At our company, Fifth Tribe, we launched this event called TekFeuds and our first event (iOS vs Android) was a great success. The concept of TekFeuds is to get debaters to present their argument in an educational and entertaining way engaging the audience whether they are a full stack engineer or a salesperson. Anyone and everyone can walk away with something.
My experience with React was simply watching Facebook Developer conference videos, and then playing around with it in building "Hello World" apps. Nothing substantial or in a real life production level scenario. On the other hand we have been using AngularJS on several projects in production. Our experience with it has been very positive and I am a big fan of it.
The debates are Oxford-styled, but honestly we did a really basic faux version of it. When preparing for it which was simply Googling and taking as much notes on a Google doc as much as possible within 30 to 40 minutes before the debate. I skimmed aounrd 10-15 articles on React. I then skimmed another 5 to 10 articles on AngularJS (some crticizing it). I took some notes (most copy and pasting nice one liners) to prepare for the debate.
When it came time to speak I felt more comfortable just freestyling and summarizing what I read. It worked out well in the end as the "judges" (my co-workers) said I won with style, but my fellow co-worker and debater won with substance. They say "substance over style", so I guess I lost. Either way it forced me to do learn differently of which I would never would have done otherwise.
Why one over the other
I had to come up with reasons why React is better a real life scenario. I never thought about frameworks in that way before. I usually picked what I was comfortable with and what I know can get the job done. Usually when it comes to changing or learning something new, it's usually because it looks interesting and appealing to me. I generally feel that many of these frameworks can more or less solve the majority of comapny's technological problems, but being part of this debate forced me to really prove why React is better than Angular.
My number one reason was for peformance for very large scale applications where the DOM has to handle a ton of data and it needs to be changed without interrupting the user experience. I said React does a better job of this with their virtual DOM than Angular JS.
My co-worker countered saying Angular is a full fledged system where as React wasn't necessarily as comprhensive like Angular. This caught the attention of the judges and I really didn't have an answer, because technically this is true. React focuses on the UI. It forced me to really think about how non technical companies look at frameworks and deciding what stack to pick when developing their application.
Technical stability for growth within a company's engineering team
How can you make money off React? Good question. What company's want to know when it comes to technology is how fast, secure and efficient can I build a product/application with a technology stack that will cost the cheapest. Are React developers cheaper or more expensive than Angular JS developers? Are server costs and bandwidth costs cheaper or more expensive of whether you choose React or Angular JS? These are some of the questions I was thinking about when I was preparing to debate. I didn't really have a strong answer. I basically said React would cost less for rendering lots of data in the browser thus reducing cost of bandwidth and servers. This is not backed by any actual concrete evidence. Again I only had around 30 minutes to prepare for this "mock debate".
Debating is fun and healthy
I had a lot of fun debating for React. After the debate was over I felt pretty good about what I had said. I may have lacked in substance but my style was good and it shows you that sometimes if you can deliver a point in an convincing matter you can bend the truth and facts. It's sort of like polticial debates.
Anyways the key point here is that debating can help you learn and understan a concept or topic from different angles and force you to cover all bases. Our debate was probably no longer than 10 minutes but it was a fun and new experience.
I look forward to particiapting in real debates in the future. Our company may be thinking about doing this more often with varying topics and have employees battle it out.