ReactEurope interview #16: Ryan Florence

Patrick Aljord
3 min readMay 21, 2015


Here’s our 16th interview this time with Ryan Florence. Ryan needs no introduction in the React.js community, if you’re using React.js you’re probably using some of his code already such as react-router.

Ryan has recently made the big decision to quit his job and start a company fully dedicated to teaching people React.js with his companion of fortune and unstoppable code writer Michael Jackson. We are happy they will be giving their first workshop outside of the US here in Paris so if you haven’t already, make sure to get a ticket for their workshop as very few are left.

At the conference, Ryan will speak about accessibility in a talk titled “Help! I can’t hear my web site!” . Here’s his full interview:

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

I’ve lived in outside of Salt Lake City, Utah most of my life, currently in South Jordan. I spend my time trying not to screw up my three kids, doing the dishes, hiking, mountain biking, playing music, doing church stuff, and injuring myself playing on a couple of football (soccer) teams. In-between all that I try to make some money with code and trainings (, help others with code, and work on open source.

What were you using before React?

MooTools -> jQuery -> Backbone -> Ember

I’m excited for Angular and Ember 2.0 though. I yearn for a world where I can’t decide between the front-end frameworks because they’re all awesome.

What made you switch to React?

I was messing around with ember data, and wondering why the data problem was so difficult. I realized it was because the rendering layer had big assumption about the objects I gave it, and that I needed to manage the state of those objects and their identities over time in order for the rendering to work properly.

That same week I was preparing my JSConf 2014 talk and they asked me to cover React in addition to the other topics I was planning on. In less than an hour I was sold. I realized that rendering in React made no assumptions about my data, I didn’t have to manage the state of objects over time or even keep the identity of them. I could write my code as a series of snapshots, rather than a flow of changes over time. It has been a fun and simple way to write programs for over a year now for me.

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

React Router is pretty awesome, but MagicMove probably brings the biggest smile to my face.

What do you expect from the conf?

When I think about the conference I only think about meeting Dan Abramov.

Anything else you want to tell future attendees?

Trolling has only the power to hurt.

There you go, you now know a bit more about Ryan 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.