Why should you learn REACT now?

by Claire Polansky

So you are a web developer with one of the highest paying salaries on the planet right now and you want to keep your job— or find a better one. You might want to learn React and React Native, and now Create React Native which only came in early 2017. Tech moves fast, and you gotta keep up.

Learning a new Javascript framework in 2018 might seem like be a daunting task. You finally caught up with Angular, but now everyone has moved on to the next shiny new thing: React.

Facebook took a stronghold on social media, and now they got us in the front end development world.  We already know that the Facebook crowd is dripping with talent, especially when it comes to the user experience and interface. So if they create a new tool, by g-d, try it out at least.

But don’t worry. The tutorials are pretty straight-forward.

The Facebook team conceptualized React back in 2013 for an internal project and it has been steadily picking up since they released it as an open source library. They may have gotten snickers from naysayers, but they got everyone “rethinking best practices” when it comes to UX/UI development.

So I sat down with one of our developers, Ilya Radu, to get his opinion on React— and did a little homework on my own.  Here are the top reasons for adopting the React library into your developer’s toolkit.

Reasons to learn React today

1. The User-Interface meets Functionality in one go

If you don’t create a product that considers what the user sees and experience, the backend is nearly useless. You probably won’t attract. I doubt you will convert. You likely won’t close. And you certainly won’t delight.

That’s why the React team created a system that synthesizes the logic and view more succinctly.

In 2013, Pete Hunt pointed out at the JSConf-Conferences for the JavaScript community, that early adopters thought the framework focused on the V in MVC (Mode-View-Controller)— the front-end. Well, that’s partially true, but not exactly.

React combines HTML and JavaScript to advance styling and functionality so you can ensure an aesthetically pleasing, interactive product. They do this by combining backend logic and the frontend view into a single unit.

That makes sense to me, even as a coding hobbyist. Why expend so much energy with various frameworks that can do different things and juggle multiple files when you can efficiently put it in one place?

2. It’s easy and predictable

It is fairly easy to read and seems simple enough to learn. The React team describes the system as a declarative language, where you give the commands to the code, rather than the code commanding you. So if you remember some basic component classes or types, the “render” method will describe what you want — say your personalized staff roster.

And if something went wrong, no problem. Apparently, you can debug it pretty easily.

However, that is not as likely. The method is not hard-pressed, so there is flexibility to do it your way. But most people using React tend to use the JS syntax, an XML-like markup language that is easy for both humans and machines. That’s probably why people are boasting that it is SEO-friendlier too.(But pss, machines are getting smarter. SEO’s may shortly become a thing of the past).

3. It’s open source

Everyone shares everything these days thanks to social media. So why not share good code? Facebook could have been greedy little mongrels, but they offered their library up for the community. Now you can post and share code in Github and CodePen and even pull shortcodes for your site directly from other’s code. Go ahead. Join an open friendly community where you’ll build the app of your dreams.

4. It loads faster

Nothing is more annoying than a slow loading screen. Luckily that’s not a concern here. React loads in second.

5. State Changes are easy

Just like chemistry, the elements in your code are subject to property and behavioral changes. This is fundamental in UX. Because you need functional and visual hierarchies. Well, look how easy React makes it look to implement. A little line of code will output what you need.

There are many other reasons to learn React. Pipe in and tell us your thoughts.

Have a cool startup? Think you got what it takes to join a creative community?

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Author: Claire Polansky

I am a Jill-of-all-trades marcom specialist and high tech autodidact. I stay upstream with the rapidly moving high tech scene by excessively reading anything and everything. When I am not reading or writing, you can find me with my dogs on the beach basking in the Mediterranean sun.

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