Why we’re open sourcing our React Native app

Tom Goldenberg and Nicholas Alan Brown

React Native is the most exciting thing to happen to app development in years. By letting developers write smooth, responsive, and performant apps in Javascript, Facebook has made iOS and Android accessible to web developers in a whole new way.

Excited by the technology and about diving into mobile development, Nick and I designed and built Bhagavad Gita App, a simple yet beautiful experience for reading the popular Hindu text. Even though the project was fairly low-complexity, we were still surprised at how few good learning resources we could find for React Native when getting started.

In addition to founding the React Native NYC meetup to help support the rapidly growing community and provide opportunities for developers to learn from one another’s experiences with the bleeding-edge framework, we’ve decided to create a more complex demo app and a companion ebook tutorial to share everything we’ve learned.

Though I’ve outlined some of the “gotchas” we’ve run across in a previous post, there’s just so much more to share. Today, we’re open-sourcing our work-in-progress demo app, Assemblies, a Meetup clone themed for the developer community.

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Why a Meetup clone? We’ve both had good experiences learning from demo apps and guides for other frameworks, but inevitably you can only glean so much from a rudimentary todo list or social news app. Assemblies will feature geolocation, a real sample API, camera integration, messaging, notifications, complex navigation, animations, and more. We intend this to be the definitive example for learning how to build a production-quality app in React Native.

Now, the project is clearly still a work in progress, from the design to the code, but we saw no reason to delay making it public while we clean it up and put the finishing touches on the companion ebook. We’re excited by the opportunity to give back to the developer community that’s inspired us so much.

Great open source projects come through community collaboration, so we need your help to make Assemblies great! Please take a look at the use repo on GitHub, and feel free to log any bugs, requested features, or questions. We’ll be releasing the first version of the app in the App Store as well within the next month or so. If you want access to the TestFlight version, you can email me (Tom) at thomasagoldenberg@gmail.com.

The comprehensive tutorial, giving developers a full picture of how to create production-quality React Native apps, will follow soon after — please drop us your email at www.buildreactnative.com to get early access to the material!

Follow Tom at @tomgoldenberg and Nick at @nicholasalanb.

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Data Engineer @quantumblack. LinkedIn Top Voice in technology. Former CTO & co-founder @commandiv.

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