A Beginner’s Guide to JavaScript Frameworks

Headshot for Piero Borrelli, CareerFoundry contributor.

In 2024, nearly all modern web development companies are using JavaScript frameworks to quickly build robust, fast, and large applications. 

To enter the tech field as a web developer, you must select and master a frontend framework. 

The good news: mastering JavaScript establishes a solid base, making it easy to switch between frameworks with minor adjustments. Yet, the extensive JavaScript ecosystem offers numerous excellent frameworks to pick from.

In this guide, I’ll present to you the most popular JavaScript frameworks, highlighting their pros and cons, helping you choose the best to jumpstart your career and enter the tech world as a web developer.

To skip to a specific framework you might be interested in, use the section below:

  1. What is a JavaScript framework?
  2. The 8 best JavaScript frameworks for beginners
  3. Getting started with JavaScript frameworks
  4. JavaScript framework FAQ
  5. Where to go from here

1. What is a JavaScript framework?

JavaScript alone is enough to build any web application from scratch. However, as the application grows, the amount of complicated code you’d need to write would be tremendous. Frameworks come to help us by providing us with a set of tools, libraries, and infrastructures we can use to create our web applications much more easily.

For example, a framework such as Vue will provide you with utilities to handle user events (click, hover), routing, data-binding, animations. All things you could do with JavaScript alone, yet wasting a lot of time trying to pull everything together by yourself.

2. The 8 best JavaScript frameworks for beginners

Let’s now dive deeper into each JavaScript framework, discovering its pros and cons.


Excerpt from the React JavaScript framework homepage.

According to the 2023 Stack Overflow Developer survey, React still confirms itself as one of the most popular JavaScript technologies to create web interfaces with. 

This tool is everywhere, and thanks to its huge community, great support and amazing possibilities for large scale projects, React has become the industry choice for web apps.

In short, React still is the go-to choice to find a job as a frontend developer, and it will probably remain so for many years to come.

Pros of React

Large community to support it

Thanks to its popularity, React has a huge community of supporters. This in turn makes the development experience much better, as you will have a ton of resources, courses, workshops to look for to learn and improve your React skills.

Huge amount of packages and utilities

Another upside of the tool’s popularity is the large amount of packages and utilities people created around it, allowing you to create virtually any project you can think of.

Top choice to enter the professional industry

React is the absolute best choice of JavaScript framework to increase your chances to find a job as a professional developer, and to future-proof yourself with an in-demand technology.

Reusable components

React approaches web interfaces by letting you create reusable components, which you can place across your app to save time and effort.

SEO friendly 

React is one of the best frameworks to let search engines index your web pages.

Cons of React

Harder to learn

Due to concepts like state management, lifecycle events and JSX, you may find React harder to learn compared to other frameworks like Vue. 


While this pain point has been greatly improved lately with the framework new docs, React’s documentation has been known to be of poor quality and being not always updated.

No strict conventions

React doesn’t force you to write code using a specific pattern. Hence, developers will write React code in different ways, leading to potential problems in large scale environments.

Components can get messy

Since React implements the component logic in the same place where they’re rendered, things can get messy pretty quickly, making components harder to understand. 


Angular is a JavaScript framework developed to create single-page applications using the MVC model (Model-View-Controller), meaning you will have a logical separation between the presentation part and the logic part. 

While this framework is still used by 19% of professional developers, the releases of React and Vue casted a shadow over it, with new developers preferring to learn React thanks to its widespread use and work possibilities, or Vue for its simplicity.

We’ve created a full comparison of Angular vs React for you to learn more about the differences between them.

Pros of Angular


The MVC model offers a classic separation between view and logic, exactly as you would find it in HTML and JavaScript, making Angular familiar to new devs.

Lots of features

Angular provides a ton of features straight out of the box, from routing to state management. 

Cons of Angular

Complex to use

Due to its complexity, Angular is more complex to learn compared to its peers React and Vue.

Not so widespread anymore

With the release of React and Vue, Angular is not so widespread anymore, with React being a much better choice to find a job as a developer.

