Need to Hire a React Native Developer? What Critical Skills Should You Look For in Your Candidates?

And I bet you don't need to hire a React Native developer, but one of the best:

A problem solver with an extensive background experience working with React.

So, how do you identify him/her in a “sea” of potentially valuable candidates? What are the critical technical skills that a great React Native developer should have?

Those that... well... help you sort the wheat from the chaff. The truly talented and already experienced developers from those who're just... enthusiastic about this framework. But with no good, hands-on experience in working with it.

To give you a hand, I've put together an initial list of skills to look for, then I've done some drastic trimming and cutting and reduced it to a short list of 6 essential ones:


1. Look for JavaScript Expertise When You Hire a React Native Developer

Turn extensive knowledge of pure JavaScript into an... eliminatory criterion:

All those job candidates selected for the second phase of the interview should know JavaScrip inside-out. No exceptions...

Expert knowledge of JS is the first proof that the selected ones are capable to build components. That they're already familiar with states and properties.

And that they have the knowledge needed to put together an entire application logic and services.

Note: demonstrable experience in working with any of the modern technologies — Backbone JS, Angular or Vue — is another strong evidence that they're already aware of React's tremendous potential.

That they haven't learned it just because it's... popular (and Facebook-supported).


2. Managing Navigation in React Apps: Tools They Should Be Familiar With

Another one of the critical skills required for a React Native developer is familiarity with the React Navigation and React Native Navigation tools.

I'm sure that intuitive navigation is just... critical for your React Native project. So, feel free to pop the question:

“What tools do you use to manage navigation in a React Native app?”


3. Mastering The Key React-Specific Concepts

Now, maybe this is redundant. Yet, I had to add this key aspect, as well, to my list of (truly) essential skills to look for when you hire a React Native developer.

You can't expect a candidate with no good knowledge of:

  • the various architectural patterns compatible with React 
  • ES6
  • concepts such as the Virtual Doom, JSX, component lifecycle

to be some sort of React Native expert, now can you?


4. A Loaded Toolbox and Demonstrable Expertise in Back-End Technologies 

Make sure to “weigh” their web development toolboxes when you evaluate the React Native developer resumes.

And to select those (toolkits) highlighting the candidates' significant experience in working with different back-end technologies. 

To give you a hand for accurately evaluating all those tools and technologies listed there, here's a shortlist of the valuable ones:

  • Redux, for managing the React Native app's state
  • Sentry, for real-time monitoring, error tracking and fixing
  • Jest, for JS code test coverage
  • Bitrise, for an efficient workflow and increased automation
  • Enzyme, an ecosystem of handy testing tools
  • ESLint, for checking whether the code follows the JavaScript patterns

And this list is a never-ending one.

Hands-on experience with Node, HTML5, Babel, Webpack technologies, and CSS pre-processors are other signs that you might have just found the ideally skilled React Native developer for your project.


5. Familiarity with Various Performance Optimization Techniques 

Assess the candidate's experience with performance optimization when you look to hire a React Native developer.

He/she should have at least some already tried and tested tools and technologies in his “emergency kit” for handling a React Native app's performance challenges. Feel free to ask them to name some of their favorite methods for improving an app's performance.


6. Ability to Write Clean, Readable Code 

Does he/she follow the best practices in code writing (e.g. the Google JS Style Guide, the Airbnb JS Style Guide)? 

Such an ability turns into a highly valuable asset:

Clean code means consistent, easy to read and to update source code.

Meaning that you've got yourself an easily maintainable React Native app. See my point?


The END! Of course, this is just a “teaser”, if you wish. A minimalist... list of critical skills that any React Native developer claiming to be an expert should have.

Good luck with identifying and hiring the very best of them!