My Journey Into React.js

As I write this, my wife is in Portland on a business trip. I obviously miss her, but with my week of bachelor life, I’ve used it to start a journey into React.

As into JavaScript development as I am, I’ve seen React all over the place. I just never had a good opportunity to get into the nitty-gritty of it and see how it compares to Angular (although they are not exactly Apples to Apples). I’ve gotten to know Angular pretty well so that’s what my starting point will be.

I used this PluralSight course by Daniel Stern to get me started. There’s other “getting started with React” courses on PluralSight, but the full-stack nature of that one helped me grasp concepts faster. If you haven’t checked out PluralSight, please do. There’s some great screencasts on there.

Initial Thoughts

Gulp makes React development stupid easy. Combining Babel and Browserify allows me to use full ES6 features, while maintaining the require syntax of Node. I’ll be sharing my Gulp setup in a future post.

I’m enjoying how React does the ‘V’ in MVC, really well. It also allows you to bring in other libraries to fill the gaps. Angular kind of looks you into that ecosystem due to the digest cycle.

JSX is still something I haven’t totally came around on. Having markup defined inside my JavaScript code is something my brain hasn’t gotten used to. I can see though where the advantage is of keeping the actual display of that component close to the implementation.

 Long Way to Go

I hope to share more about my experiences with React in the future; the tumbles and the triumphs.

Do you have any tips on React for beginners? Are there any technologies that you’ve ran head first into recently? I’d love to hear from you.