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Thoughts on React JS from .NET developer — 3— bootstrap

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I continue my React JS journey, and I keep journaling it here. This time, I will talk about CSS and Bootstrap, and how I ended up here. So much of these things are interconnected, and each of these things in turn have other dependencies. Let’s jump in.

This a sequel to my previous post, Thoughts on React JS from .NET developer — 2 — deprecated

Tech Stack Connecting Dots

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My journey so far.

  1. I realize that I need to branch out of .NET and the microsoft ecosystem.
  2. More importantly I need to up my front end game, because, as of now, the front end game simply does not exist as part of my skill set.
  3. I choose to go with React JS, instead of Angular or Vue JS. I specifically avoid Angular. Read — ASP.NET MVC and Angular — The Marriage-When and How?
  4. I also discover the benefits of Next JS. I needed an alternative from .NET to building backend software and do server side rendering. Next JS uses React JS as its rendering engine, and I am already investing time in React JS. However, if I am doing a headless CMS and API development, I discovered that Strapi is better than NextJS.
  5. I start doing some React JS, and build some API servers with Next JS/NodeJS/Strapi and Mongo DB + TypeScript. Things are going well. I find that, my knowledge of building back end stuff in .NET over the last 8 years is helping me here as well. The syntax, technology and other things might be different in Next JS/Node JS/Strapi but the fundamentals are the same. I pick up these things fast.
  6. However, I run into another roadblock. Unlike in the past, where I never had to tinker with UI (front end), now I am responsible for building UI in React JS. Unfortunately, I dont know UI. Previously, any project I worked on, the UI was already built and I only had to maintain it. Further, if there was something new to be built, the client would simply hire a UI guy for a few hours or days, and the UI guy leaves while I continue my work.

Enter CSS, Bootstrap and Reactstrap

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I am slowly beginning to realise the full extent of the skills I need to pick up, to become a full stack developer, again. (note : that is the point of this blog post series. Me losing my full stack developer title, and now trying to regain it).

It all boils down to CSS and Bootstrap. Since I have married myself to React, the react version of bootstrap, reactstrap becomes the weapon of choice.

This is where I am reminded about the constant flux the software industry remains, pushing developers to constantly update themselves. With minimal UI skills, I was able to survive and make decent money as a full time freelancer for 8 years.

Now, as the industry pushes for more and more from less (a single developer has to know everything from backend to deployment to testing to front end to feeding horses to launch a spaceship to identify UFOs to speak Dothraki to…it never ends), I can no longer happily focus on building backend stuff.

Final Note

So, as I type this, I am now relearning CSS, bootstrap and react strap. That’s where we are with my journey into reclaiming my ‘full stack’ developer title.

I work as a full time freelance software developer and coding tutor. Hire me at UpWork or Fiverr. My personal website is here. I also have a Podcast. Thanks for reading.




I have been tutoring for a while now. I write some quick tips, tutorials and related topics here.

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