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how difficult is it to master reactjs

How difficult is it to master React?

Is it difficult to master React? How difficult is it? My readers ask some of these questions to me through emails and other channels. I thought, a detailed write up about the same would be the best possible answer.

I have been working with JavaScript for over a decade now and with ReactJS from the last ~ 4 years. This is from my experience and what I feel about it.

First of all, there are a plethora of JavaScript libraries and Frameworks that are available today. No doubt there will be more coming in the next few years, In fact, some of them have already been making the rounds and I am particularly interested in SvelteJS and InfernoJS. They go much beyond than ReactJS and Virtual DOM. You may ask me why I am discussing all this. The reason is that before learning any Frameworks or Libraries, you need to know the core JavaScript language.

Learn the basics and concepts of JavaScript. Try out all the nitty-gritty of the language. JavaScript is a fun language to learn but can be weird at times. See a simple example below,

The first expression returns a concatenated string, whereas the second expression does an arithmetic subtraction and returns a number.

I would suggest learning the following,

  • Data Types
  • Basic programming – loops, conditions, etc
  • Functions in JavaScript – they are huge.
  • Objects – again they are huge
  • Object-Oriented Programming/ Prototypal Inheritance.
  • ES6 – the new JavaScript features such as spread operator, import/export, arrow functions, destructuring.
  • Component-based development – this is not a feature of JavaScript, but a methodology to break a large application into smaller blocks.

I may have missed something, but at least you will get some idea.

JavaScript is a high level, dynamic, single-threaded, interpreted, prototype-based, garbage collected, multi-paradigm language with a non-blocking event loop. There you have it 🙂 It’s not as hard as it sounds. Explaining all of these terms is a little beyond the scope of this answer. I will keep that for another tutorial.

Now coming back to the question – How difficult is it to master React?

It’s not hard to master React at all. As I mentioned you need to understand core JavaScript, ES6, Component-based development since React is all about divide and conquer i.e breaking your application into smaller reusable pieces. And then start learning React. The most important concept to learn and master will be state management and re-rendering, passing data, etc. Best way to learn React would be to follow the official ReactJS docs. That’s the source even I use to learn.

Along with coding you also need to learn how to,

  • debug your application – you can try the React developer tool extension for Chrome.
  • write tests – you can have a look at JEST, Snapshot testing with Enzyme, React Testing Library.

These are additional stuff and resources. So once you have some hands-on with React, you can expand your range. This will help you become the complete developer.

I hope you it is clear now. Cheers! 🙂

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