You must learn TypeScript

To use Angular, you’re forced to use TypeScript, which adds a further learning curve for new developers.


Screenshot of the Vue JavaScript framework homepage.

Developed in 2014 by Googler Evan You, Vue.js is an open-source lightweight framework which allows you to create web applications with ease and great performance.

Despite Vue.js being significantly smaller than React and Angular, it gained progressive popularity in the last few years.

This is thanks to its ease of use and great documentation, which make it an amazing choice for beginner developers to jump into the world of JavaScript frameworks.

Pros of Vue

Easy to learn

Thanks to its simplicity and its use of HTML templates, Vue has a much more progressive learning curve than Angular and React without requiring you to learn JSX or TypeScript to use.

Great documentation 

Vue has an amazing, extensive documentation, whose authors keep updating and curing to give developers the best experience possible while using the framework.


With a size of just 18kb , Vue is an extremely light framework that will help you create highly performant web applications.

Can be integrated into existing apps 

Apart from being used as a framework to create an app from scratch, Vue can be progressively integrated into an existing web application without any troubles in creating new components.

Great for beginner JavaScript developers

To build their first complex apps using a framework.

Cons of Vue

Less plugins and libraries

Compared to its more mature peers Angular and React, Vue offers a significantly smaller number of additional plugins and libraries, which may be limiting to some developers.

Overly flexible

Vue offers great flexibility for developers to adopt their preferred patterns to write code. This approach can create significant problems since there can be “no best way” of writing Vue code, leading to different parts of the code being written in completely different ways.


Contrary to most other JavaScript frameworks on this list, Node.js is not technically a framework, but a backend environment in which you write JavaScript.

This tool is widely adopted by millions of developers around the world, standing once again as the number one web technology on the 2023 Stack Overflow Developer survey.

Today, Node.js is loved by thousands of companies, thanks to its robustness, speed and ease of use, with a huge community of developers supporting it, making this framework the best choice for you if you want to jump into the backend side of web development.

Pros of Node.js

Based on JavaScript

Allowing developers to switch between frontend and backend code easily.

Huge community of developers

With a large and vibrant dev community online, learning how to use Node as well as troubleshooting it are simpler.


Thousands of companies are always looking for backend developers who can use Node effectively.

Fast and efficient

Thanks to its optimized JavaScript V8 engine, making it a great choice for large scale applications. 

Cons of Node.js

Prone to callback hell

A situation referred to as “callback hell” can happen in Node, when the way the code is written to carry out tasks makes it confusing and difficult to understand, like a puzzle.

Hard to master

While it is incredibly useful and key for any ambitious JavaScript developer who wants to become full-stack, getting a good handle on Node.js can take time. A good mentored JavaScript bootcamp or course can really help in this respect.


Node is single threaded by nature, This factor can lead to challenges in handling CPU-intensive tasks and might require additional techniques to manage concurrent operations effectively.


Excerpt from the Express.js JavaScript framework homepage.

Express is a powerful JavaScript framework for Node.js. 

It provides a set of features to build backend APIs like routing, middleware management and request handling. This framework is often the foundation of building backend applications and it’s currently used by thousands of companies worldwide.

Pros of Express

Large community of developers behind it

As with Node itself, a thriving and dedicated community will make your life easier when learning and applying Express.

Great opportunity to find jobs as a backend developer

Having Express in your toolkit will really help increase your employability, opening up working as a backend developer.

Rapid development

Thanks to its great amount of features, Express will help you develop backend applications quickly and efficiently.

Cons of Express

Harder to master

Similarly, becoming fully proficient in Express can take some time and perseverance.

Potential security issues

Many users of Express have reported problems with the security integrity of some applications built using it.


Screenshot from the Svelte homepage.

Svelte is a modern framework used to create web applications. 

Unlike its competitors, Svelte approaches creating interfaces in a unique way, compiling your components into highly optimized JavaScript code, instead of interpreting code during runtime. This results in amazing app performances and small bundle sizes, eliminating the need for a virtual DOM.

