ReactEurope interview #15: Sebastian McKenzie

Patrick Aljord
2 min readMay 18, 2015


There goes our 15th interview with Babel.js creator, the amazing Sebastian McKenzie. Babel.js has turned into the prefered ES6+ transpiler for many in the JS community and especially in the React world since Babel.js supports JSX natively.

At the conference, Sebastian will be talking about Improving Your Workflow With Code Transformation, the conference is a month away from now so if you haven't gotten your ticket yet make sure to do so here. Here’s the full interview:

Tell us a bit about yourself, where are you from, what do you do?

I’m a developer from regional Australia. I’ve been doing web stuff (albeit in Dreamweaver and Frontpage…) for as long as I can remember and have only recently began delving into the internals to discover what makes things tick. I currently reside in London doing JavaScripty things for Cloudflare.

What were you using before React?

jQuery (ducks for cover). Managing state and toggling between classes and styles was no fun at all let alone trying to deal with multi-level components.

What made you switch to React?

I accidentally added JSX support to Babel somehow (don’t ask) and I was dedicated to backwards compatibility.. so I figured I may as well learn it. Coming from a mainly backend role React is the nicest experience working with frontend that I’ve encountered.

What’s your greatest react projects, open source or not that you’d like to tell the world about?

Babel ( is my main thing right now. It’s an JavaScript compiler that supports future standards. It also includes Flow, JSX, React support out of the box so there’s no reason not to try it out! I’ve also contributed to the Reactification of KeystoneJS ( which is a Node CMS and Web App Framework which you should also check out if you’re suffered at the tyrannical madness of existing CMS’ (I’m looking at you Wordpress).

What do you expect from the conf?

To learn and be inspired by some super amazing and smart people. Also hoping to finally put a face to oh so many names.

Anything else you want to tell future attendees?

Have fun!

There you go, you now know a bit more about Sebastian and hopefully you will be able to meet him personally at the conf.

If you haven’t done so, make sure to grab your ticket to the conference before they’re all gone and see you there!

Make sure to follow @ReactEurope on Twitter to get the latest news about the conference and interviews.



Patrick Aljord

Hacker, organizer, cheese eater.


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