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You should use React in your next prototype

Grant Leadbetter
Aug 19, 2018 · 2 min read

It’s easy to use, great for prototyping, very modular and super configurable.

React is super easy to use because it’s javascript. A large percentage of developers on the web at the minute all use javascript. Out of the available libraries and frameworks spawns react. It’s one of the most popular front end libraries. You’re wondering why this is important. It’s important because these facts mean react has a lot of resources and a lot of people to help. It means it’s easy to learn react because if you google, “How to learn react” you get a lot of results. This is perfect because if you’re fleshing something out in a prototype you might hit a brick wall. You can rest assured that the developer community will help you solve your problem.

React gives you flexibility which is exactly what you need when you’re working on an MVP. You don’t know what parts of the app will stay and what parts will go. That doesn’t matter because everything in React is components, you can remove components. You can keep the components you need. You can reuse components. You can have boilerplate that outlines the structure of a component. That same boilerplate means creating components is fast and easy. This is perfect for prototyping. These things mean your code is consistent and easier to maintain. Another benefit you get with how modular react is, is that it’s easy to test. Now granted there are other things that come into play with testing. How tightly coupled your code is being one of them, but that doesn’t mean this benefit isn’t great. If your prototype makes it past the prototype stage unit testing it will be imperative.

What do I mean when I say it’s configurable? I mean you can pick and choose what you want to use with it. React is only the part that controls the UI, the rest you choose yourself. You want to write ES6? Cool, you don’t? That’s cool too. You want to manage your applications state? Great. You want to use styled components? You want to use inline styles? You want to avoid all that stuff? The choice is yours, don’t let it be overwhelming, see it for the positive it is. If you feel that the choice is overwhelming then don’t add something until you need it. If you know you need it but you’re overwhelmed by the number of options, pick the one with the most support. When I say most support I mean largest community to help you and provide guidance.

So if you hadn’t considered using react before I recommend that you pick it up for your next prototype and try it out, you never know, you might end up using it full time.

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