How to Become a React Native Developer: A Step-by-Step Guide

Brandi Glass
April 185 min read
Woman Wearing Red and Black Checkered Blouse Using Macbook

Working as a React Native developer can be a fulfilling career. If you love logical puzzles, technology or seeing something you've created come to life, it could be the perfect profession for you.

This job comes with plenty of positives. React Native developers are in demand, with many organizations looking for programmers with knowledge of React Native to build and maintain their mobile apps.

Salaries for React Native developers can be competitive, while lots of businesses are willing to also offer good working conditions to attract the best talent. It's a career that's ideally suited to working from home or even remotely: the only things you need are your computer and a good internet connection.

If it sounds like this could be a good career for you, keep reading. We'll break down everything you need to know about how to become a React Native developer, from understanding the difference between React and React Native to building your portfolio and impressing hiring managers.

React vs React Native: What’s the Difference?

Both React and React Native are open-source JavaScript-based libraries developed and published by Meta. They are extremely similar, with one key difference: React is mostly used for websites, while React Native is designed for mobile applications.

How to Become a React Native Developer in 5 Steps

You don't need to study computer science in college to become a React Native developer, or even attend college at all. For many hiring managers, the only things that really matter are your React Native coding skills and your behavior in the workplace.

With that in mind, let's explore how you can become a React Native developer and successfully apply for roles.

1. Master JavaScript

Knowledge of JavaScript is essential if you want to learn React Native. JavaScript is React Native’s primary language, so without a thorough understanding of it, you'll struggle to move beyond the basics. The better your JavaScript know-how, the easier you'll find creating your own code in React Native.

Fortunately, there are plenty of websites, courses, YouTube lessons and books on how to learn JavaScript. It's one of the most important languages used today, which means there is no shortage of resources and guides.

2. Learn React

You could skip this step if you wanted, but it might slow down your React Native learning progress. After all, React is the original version of React Native. And while some React Native guides and tutorials will assume a working knowledge of React, most React resources only require you to know JavaScript.

It's easy to find React courses and tutorials. One of the most authoritative is the React tutorial and documentation published by Meta, the original creator of React.

3. Learn React Native

With React knowledge under your belt, picking up React Native will be relatively easy. Again, Meta has published a full tutorial and documentation. Alternatively, you can turn to one of the many other guides and courses available online or even sign up for a bootcamp.

4. Create Your React Native Portfolio and Resume

Building your React Native portfolio will allow you to further develop your skills while also demonstrating your worth to potential employers. Most programming managers will look to your React Native portfolio rather than your certifications to judge your coding ability, so it's worth investing time in this.

Ideally, your portfolio will contain a range of projects similar to the ones you’re hoping to work on once employed. You can host it on GitHub so that it’s easy to share and find.

Don't forget to also craft a new resume focused on React Native coding, complete with a link to your portfolio.

5. Apply for React Native Developer Roles

Finally, you’re ready to begin applying for React Native developer positions. You’ll find them listed on job sites like Indeed and LinkedIn, as well as through networking and company social media profiles.

The React Native Developer Job Application: What Can You Expect?

There are multiple stages to applying for a React Native Developer role.

1. Application Requirements

Most React Native Developer jobs will require you to submit a resume and portfolio. Some will also ask for a cover letter in which you outline why you’re applying for the role.

It can be tempting to use the same resume and cover letter for each application. However, spending time tailoring it for each company and role will help your application stand out. Check out our list of resume mistakes to avoid, too. It will help you craft a polished resume that impresses recruiters.

2. Skills Tests

Competency-based tests are a common component of developer job applications. These are typically timed coding tests, such as creating a simple rock-paper-scissors tool.

Practice makes perfect, so try to do a few of these in your spare time. While you’re unlikely to be given the same task, it will give you an idea of what it’s like to code under pressure and with a clicking tock.

3. Interviews

The company could ask you to attend multiple interviews, either on Zoom or in person. At least one of these will probably be with your line manager and focused on explaining the decisions you made in your skills test. Practice answering this, along with other common interview questions, ahead of time.

Show Off Your React Native Skills with a Stellar Resume

While your React Native developer portfolio might take center stage in your job applications, you shouldn't overlook the importance of your resume. It can help hiring managers decide between two applicants with similar skill levels.

More pressingly, a poorly written and formatted resume could lead to your application being automatically discarded by an applicant tracking system, i.e. software that filters out applicants without the prerequisite skills.

Recruiters will turn to your resume to get the bigger picture. It will tell them things like how long you've been working with React Native, what other coding languages you know, if you regularly seek professional development and how well you generally perform in the workplace. They’ll look for soft skills, such as being a team player, as well as being employed by the same company for an extended period of time.

Your resume needs to highlight your best traits, from your React Native knowledge to your professional background. It must also be machine-readable, professionally laid out and tailored to the company and role in question.

Our wide range of React Native developer resume templates will help you quickly build an impressive resume. Additionally, our Resume Builder will give you tips and tricks on customizing it based on your professional experience and qualifications. It will suggest recruiter-approved phrasing for key skill sets, along with the ideal resume structure for you.

You can build your resume in just 10 minutes using our tools. Get started now and kickstart your career as a React Native developer.