Why learn React?

It can be intimitating to decide what new technology to learn. I want to be intentional about it, so I put a lot of time into deciding where to focus. Most recently I decided that React was worth learning. If you haven't heard of React yet, it's a (super!) popular JavaScript framework developed by the team at Facebook. Here are a few reasons why I think it's worth learning:

1. It's super popular

React downloads

Take a look at this graph which shows React downloads v.s. some of the other popular JavaScript frameworks. People are voting React as the best framework by downloading it, so if you beleive in wisdom of the crowd you might believe there's something to it just by looking at this.

2. You can build anything!

Okay, not quite anything... but you can build apps for web, iOS, and Android with the same codebase. That's pretty amazing alternative to building and maintaining three different codebases, with three different languages and sets of tools to learn. Building mobile apps is made possible with ReactNative. As a bonus, by learning React you're also learning JavaScript, and JavaScript can be used for backend (Node.js, serverless), and even Desktop apps (Electron).

3. It performs

Some of the most impressively fast sites on the web are built with React. It uses what's called the VirdualDOM to only re-render parts of the page that are changing. The developer experience also performs. It's component based, which makes it easier to split up complex user interfaces. The React team is also working hard to make it even better. They recently released React Hooks, and React Context which dramatically simplifies building apps with React.

4. Lots and lots of educational content online

The React community is huge, and there is no shortage of awesome content online to learn React - from beginner to advanced. I really like that I don't have to search very hard to find really high quality content. The course that finally got me over the hump with learning React is actually free on Scrimba! And if you haven't tried learning on Scrimba, it's super cool because pausing the video at any point drops you into the real code in a browser IDE.

5. Lots of open source goodies

More people are using React, which leads to more innovation and a better developer experience. There are more and more awesome dev tools, templates, frameworks, packages, plugins, etc. being released every day. Anyone who jumps on the React bandwagon gets access to them.

6. More jobs/people to work with

More React developer jobs are posted every day than any other language or framework. For job seekers, that's great news. If you're looking to build a team, that's also great news because there are a lot of React developers out there to work with.

I've really enjoyed experiencing the power of React for myself. After jumping into it, I see why so many people are excited about it. It really does make it a lot easier to build awesome apps. Now let's go build some stuff!

Thanks for reading. I'd love to hear your comments and feedback.

©2021 Seth Ferguson