React is now effectively part of the Rails stack

In the most recent Stack Overflow Annual Developer Survey, (see my writeup here) React.js is the top-ranked web framework, with over 41% of respondents saying they use it. This fact got me thinking about how often I see React mentioned in Ruby on Rails job postings on RailsGigs–because I can tell you it’s a lot!

So I decided to take a look at the data. Let’s go!

In the past five or so months, RailsGigs has published 1,662 job posts. Of those, 841 of them mention “react.” That’s 50.6% of all job postings! I knew it was a lot, but I was pretty shocked that it was just more than half.

(If we only consider the job postings that are currently live, 50.0% of them mention React.)

Here’s some pie for you:

More than half of all job posting descriptions on RailsGigs mention React

I audited 25 of these job postings to understand the context in which the term “react” is used. 60% of the postings state straight up that the employer using React as part of their Rails stack. 52% of them ask for “experience,” while another 12% use it in the context of a “nice to have.” One posting even uses it in the context of “aptitude.”

So, while employers sometimes mention React in the context of “you should know some Javascript like React or Vue or something,” the anecdotal evidence is that React is actually in use at a whole lot of Ruby on Rails shops.

60% of employers state that React is part of their stack. Over 50% ask for some amount of experience while just over 10% list it as a “nice to have.”

To give you a sense of how often “react” is appearing alongside other Javascript or frontend-related words, here’s the frequency of some others:

What took me back in this data is that React appears more often than Javascript!

The other big surprise is that Ember has such a strong showing. In some sense, not a surprise as, at one point, Ember was kind of going to be “the Javascript Rails.” (And maybe it is?) I didn’t dig into the data to see if it was a requirement in job postings or not. That’s a project for another day.

Hotwire and Stimulus have a pretty weak showing. Is that a surprise or not? I do know that I’m expecting those numbers to grow steadily in the next 12 months.

When one looks at the data, it’s pretty dang hard to argue that React isn’t a de facto part of the “Rails” stack. It feels like this is a new topic for, uh, “healthy conversation” right alongside “Minitest vs. RSpec,” “fixtures vs. factories,” and so on. 

I would not be surprised to find that React adoption has peaked. And like I said: I would further predict that Stimulus and Hotwire gain a lot more adoption in the coming year. I look forward to a future or more HTML and CSS with more judicious use of Javascript, generally.

If you think this is interesting or have a question you think this data can answer, hit me up in the comments or reach out at @mjbellantoni. And if you’d like to post your job on RailsGigs, lemme know!

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