React: A blog post series about React development

One of the first things I wrote down in my notebook as I was planning or trying to figure out if there was enough stuff to write about to do this site was a React introduction. I know React fairly well, and have been working full-time with it for quite a while now. I’m not sure how many things there will be to write about React. But I assume there will be a few weeks with React related content.

I’m going to start with basics and then move on to more advanced topics and try to cover the different aspects one have to consider writing an React app. This will also be an excellent opportunity for me to learn the various parts of React I personally don’t use.

The goal at the end of this small or large series of posts will be that you know everything you need to know to build from small apps to large apps; with or without server-side rendering.

Learning React now and then

When I started to learn react I thought it was a challenge. Not because react itself is difficult, but because there was a lot of stuff surrounding it one had to know. It kind of reminded me about when I started to do web development back in the stone ages. “You need to know html, css, JavaScript, php, mysql”. And I just understood that I should learn all of it, without understanding what everything was or why I had to learn it.

The short version is that the react community is very good for better and worse to use the bleeding edge of new JavaScript features, even when they are in drafts stages. But I wasn’t familiar with all of the new ES6 features when I started to learn React. And when you finally understood what was going on, then you had to learn how to get webpack or browserify up and running. Looking through a million different config files trying to find a config that works.

What I recommend that you do today, if you want to learn React is to start with “create-react-app”. It is a very good package for starting a new react app without having to worry about anything but react. You might still want to learn how to configure webpack, but I don’t think you need so unless you have some particular needs or have a larger app. I have deployed smaller apps into production using create-react-app.

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