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They Made a Documentary about React

That’s right, a feature-length picture – The React Documentary. It’s worth a watch not just for finding out a little bit about the React framework itself, but also how it took a chance and also for how open source can help organisations understand themselves a little better.

As someone (like so many) who picked the wrong horse and initially bet on Angular in 2014 (dammit) and has come to React later, I’m finding I’m nodding my head a lot.

Back at the time, Angular (1.x) was more mature than React and with the backing of Google seemed like it would be a safe bet. Angular was complicated, though and esoteric. However, the biggest problem was that they did a complete rewrite from 2.x onwards and the speed of innovation plus breaking changes, plus performance becoming an increasing challenge made it an increasingly less popular choice.

React gets a lot of things right under the covers, but the learning curve is steep and often the documentation is surprisingly hard to google due to its various incarnations over the years.

The core message of the documentary helps in this case – React encourages atomic thinking (hence the symbol for React) – so if you want to move in small steps, encourage testing, composability and re-use – React is a no-brainer.

Getting Started With React

So where’s the best place to get started with React? How to Learn React in 2021: The 7 Skills You Need To Know gets a lot right about the core elements you need to succeed in React. Namely:

  1. Become confident with the core fundamentals of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  2. Learn React fundamentals and React hooks
  3. Learn to fetch data from both REST and GraphQL APIs
  4. Learn to style your React apps with a component library or utility class library
  5. Manage state in React with React context
  6. Learn a React router. In particular, react-router-dom
  7. Learn patterns for authentication in React

It’s worth reading this article and ensuring you have all of these basics covered and you’ll go a long way to building your first app in React.

I’ve really enjoyed my journey with React so far and encourage you to check out the documentary and find out how Netflix, among others, successfully bet on it.