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20 Things You Must Learn Before Writing Your First React App

There’s no queston that React has taken over web development in 2016. Startups are popping up left and right and choosing React for its speed, consistency, and license.

I’ve written extensively about React in the past, and it’s happily situated itself as my go-to framework for prototyping an idea quickly and easily. I have used it for over three dozen web applications, only half of which have been later rewritten in Ember.js.

Still, there’s one thing about React that’s always bugged me: how many technologies we must learn before even writing our first component. Coming from a world where $.ajax would practically write your application for you, it may be troubling for beginners to see that in order to use React, they must get comfortable with all of the following:

  • JavaScript
  • ES6
  • Babel
  • JSX
  • Webpack

And if we want to make our application look nice, we have to also learn:

  • CSS
  • SASS
  • Less
  • ES6
  • Post.css

What if you want to host this app somewhere? Well now you also need to know:

  • Node.js
  • NPM
  • AWS
  • Yarn
  • ES6
  • Express
  • Koa.js
  • Promises
  • Lambda
  • Ruby on Rails

At this point we can confidently display the text “Hello, world!” to our users, but it requires the knowledge of thirty different technologies to do so! Not all websites are “Hello, world!” though. What if we want to store user data, or start sending our users emails? In order to this with React, we now need to know:

  • MySQL
  • Git
  • Firebase
  • MongoDB
  • ES6
  • AWS
  • Yarn
  • Grunt
  • Gulp
  • jQuery
  • Linux
  • Bash
  • CLI
  • Cloud
  • MongoDB
  • Stripe
  • Mailchimp
  • React
  • XCode
  • ReactNative
  • Tablet computing
  • AJAX
  • CSRF
  • Microsoft Office
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1⁄2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 3⁄4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Mix butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar and eggs thoroughly in a large bowl
  • Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl
  • Blend dry ingredients into butter mixture
  • Chill dough, and chill an ungreased cookie sheet for about 10–15 minutes in the fridge
  • Meanwhile, mix 3 tablespoons sugar, and 3 teaspoons cinnamon in a small bowl
  • Scoop 1 inch globs of dough into the sugar/cinnamon mixture
  • Coat by gently rolling balls of dough in the sugar mixture
  • Place on chilled ungreased cookie sheet, and bake 10 minutes
  • Remove from pan immediately
  • Cool for 10–15 minutes and enjoy

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