Vue.js – What Is It And Why Should A Web Developer Learn It

Vue.js is one of the common JavaScript frameworks. It started gaining popularity in 2015 as a simpler alternative to the more popular React.js. Vue is now consistently at the top of the most popular web development tools, being one of the “big three” with React and Angular. By the way, the Vue developer worked on these frameworks too. Thus, he managed to take the best from all popular tools and at the same time make it possible to integrate between different libraries.

Next, let’s figure out what Vue.js is, what features it has, and whether it is worth learning for a novice web developer.

What is Vue.js

It is a JavaScript framework designed to simplify the creation of websites and web applications. The library is compatible with many other tools, eliminating potential bugs in large projects.

Question: why should a developer use framework and why can’t websites / applications be made on pure JS, HTML, CSS? In general, it is possible, but it will be long and not very productive, plus there may be compatibility issues, because different development teams may use different standards. To avoid these problems and speed up development in the field of web developers, it is customary to use third-party libraries – frameworks. They already contain ready-made templates and instructions for their use, which should both speed up development and minimize compatibility problems.

Notably, Vue.js is a reactive framework. This means that the developer gets not just a set of templates and instructions, but also the ability to track changes in real time. So, you do not need to refresh the page in the browser when making any change. It sounds simple, but it’s long and difficult to implement it yourself, so it’s easier to use third-party frameworks.

Reactivity not only speeds up the development process of the site, but also its operation. So the transition between pages, the loading of interface elements, and so on occurs instantly and without jerks.

Differences Vue.js from other popular frameworks later in the article, but for now let’s focus on the main features:

  • Filter support;
  • Own transitions and animations;
  • Event handler;
  • Own built-in components;
  • The ability to pass HTML attributes and JS events as arguments;
  • Declarative rendering.

Advantages and disadvantages of Vue.js

The advantages of this framework include:

  • Fast development;
  • Small weight of framework files;
  • Clear and complete documentation;
  • A large community of developers;
  • You can connect and create your own plugins;
  • Fast interaction with the virtual DOM;
  • Application development takes place by components;
  • There is support for server rendering.

Vue.js also has disadvantages:

  • Few professional resources. Yes, the framework has a large community and extensive documentation on the official website.
  • Documentation in some languages is incomplete. You can fill in the gaps with the help of articles, find out the necessary information in the developer community, or read the documentation in English. However, all this complicates the development of the tool.
  • Vue.js has agility issues when trying to integrate it into a large project. There is no adequate solution to these problems yet, so we have to use “crutches”. Fortunately, this situation happens very rarely and is unlikely to be encountered by a novice developer.

Where Vue.js is used

In theory, it can be used in any project – from a one-page site to a large web application. The framework has a small weight of 20 kb in the basic version and is highly scalable. Such features allow you to develop on it both small and large projects. Vue.js allows you to add reactivity to the site (faster loading), improve compatibility with third-party JS tools, add and customize AJAX forms.

Often Vue.js is used for development:

  • Single-page sites and web applications with a dynamic interface;
  • Server applications with public APIs;
  • Applications and sites with external APIs and data processors;
  • Front-end sites, which will then be integrated into popular CMS;
  • Dynamic interfaces.

In general, other frameworks similar in principle to Vue.js are also suitable for these tasks. First of all, we are talking about its two main competitors: React and Angular.

The developers of Vue call their creation a “progressive framework”. This does not mean that the tool keeps up with the times, but that it is very easy to scale. You do not have to implement all the features of the framework during the creation of the project. You can limit yourself to only including the Vue support script, and as the project develops, add new libraries, scripts, and so on.

How Vue.js differs from other frameworks

Other tools, at first glance, offer similar features: support for third-party libraries, reactivity, scalability, and so on. However, there are differences. Let’s look at them using the example of two major competitors React and Angular.

