The framework has attracted so many newbies who overestimate their skills in CVs and job interviews that it has become hard to find a React Native contractor who has much experience and can be called a real pro.
How to identify an experienced React Native contractor?
The professionalism of a React Native contractor, be it a company or an individual, is defined by a set of hard and soft skills.
Hard skills describe everything connected to the development itself. An experienced developer must be proficient at applying the language to practical tasks and operate the most up-to-date libraries. However, their expertise is not limited to that.
Being an experienced developer (no matter, React Native or Swift developer) often results in better soft skills. They can communicate their ideas and adjust the explanation of what is going on to any audience: technical professionals, product owners, business side. Moreover, seasoned developers are able to efficiently work in a team with other in-house and client-side developers and designers.
Now let us have a look at each of the necessary skills more in detail.
React Native is a cool framework that advocates the idea ‘write once, use everywhere’. This is achieved by creating two versions of the same program for different native platforms where a large part of code is shared.
In order to get the most out of React Native, the developer needs to know JS and/or React and be able to use helpful features (Fast Refresh) and tools (Hermes JS Engine).
- Uses the right libraries
React Native has a large community that actively contributes to a large variety of libraries. However, being a young language, React Native has its flaws. Some libraries are not compatible and create bugs when used together. For example, when working on modules like device sensors or push notifications, there is a chance that the components do not work together that well. It does not mean that the tool is bad. However, experience in React Native and native development are demanded from the developer’s team in order to navigate successfully in all these libraries.
- Knows what QA is and applies it
Every project — no matter big or small — needs testing. Using React Native to develop native components for more than one platform at the same time is certainly the case where you cannot go without quality assurance.
While code reuse is extremely convenient, it also means that the team should be extra careful: they cannot go without quality assurance. Senior React native developers know where common bottlenecks can appear and how to eliminate them before they can cause your application to fail. Many bugs can only be caught during runtime that is why different kinds of testing should be applied at all the stages of design and development. Experienced React Native contractors pay enough time to go through all the stages of QA and make sure that all the bugs were fixed.
- Communicates well
Communication and presentation skills are almost as important as hard skills. Working on a new product, you always have to rethink the ideas twice, invent different strategies, and add new functionality on the go. It is much easier to work with people who are good at communicating their ideas both orally and in writing.
Also, your vendor should be a good listener. The relationship between the contracted team and the client side is collaboration, and the opinions of both sides must be communicated and heard during the conversation. This is the only way to deliver a top-notch product.
Overall, the more experience a React Native contractor has, the better they are at communication.
- Plays in a team
An experienced React Native contractor can collaborate with other people and work in a team for the sake of exceptional results. React Native contractors often have to discuss their solutions with designers, marketers, and product owners and your software vendor should be open for such collaboration. An experienced software engineer understands that other professionals can share their unique expertise, and everybody will be in a win-win situation in this case.
All in all, working with an experienced developer, you avoid common bottlenecks and save money in the long run. Their services might be more expensive but result in reduced time to delivery and higher quality of software. At first glance, it might seem that a lot of people possess these qualities, after all, the market is oversaturated with React Native developers. But if you have a closer look you understand that only few of them have enough knowledge and experience to work on your project.
What to look for in an experienced React Native contractor
Now let us have a look at some life hacks that will help you find the right vendor for your project.
- Years of practicing
The time that someone has been on the market is not the most reliable factor of assessing someone’s experience. However, it would be unreasonable to not notice it all. Software development companies often stop existing after 1-2 years on the market. If a vendor manages to stay afloat longer than that it is already a good sign — they truly deliver value to their clients.
- Look at their portfolio
Have they worked on many different projects? Are there any large brands among their clients?
An agency might have plenty of projects in their portfolio but if only a few of them are made using React Native, it is hard to assess their professionalism. It is better to work with React Native companies that specialize in cross-platform mobile development.
Expert React Native contractors will have many projects built with React Native in their portfolio
By looking at the company’s projects, you can see what industries, product types, and technologies they have experience in working with. You can assess the complexity of the work done and how well the team managed to meet the business goals of their clients. If there are any large or famous brands in their portfolio, it is a very good sign. International corporations have very strict requirements for their vendors and if the company has managed to meet them, that means they are experienced developers.
- Check out their blog
Respectable companies share their experience in insightful blog posts. This way you can learn more about what kind of problems they solve. If a company has a blog that is regularly updated, it is a sign of their prosperity. Maintaining a resourceful blog takes a lot of time and human effort — be sure, if a company cares about it, they’ll treat your project like it’s child.
Blog of a React Native contractor can say a lot about the company
Moreover, a blog gives the company an opportunity to share their insights and ‘inner kitchen’. You can learn about their projects, technologies that they use, and see whether it is right for you.
- Look them up on Clutch or IT Firms
Clutch knows which React Native contractor is really skilled
There you can see the independent ranking of software companies and read the reviews of ex-clients.
A great way to check the past of the React Native companies and see whether their promises have anything to do with reality is to check different aggregators. These are websites that collect information about IT vendors and display data about their company size, hourly rate and client reviews. To get this info, you can try platforms such as GoodFirms.
- Do they take part in competitions, conferences, or hackathons?
This proves their skills and reputation in the community.
Participating in conferences, team members boost their knowledge. They get to face challenging tasks and meet new interesting people from the community. Hackathons are practical competitions where experienced developers compete against each other. If your React Native contractor participates in such events, it demonstrates that they are motivated to grow professionally and their skills are above those of an average programmer.
- Do they have any awards?
Clutch, IT Firms, and other organizations regularly present awards to exceptional React Native contractors that provide a high quality of service to their customers. If this is the case for your vendor, you can easily trust them with your project.
Hopefully, this post will help you to recognize an experienced React Native contractor. They should possess strong hard and soft skills which allow the team not only to bring stunning React Native apps to live but also to efficiently communicate with customers.
Looking up your contractor on independent online aggregators, checking out their portfolio, blog, and open-source projects you dive deeper into the ‘inner kitchen’ of the software agency. Collect as much information about their past projects as possible, and this will help you to make the right decision.