Speaker Interview: Gant Laborde — Chief Technology Strategist for Infinite Red

Gant Laborde, Chief Technology Strategist for Infinite Red

The second React Amsterdam Conference is only a few weeks away and we are presenting you a series of short interviews with the speakers of this years event.

These interviews offer personal thoughts and perspectives from some of the most interesting personas in the industry. We have selected people who run companies, drive projects, build products and contribute to Open Source.

We open the series with Gant Laborde, Chief Technology Strategist for Infinite Red. Gant is also a Worldwide Speaker, Published Author, Blogger, and Adjunct Professor focussed on React Native Mobile.

React Amsterdam: Gant, does the focus on modern technology stack help Infinite Red to acquire more clients?

Gant: Yes, absolutely. Open source and latest tech confuses business analysts around the world. We abandon technology at the drop of a hat and we give our new technology away for free. How could a system like that work? It does, and it works well. Clients mention our open source activity in sales calls. Charge forward into a better set of solutions when you really understand WHY you’re doing it. There’s something that we and our clients love about applying our process to modern tech. Just yesterday I got a photo from a past client who saw our name mentioned in a presentation. Both our clients and us feel proud.

React Amsterdam: What is it like to manage all-remote development team?

Gant: Tricky at first and then liberating. We learned how to work from our parents, our friends, and from TV. So all-remote doesn’t have a template like normal work, BUT it does come naturally. Working in a craft from your home is how the world used to work for people for thousands of years. Our CEO Todd Werth really helps people find their personal groove in that. Offices and cube-farms is the real fad. Once people find their way back to working in a way that makes them happy, they’re a pleasure to manage. After about 3 to 6 months of working remote, each person is fully aware how to be productive in an all-remote team.

Gant Laborde will be presenting Coding Mobile with the Pros at React Amsterdam 2017

React Amsterdam: Why do you bet on React Native?

Gant: We didn’t at first. We put React Native up against quite a few other solutions to figure out what works and more importantly what works for us. Before we backed React Native, we were the dominant force in a competing technology, RubyMotion. There was a lot of research that went into the paradigm shift of switching our tech stack. We had to see the speed and we had to see the developer experience. Our technology took a step back in order to step forward; we’re happy we did. React Native has the DX, the speed, and the transparency it promised. It even has the community, which is something we were worried about. JavaScript is notorious for having defensive, cold-shouldered retorts, but the React community is a shining light of friendly, scientific, and positive feedback. We’re at home.

React Native has the DX, the speed, and the transparency it promised.

React Amsterdam: How long do you think it will take for development community to switch from native code to JS when solving most product needs?

Gant: I can’t say that it will. Native will always have its place, and bare minimum technology like PhoneGap will always have its place. React Native finds itself taking from both sides. I can say that I think JavaScript will continue to grow, and without agitation is likely to one day have the lion’s share of mobile market, but I fear that agitation is inevitable. Companies will see what JavaScript/React Native did well, and they will adapt. The lessons learned will spawn new contenders that solve problems we haven’t even run into yet. One thing is for sure, the future of the product market will be exciting!

One thing is for sure, the future of the product market will be exciting!

React Amsterdam: How do you envision the next steps for React Native community?

Gant: Platforms and Stability. We’re going to see React Native test its limits with a wide array of platforms. React Native is the first to actually deliver the promise of “Learn once, write everywhere”, so people are going to see how far that can go. We’re already seeing React Native on Windows, Apple TV, Ubuntu, and MacOS. We’re going to see it on X-Box, VR, RedHat, and many more. This is going to put a strain on the community; how it’s handled is critical. Armageddon updates like RN 25 and 40, which break all 3rd party plugins will make more significant waves. React will power React Native which will power React Native <Insert Platform Here> which powers your app. This deep stream of dependencies bodes on communication, and documentation among disjoint organizations. If the community steps up and succeeds, this will be one of the most amazing interconnecting technologies ever written. If we fail, we will all have a front row seat at our own Tower of Babel.

We thank Gant for time taken to answer our questions and knowledge shared. At React Amsterdam 2017 Gant will be presenting his talk “Coding Mobile with the Pros” on our React Native track.

Let us know whom we should interview next! https://react.amsterdam/#speakers

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