Fullstack Academy: Week 5

Being a coding bootcamp student is great because we’re trained in three months to get a job making an average of $80,000/yr. One of the downsides is that the program is so short we don’t have time to understand why certain libraries (e.g. React, Redux) are so useful. React was the focus of this week’s curriculum. It is clearly easier than using vanilla jQuery, but I can’t help feeling like I can’t really appreciate its benefits. But I should probably just be grateful that I get to start this career with all these great tools.

Anyway, what is React? React is a Javascript library that makes building UIs much easier. Instead of using jQuery to get a specific DOM element and updating it when there’s an event or property change (and wiring up everything that could possibly change individually and having ), you just re-render the DOM every time. This sounds unthinkably inefficient, but React figures out which specific parts of the UI need to change and re-renders only those elements. Since Javascript is faster than the DOM, this turns out to be much more performant.

React is also much simpler to write. You end up writing a lot less code, and it’s more declarative, or more about what you want to do, not how it needs to be done. You divide your UI into little pieces called components to be reused wherever you want. With the Redux library, you can separate data management and the view to make your code even cleaner. And the bigger the app, the greater the benefits.

Or so I’m told. I’ll see for myself how ‘easy’ it is in senior phase, which is coming up soon.