How to Learn React.js

What is React.js? In short, it is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces. It enables a user to create complicated UIs from small pieces of code called components, which work by translating raw data into rich HTML. 

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React uses a declarative paradigm. It enables a user to learn the language once but write it anywhere, meaning it’s highly transportable and versatile. React uses a declarative model that makes code more predictable and simple when it comes to bug fixes. 

React is responsible for both the Instagram and Facebook apps. It was originally developed by Jordan Walke at Facebook in 2011 and later rolled out to Instagram. It has since become open source though Facebook still works on its development. 

What Is React.js Used for?

React helps build seamless user interfaces (UIs). React uses a virtual programming interface called a DOM (Document Object Model) to more easily re-render browser components. This render method results in quick, efficient updates

React can also use node.js or a React-Native offshoot for use on iOS and Android devices. It can be rendered in the server, browser or on native components. It’s particularly helpful when data changes over time. You can develop within React without having to rewrite existing code. In addition to working well with existing technologies, it also interfaces with various libraries and frameworks. 

Unlike many web applications, React doesn’t use templates. Instead, it builds UIs with components. Using components enables abstractions to be built, essentially reducing the complexity of the interface for the user. Components can also make it easier to maintain markup and protect UIs from vulnerabilities. 

React makes changes to data really simple. Unlike a traditional JavaScript application, where data needs to be manually changed in the DOM to keep it up to date, React does a process called reconciliation where the system finds changes in data and makes recommendations for how it should look. This rendering is neither a string nor a DOM node.  

What Do I Need to Know Before Learning React.js?

React is a JavaScript library that makes web development more simple. These technology and education prerequisites may help you learn React.js quicker. 

  1. Know computer programming fundamentals. React is a JavaScript library so a basic familiarity with both HTML and JavaScript are crucial. It’s also important to have a basic understanding of the DOM.
  2. Have a foundational understanding of programming concepts. Understanding basic programming concepts like functions, arrays, objects and classes is useful. 
  3. Install the right technology. Make sure to have node.js and npm installed. This guide will help you learn more about how to install them.
  4. Try thinking in React. This resource created by reactjs.org is often credited with helping React “click” for students by allowing students to build components and applications with React.

Tips and Strategies for Learning React.js

If you are interested in starting up the learning process and don’t know where to start, there are a few options to consider. Whether it be starting with online self-study or joining a community, these tips and strategies can help support any student learning React. 

Find free resources. Online forums, tutorials, classes and blogs can offer the knowledge needed to gain an elementary understanding of React. Reactjs.org is filled with great information and resources, including the official React tutorial. Another great resource, Stack Overflow, is one of the best resources for questions on learning a programming language

Try a bootcamp. Bootcamps offer a convenient way to learn React concepts and tend to last a week to multiple months. Because there are full- and part-time bootcamps, you can choose one that works with your schedule and learning goals. From a React.js bootcamp, you may learn how to create projects from scratch. 

Join the community. Some people learn best from their peers, especially those that are learning React as well. There’s a community of millions of developers using React and many of them share useful information about learning and contributing to the language. A list of reputable React communities is listed on Reactjs.org. Another benefit of getting connected with the React community is the constant need for help with documentation and bug fixes as this open source framework allows anyone to work on its development. 

Stay informed. It may be important to stay in the know as the language evolves so that you only learn what is most relevant to your interests. Visit the official React blog for updates, resources and announcements. Already in its 17th iteration, React constantly gets updated. The blog is one of the best resources out there for updates on new generations of React as they roll out. 

Frequently Asked Questions

This section will answer some commonly asked questions about React. In addition to a foundational understanding of JavaScript, students may want to learn a variety of computer programming languages. To get an overview, read how to pick the right programming language for you to learn

Can I teach myself React?

Aspiring programmers can try learning React.js online through self-study as there are a number of places to learn the coding language and how it functions. A few resources will help with the process, beginning with reactjs.org. It can also be helpful to consult forums, articles, video tutorials or take a class. More advanced developers often share useful insights about learning React. Once you’ve learned React, you may consider contributing to the massive open source React community.

Is it easy to learn React?

React is relatively easy to learn if you already have a JavaScript background. For those without it, it’s possible that more foundational knowledge may be needed to create efficiencies in the learning process. 

Some users begin by doing a simple task like adding interactivity to an HTML page and build to more complex tasks like building React-powered apps. React appeals to both theoretical learners and practical ones. Reactjs.org offers a practical tutorial and one where you can learn concepts step by step. Like all new technology, there’s a learning curve to React. However, many learners find that the concepts begin to click with some practice. 

How long will it take to learn React?

The time it takes to learn React will vary depending on the student and their chosen course of learning. Some choose to accelerate their learning through fast-paced study while others choose slower modules. Those that dedicate more time or effort into self-study may find that they learn results quicker, though it truly does depend on the learner. Some students begin by applying React to a simple HTML page and later use it to build out complex projects like apps.

Last updated: February 2021