Interview with Luna Ruan
One of the women at the heart of React
Luna is the newest member on Facebook’s React Core team (as of December 2019). In this interview, she talks a bit about why she chose React and balancing coding with being human. You can find her on Twitter as @lunaruan.
What do you do on the React Core Team?
I just joined the core team in the spring of 2019 as a front end engineer. I’m currently ramping up by working on simplifying React element creation and deprecating patterns surrounding that. In the future, I’ll most likely be working on concurrent mode and suspense.
I started working with React at Pinterest a few years ago, when we decided to migrate our front end to React. After the (fairly steep) learning curve, I realized that, at least for me, using React made web development a lot easier and a lot more fun. Because I enjoyed using React so much, it had always been a dream for me to actually work on the framework itself. I’m the type of person who always wants to know why or how something works, so it was really exciting to get the opportunity to actually work on core and get the opportunity to understand the internals of the framework I’d been developing on for so long.
How do you balance what you do with having a life?
I try not to work at home or on weekends. I moved out of the city recently, so I spend most of the weekend up in the city with friends. I also have an eclectic assortment of hobbies that prevent me from spending all my time at work.
What do you like to do when you aren’t hacking?
In my free time I like to read (poetry anyone?), ski, and dance. I used to do west coast swing a lot, but recently I’ve gotten more into pole dancing. I also recently got back from a six backpacking month trip in Asia, and I really want to do that again sometime soon!
What’s your workspace like?
Messy and getting steadily messier.
What’s a challenge you’ve overcome?
Something that has held me back in the past is having a fixed mindset. For a long time, I felt I wasn’t good at software engineering, and it affected my productivity and happiness at work. At some point, we were teaching web development to high schoolers, and we really emphasized that software engineering was something that anyone could learn to do with training and liberal use of Google. At the time, we were also talking about growth mindset at work, and it slowly dawned on me that if I wanted my students to believe that they could get better at web development, I should probably change my mindset well.