When an Android developer goes full web mode

It’s been a while since our last article, but we have been busy diving into the world of web (and more than just googling). In previous posts, we were working with React Native and the journey of how we came up with our productivity tracker tool TicTok. Soon after release, we got feedback that many people tend to solely work with their laptops all day long. In those cases, a web application would often be much more convenient for their use. As always we here at Finlabs take our users opinions seriously and started hammering out a web application.

Since we have already had a little bit of experience of React and Javascript, the road from mobile React Native app and web React app was surprisingly easy. Of course, there were some rocks in our way, some small and some bigger. Biggest to mention was learning the usage of UI Framework. I chose Semantic UI React. I highly recommend using basic layouts and simple CSS, remember that !important will most likely be your best friend when overriding those framework default styles and make the app look they way you want. Don’t try to get too fancy unless you know exactly what you are doing, you might end up throwing your layout code to trash since the almighty IE doesn’t support some styles.

Development itself turned out to be quite the same. Many same top-notch libraries can be used with React apps e.g. Redux, moment and so on. The biggest difference for me was navigation. Don’t worry though, React Router and history are here to save you. Usage for common cases is fairly simple and examples cover those pretty good. Making the web application fully responsive to scale into tablets and mobile devices is a field into which I did not dig in yet. I am sure that will offer a lot of challenges and will be time-consuming. For setting up dev and prod configuration check out this awesome post: https://medium.com/@tacomanator/environments-with-create-react-app-7b645312c09d

As a conclusion, if you have previous experience of React Native and Javascript working with React web applications is totally in your field. And if you don’t have, just go for it. I can definitely say it will be interesting for you and will make you a better team member. Learning and working with different areas in software development is the best thing you can do. Don’t forget to check out TicTok web application and give us your thoughts what is the thing you want to see there.

Cheers and happy summer! 🏖🍦☀️😎

More About TicTok:

TicTok has been developed by Finlabs as an internal tool for the team to monitor and log the hours worked against tasks. By simply nudging the user through periodic push notifications, and asking them to log the tasks and time they have just been engaged in, results in a “set it and forget it” system allowing our users to continue their workflow uninterrupted log accurate timings that can easily be referred back to as needed.