. This guide will help you identify exactly what you need to do to advance your title to mid-level (and eventually senior) React developer.
1. Add New Skills
Being a beginner in React is a lot of fun. The framework feels new and exciting, plus you can experiment with different libraries and tools. As time goes on, you’re able to create beautiful, responsive components faster than you ever thought possible.
Once you’ve mastered the basics of React, it’s time to add some new skills that will make you a viable candidate for a promotion.
A mid- to senior-level React developer should have these technical skills:
- State management (Redux)
- Testing frameworks (Enzyme, Jest, Karma, Mocha, Jasmine, etc)
- Web application architecture
- Advanced styling (CSS Modules, Styled Components)
- Design principles and UX
- Web security and scalability
- Third-party libraries
- Depending on the company you work for or the job you want, could include libraries for visualization, styling, etc
- Web security and scalability
Taking the next step in your career means gaining more than just technical skills. Developers that are mid- and senior-level are often expected to mentor beginner developers, take on more leadership roles, and handle communication about complicated technical concepts to other team members (like product managers).
A mid- to senior-level React developer should have the following interpersonal skills:
- Clear written and verbal communication (think: technical docs, pull requests, technical presentations)
2. Take on New Responsibilities
If you want to get a promotion, you need to first prove that you are ready for the responsibility that comes with it. This means that you cannot always wait to be told what to do.
As a beginner-level developer, you are often instructed on bugs to fix, features to add, and sometimes even the exact code to write by a seasoned developer or manager. To level up, focus on proactively identifying work that you can do and then do it.
Some examples of ways to impress your boss by taking responsibility:
- Find a bug in some code you are working in? Instead of just reporting it, fix it yourself!
- If you have some free time at work, find some legacy code and do a refactor. Not only will you learn some valuable skills, you’ll also be helping your team!
- Do some research on what’s trending with React. Create a presentation to help your team learn about the newest updates. For bonus points, include ways you can incorporate it in your product.
3. Be Ready to Become a Mid- to Senior-Level React Developer
With the addition of a few new technical skills, some interpersonal skills, added responsibilities, and a hefty dose of patience, you’ll get the promotion you’ve been dreaming of in no time.
In fact, there’s no time like the present to start adding technical skills to your resume.
Check out Udacity’s React Developer Nanodegree program where you’ll learn about Redux, React Native, and so much more. At only 10 hours a week, you can be well on your way to intermediate React development in as little as four months!