React Rally Recap

This conference is one that lives up to the hype and it does so before breakfast!

React Rally was such an amazing and inspiring experience. From meeting the cheerful and welcoming React community to the out of this world presentations, there was never a dull moment. It was so action packed, I found myself heading to my hotel room for breaks just to settle down from the overload of epicness.

This being my first single track conference, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

My biggest concern was the loss of the “hallway track”. However with a 2 hour lunch each day and loads of activities, there was plenty of time to focus on the people and not just tech. This emphasis on people really turned the dial to 11. I was truly in awe by the organizers ability to masterfully balance of sessions and breaks.

This tweet embodied my immediate thoughts about this conference.

Not only do we share the same name and we share the same twitter feed.

This was also quite intimidating as I quickly found my self chatting with people that inspire me daily. It was a great reminder that we are all just people with similar interests.

Summarize allz the talks!

I highly recommend watching all of these talks; below I will try to summarize the impact each sessions’s impact on me in a sentence.

Day One

  • Michael Jackson kicked it off with module support and removing vendor bundles and leveraging the power of unpkg.com
  • Shirley Wu proved that vacation pictures can used for things way cooler than just posting on twitter, by extracting the colors into an awesome data visualization graph
  • Devon Lindsey’s talk exemplified how you can think of out of the box with internet of things as she described how your house can be automated once you walk through the door
  • Michael Chan expressed how easy it is to get caught in the hype of the latest trends/libraries and how using React can be as simple as it was when you learned it
  • Lin Clark continued to artistically make advanced topics approachable as she painted a picture of how WebAssembly can push the web further forward
  • Lunch — Squatters
I need to be better about pictures
  • Ben Ilegbodu not only woke me up from lunch but also got me excited for Fiber and showed how I could use it today
  • Bonnie Milián took us on a deep tour of neural networks and machine learning to depths I could never have fathomed
  • Nicolas Gallagher demonstrated how mobile is the true start for us to get to universal apps and that react-native-web could help get us there
  • Jana Beck shared with us the irony and history of the treadmill while also showing an innovative way to communicate with your eyes
  • Zack Argyle got me ready to work (work, work, work, work) with service workers and how to keep viewers awake for the last session

Day Two

  • Preethi Kasireddy reminded us of all the hardships it has taken to get where we are and that persistence is key
  • Evan Czaplicki talked about the birds and bees while he eloquently compared it to React and Elm to help show how common features could work toward different goals
  • Henry Zu taught me that amusing a room of developers is the same as entertaining my kids: all you need is butt jokes. I enjoyed how he showed the approachability of babel and how developers can use it to connect to TC39
  • Jennifer Van discussed building a React application with enterprise in mind and how to measure and improve while continuing to deliver quickly
  • Sean Larkin proved his love for webpack and the community goes well beyond his twitter profile. His energy on stage and during karaoke can only be captured properly in person
  • Lunch — J Dawgs
Like I said, I need to take more pictures
  • Cameron Matheson had me even more excited about GraphQL as he showed how to make it more performant and that throwing it over a REST service is doing GraphQL a disservice
  • Justice Mba used illustrations to analyze the process of setState and left a lasting message about how function updaters can help alleviate bugs in the setState batching process
  • David Khourshid presented how having only a finite amount of states and visualizing them can improve how you design and build your applications
  • Cara Keui showed me how to securely send messages between windows. postMessage looks like a much better developer experience than calling methods on window.opener
  • Max Stoiber opened with a message to all of us to fix our own problems and to always ask the question, “Can I open source this”; this was a great conclusion to the conference

These two days were an impactful, enlightening, and fulfilling. Each presenter brought passion, knowledge, and humor; and each night brought excitement, hilarity, and friendship.

A huge thank you to Jamison, Matt, and team, for putting on a spectacular conference. I look forward to next React Rally 2018!

If you are looking for a diverse and welcoming conference, look no further.

My biggest take away:

Open source needs help and we are all qualified

If you haven’t read it already I highly recommend Michael Jackson’s recap.

Always take a picture with someone wearing a green shirt

Kyle Welch is a senior developer with 10+ years of experience building, leading, and consulting on a wide variety of projects. His background includes work in the finance, product, marketing, and government industries. Currently, Kyle leads the front end team at the National Federation of Independent Business(NFIB) where he creates web applications with ReactJS and Node. Outside of work he helps organize NashReact and Nodevember. Find him on twitter, @kylewelch, where he talks about JavaScript, ReactJS, and other programming adventures.