Difference between Vue and React

React.js was one of the first frameworks. Now it is the most popular on the market. It is noteworthy that Vue was developed by the same person who also worked on React. Their main differences:

  • The principle of working with the DOM. Both frameworks provide the developer with reactivity, but the principle of its implementation is different. React has a virtual DOM at its core. This means that the data in the source code is more difficult to change. In Vue, data can be changed through events, and the framework itself works with the DOM directly. This can be both an advantage, since it is easier to make changes, and a disadvantage, since you need to be careful not to make unnecessary changes.
  • Vue makes it easier to make isomorphic JavaScript applications because the virtual DOM allows you to write your view at any time. This approach greatly simplifies synchronization with data.
  • In React, logic and presentation are heavily intertwined. On the one hand, this is a plus, since it turns out to make short and optimized code. However, this approach adds problems for designers, since it will not work to present the template visually in CSS. You will need to use JSX for this. In Vue, a visually rendered template is always at hand.
  • Using virtual DOM in React imposes some limitations. For example, with its help it is more difficult to implement complex-synchronized animation. Vue.js is more flexible in this regard.
  • Popularity. React holds the number one spot among the most used frameworks and will likely hold it for the next couple of years.

Difference between Vue and Angular

Another framework that competes in popularity with Vue. Their differences are as follows:

  • Vue is more flexible. This translates into better compatibility with third-party libraries, plus, it can be used not as a framework, but as just an additional tool for solving a single task without redesigning the site structure for it.
  • Vue core does not provide routing and ajax functions. This can be fixed by adding third-party libraries, but they require additional configuration. Angular doesn’t have this problem.
  • Vue is easier to learn in terms of API and design. Developers take significantly longer to master Angular.
  • Vue is more performant and better optimized.

Is it worth learning Vue.js for a beginner web developer?

To fully enter web development, you will need to learn at least one framework, and preferably several. Vue.js is one of the top three most popular (according to various sources, it takes 2-3 place). In its popularity, it is definitely inferior to React. However, you should not focus only on the popularity of the framework when choosing.

Most beginners choose React, as there are more vacancies with it, it has a wider user community, there are more materials, different guides. At the same time, Vue is easier to learn, although there is not very much information in different languages about it outside the official website and several thematic resources.

Due to the ease of learning, Vue can be recommended as a first reactive framework for a beginner. If you have a good basic knowledge of JavaScript, then it will take only a couple of weeks to master. Further, it will be easier for you to master other similar frameworks, including the popular React and Angular.

The market is also seeing an increase in requests for fast sites that can be updated in “real” time without glues, freezes, and so on. The creation of such sites is just able to provide Vue.js. So, you can not only try to get a job in the staff of a company, but also take on freelance tasks.

Learning Vue.js for a beginner

A novice developer will have to refer very often to the documentation on the official website. Beginners are advised to pay attention to these sections:

  • Beginner’s Guide. The very first and most important section. It contains all the basic points, installation instructions, examples of working with the most popular templates. For convenience, the section is divided into several thematic blocks.
  • Block of recommendations. Here are analyzed common mistakes and controversial situations that you may encounter when using the framework. This block will be useful for those who have already started developing with Vue.
  • Application example. Here is a collection of several applications and sites written using the Vue.js framework. The developer can not only see how they work, but also get their source code with detailed comments. So, it will be easier for you to master the framework with real examples.
  • “Book of recipes”. This is a developer forum where interesting ideas are offered, advice is given. On it you can ask a question, how to implement something and get a detailed answer.
  • API. The section is about connecting and interacting with third-party APIs. There are real examples of work and standard instructions.
  • Documentation for tools and built-in libraries. It applies to all additional tools supported by Vue or directly built into it.

Learning will be effective only if you know JavaScript, HTML and CSS at least at an intermediate level. Otherwise, it will be difficult to understand the concept of the framework, its syntax and interaction with different elements of the site.

If you are already well versed in the JS / HTML / CSS bundle and have studied the documentation on the official Vue website, then proceed to the implementation of projects. You don’t have to find a client at this stage. You can create some simple website or application for yourself, or just repeat it from the tutorials. There are a lot of useful materials on Vue on English-language YouTube, plus reviews of real projects.

Conclusion

Vue.js is a forward looking, very compact and easy to learn framework. Yes, it is not in the first place in terms of popularity, but it is often recommended for beginners to start developing from it. In any case, time will be well spent, as popular frameworks are similar to each other, so once you master one, it will be easier for you to master the others. In addition, the demand for Vue specialists is growing, so after learning the framework, you will definitely not be left without a job.

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