I started my frontend journey with Angular 1.x, I briefly worked with jQuery but really I started With Angular and it was such a step up from Vanilla JS and provided some awesome reactive functions! I loved Angular I had got use to the syntax and was creating some pretty good reactive frontends and then... Google Killed Angular 1.x
I think I am in the stark majority of people who picked up Angular 1 as it promised a whole new take on reactive frontend development, the two-way data binding was the big selling point and it was great! Sure it didn't scale great and performance leaved a lot to be desired but finally we could create some really awesome frontends without a lot of overhead or monitoring numerous variables, Angular 1.x did pave the way for what we have now, it is just sad that Google had to drop it so hard and in came Angular 2.
Angular 2 promised to be an enterprise grade solution to the frontend, everything was in shiny TypeScript and Microsoft worked closely with Google to bring Angular 2 into Visual Studio along the same time as .Net Core 1 came about modernising the Microsoft stack greatly and proving to be a solid reason to adopt Angular 2 if you are looking for a solution like this. The issue was Angular 2 didn't really have anything to do with Angular 1.x and the jump was huge.
As a result it did splinter the community greatly a lot of people, myself included felt betrayed by Google and I was concerned if Angular 2 would even stick around considering how the first one was just dropped at the height of its use. I am sure this sharp pivot from Google also helped competitors React and Vue grab a foothold in the market and all of a sudden frontend development became a three horse race and to be fair it still pretty much is.
Coming from a highly structured frontend like Angular 2 React can be a tough sell, however it is no secret that React is the dominate frontend library/ framework these days and with Facebook actively driving it I honestly can't see it going anywhere anytime soon. What is nice about React is once you get the basics down it is actually really easy to work with and very fast in getting the desired results making it a create frontend library to work with for a whole range of situations.
When I first started React I was dubious I would like it, after a few months I got use to it and now after just over a year working with it I would say I am very happy to continue working with React, especially when TypeScript is used, and can see many of my future projects using React.