A Complete Guide to Screening React Native Developers

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photo by People Creations

Once outshone by its big brother React, React Native is now becoming a fundamental part of the world of JavaScript. Mobile applications can be written and ported to both Android and iOS without the need to master separate programming skills. Instead, developers can stick to JavaScript. It’s not always easy trying to figure out if your candidate has the right Native React skills, so let’s look at the process.

What is React Native and Where is It Used?

React Native is an open-source framework designed and maintained by Facebook. It is ideal for simply creating cross-platform mobile applications with a focus on the user interface. It is built on top of React, another JavaScript library. Applications created with React Native is native to the system, so it appears like an app and not a website.

To some extent, React and React Native are similar, 70% to 80% of React Native requires components from React. For this reason, if a developer is familiar with React, it doesn’t take much to get the hang of React Native. On the other hand, React is a library for creating the front end of web apps whereas React Native is a framework containing a set of tools used for developing mobile apps for iOS and Android.

You can see React Native in use when looking at Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Airbnb, Bloomberg, and UberEats for just a handful of examples.

What Should You Know as a React Native Recruiter?

One key thing to remember is that React Native is open-source, which means anyone can change it. These changes could bring about small or large changes to the work of a developer but very rarely changes that will decrease the value of the work.

The other important thing to remember is that despite being relatively easy to learn, this doesn’t imply that creating iOS and Android apps are easy. Changes to React native will keep having positive effects, like making the process faster, but a developer will still have to split code for the two operating systems, rather than attempt to build the same app that will work for both.

How to Verify the Candidate Has the Right React Native Skills

Technical Skills

The skills you require will vary from industry to industry and project to project. Some developers will come from a JavaScript or React background and want to expand their skills. Others will already have experience with native mobile app development. Which will provide more benefit to the team could be something to consider asking your current developers. One thing you have to confirm is the JavaScript standard the candidate is used to as this will determine the React Native API. The current standard is ECMAScript2019 (ES10).

Other key skills to look for include:

  • TypeScript (a superset of JavaScript using static typing)
  • React-Router
  • Redux
  • Redux-Thunk
  • Redux-Saga
  • GraphQL

These are just some examples, but they will provide insight into a candidate’s previous work experience.

Programming Tests

Many recruiters are turning to programme testing solutions to accurately verify Native React Skills as well as being able to save time and reduce costs. When choosing a programming test, you should bear in mind the following:

  • Does it relate to work that your company does?
  • Do the candidates have an appropriate amount of time to complete it?
  • Can the test be completed online?
  • Does it match the required skill level?
  • Does it combine testing the quality of code, edge cases, and solutions
  • Does it include the React Native Framework as well as the libraries that can be used with it?
  • Do the candidates have access to the resources they would normally use when programming?

Interview Questions

Generally speaking, React Native interview questions can be split into experience, knowledge, and behavioral questions.

Questions regarding experience will lead the candidate into talking about past projects they have worked on, how React Native was used, and why they chose this solution. These types of questions are nice to ease the candidate in the interview. They are open-ended questions that allow the candidate to expand on which areas they are familiar with and the responsibilities they had in previous employments.

The knowledge of a candidate can be determined by asking about the different components that can be used in React Native, how to reuse code in the application, and how to go about debugging applications. Not all questions based on their knowledge will have one correct answer. The reason we ask these types of questions is to see how confident the candidate is discussing their knowledge and how deep it is.

Finally, behavioral questions can be related to their biggest successes, how they handle working under pressure, and what they would like to achieve while working for the company. These questions tend to provide an idea of the candidate’s work ethic, enthusiasm, and whether they have career goals.