Pros of Svelte

Efficient performances
Small bundle size
Great learning curve

This is thanks to Svelte’s easy syntax.

No virtual DOM

Removing a big overhead of knowledge you will need to gain.

Simplicity and readability

Cons of Svelte

Limited adoption

Despite its many pros, Svelte is still an emerging technology, with limited job postings and a community dedicated to it.


While Ember has never found true, large-scale success like other frameworks, I still mention it here, as many high profile companies like Netflix, Twitch and Linkedin are using it as part of their platforms. 

Pros of Ember.js

Great documentation
Reinforces structure

meaning all Ember apps will have the same structure, making it easy for devs to jump between projects.

Built-in CLI

used to debug your projects, install dependencies and set up new projects.

Cons of Ember.js

Steep learning curve:

compared to tools like React or Vue.

Not so popular:

Compared to its competitors, Ember suffers in popularity and, consequently, you will find less job opportunities for this framework.

Highly opinionated

Ember enforces a “best way” of using the framework, which you will need to learn and come to terms with if you want to use the tool.


Excerpt from the Next.js JavaScript framework homepage.

Next.js is a modern JavaScript framework built on top of React. This tool extends modern React features, and adds new ones to create highly-performant applications, like server-side-rendering and automatic static optimization.

Next has found great popularity in recent years, and I see it progressively becoming a new standard for React developers to create their apps.

Many companies are also adopting Next as the tools support better SEO, faster development and performance optimizations are hard to ignore for large organizations, making Next.js a great choice for existing React developers.

Pros of Next.js

Great for SEO

Thanks to its capability for server-side-rendering, building in Next scores well with search engine crawlers, boosting your pages on Google.

Build hybrid apps

Allows devs to create static apps that behave like dynamic ones.

Great for job hunting

More and more companies are turning to Next for their React projects, making it a very attractive JavaScript framework for job hunters.

Build React apps faster:

This is thanks to all the features Next offers.

Large community surrounding the project

Next has a thriving community of devs around it, with multiple resources you can use to build amazing apps for your portfolio.

Cons of Next.js
You will need to learn how to create React apps using Next.js

Thought you could avoid having to learn React first? Not quite.

No built-in state management

Next.js lacks a pre-built system for handling changing data, which is called state management. As a result devs must choose and implement their own method, which can be more complex but allows customization to suit specific project needs.

A developer sits in a wheelchair coding on his laptop in his home office.

3. Getting started with JavaScript frameworks

Many people who want to learn a JavaScript framework make the error of jumping straight into one, without making sure to have a rock-solid JavaScript foundation first.

If you want to gain the ability to master any framework, first you need to become really good at JavaScript. In the end, these frameworks are just additions to the language itself. New technologies come and go constantly, and it’s only with a great foundation that you will be able to tackle any new tool with ease.

If you need a course that will make you great at JavaScript as well as several of its frameworks, you can enroll in our Full-Stack Web Development Program, where you’ll be able to build the ideal knowledge from start to finish to be able to create amazing web applications, and finally become a professional web developer.

4. JavaScript framework FAQ

What are the JavaScript most famous frameworks and libraries?

According to the 2023 Stack Overflow Developer Survey, the most famous JavaScript frameworks are React, Node, and jQuery.

Do people still use jQuery?

Yes, jQuery is still used on millions of websites thanks to its popularity then it was released in 2006, making it the most popular JavaScript library in use in the world.

5. Where to go from here?

In this article you’ve learned about the different JavaScript frameworks, and the role they play in the modern web development scene. Now, you’re ready to pick the best choice for you and start developing your first project using a framework.

If you’re unsure about how to master JavaScript and need more guidance in picking a framework, we can do that for you. With their Full-Stack Web Development Program, CareerFoundry teach you JavaScript inside-out, as well as several of its frameworks, jumpstarting your tech career.

A solid knowledge of the basics of JavaScript as well as how to use frameworks will mean you’ll be ready to tackle any frontend framework that will arise in the future.

If you’d like to learn more about JavaScript and coding in general, check out these articles:

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