Pivoting to React

I’ve been working on pushing myself to learn some new web development technologies, specifically the MEAN stack. I got into some MongoDB docs, some Express.js stuff and some Node stuff, but I wasn’t working too much on Angular. After a bit of research, I decided I’m pivoting from learning Angular to React.

Last year I did the codecademy course on Angular.js as an introduction to the framework and really liked it, but I found out soon after that a lot of that was going to be obsolete as Angular 2.0 would be launching soon.

I’m trying to push myself to learn technology that’s on the bleeding edge so my resume remains relevant but I was a little frustrated by my timing. I understand that the concepts I’ve learned will still apply, but I just want an experience that is stable. I have no doubt I will figure out Angular 2.0 and TypeScript eventually, but I’m busy and want something with a lower barrier to entry.

Choosing between Angular and React is like choosing between buying an off-the-shelf computer and building your own with off-the-shelf parts.”  – http://waracle.net/angular-vs-react/

This line of thinking made me want to build a small project with React and see what all the fuss is about. I don’t necessarily want to dive into Angular in it’s entirety yet, but a few new things here and there is definitely my speed.

I watched a  great tutorial  and started building my app.

I learn things best by doing and I’m not super fond of re-creating other people’s projects. I find I need a project I’m actually interested in to continue working on it, so I’ve combined one of my new hobbies, DnD (yup, I’m THAT nerd now), with learning React by building a spellbook app. It’s been done many times before, but never by me.

So far I’m liking the library. I’m not using Redux yet, and to be honest I don’t even know if I’m going to bother with it this project, but who knows, maybe after some more research I’ll see the benefit in using it in this app.

I’ve already learned so much about React, Node, and Webpack and I feel I’ve barely scratched the surface. I haven’t been this excited to learn about code since college. It’s refreshing to work with new code and see my progress.

I’ll post about the project and my work environment soon. Hopefully someone can give me tips and guidance as to what direction I should be going next in my learning.

If you have any good resources or anything helpful, please leave a comment!