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React JS Technology- A Comprehensive Guide to What, Why, and How

React JS Technology – The What, Why, and How of it

React JS has proven influential in developing next-gen applications. Here’s how you can master it with ease. ...

We saw React JS becoming a major player in 2023 in developing applications for both the web and smartphones. Given the surge in online businesses and the tools they require, it’s become a lot of fun to work on front-end applications, and this is probably the very reason why React JS has gained the popularity it has. 

If you’re just getting started with creating dynamic front-end applications, learning React is essential. The method we are about to describe is the simplest way to learn React JS in 2023, whether you are a beginner or previously familiar with Javascript. 

Let’s dive right in! 

React JS and its Core Concepts 

React JS is essentially a Facebook-created JavaScript library that is freely available to the public. Its goal is to reduce the complexity of creating user interfaces for web-based software. Unlike Angular, which is a comprehensive framework, React is narrowly focused on one aspect of web development: the user interface. Because of its narrow concentration, it is both very effective and extremely adaptable. 

The idea of “components” is central to the React framework. Components can be seen as the foundation upon which your user interface rests. You can reuse and combine different components to build sophisticated user interfaces for your online application. Your code will be more manageable, and developer communication will be easier thanks to our component-based design. 

Why React JS Matters in Modern Web Development? 

In today’s web development world, React JS is essential. An open-source JavaScript library, it facilitates the creation of intuitive user interfaces for websites. 

Here’s why React JS holds such significance: 

  • The core concept behind React is modularizing your user interface into independently deployable pieces. As a result, your code will be more organized, easier to update, and more scalable.
  • To make rendering and updating your app’s state faster, React employs a Virtual DOM. As a result, everything runs more efficiently, and the user has a better time.
  • React is now more than just a fad in the tech world; it’s the gold standard. Being able to utilize React is a significant skill for job searchers because it is used in the tech stack by many top firms and startups.
  • Among the many included tools and libraries are the state management library Redux and the routing library React Router. With this ecosystem, development is simplified, and your possibilities are expanded. 

Why is React JS so Popular?

There’s a good reason why React has become so widely used among web developers in recent years. Here are some of the reasons why it has grown so popular for creating interfaces: 

  1. There is a large and active group of programmers working on React. This means that there is a plethora of materials, guides, and open-source projects available to help you along your learning path.
  2. The fact that React was developed and is still actively maintained by Facebook bodes well for its dependability. It is heavily utilized within Facebook’s own products, guaranteeing its durability and continuous development.
  3. The modular design of React makes it easy to reuse code. In addition to being more efficient, this also results in more readable and easier-to-maintain code.
  4. The Virtual DOM is largely responsible for React’s speedy results. It handles updates and renders extremely quickly, which makes for a more pleasant experience for the user. 

Let’s now head straight to learning React in the best and most efficient way possible. And to do that, we will follow a few steps that will help us reach our end goal. 

Step 1: Prerequisites for Learning React

To ensure a pleasant React development experience, it’s important to be familiar with a few prerequisites of tools and technologies before going deep.

1. Basic Knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript

Before diving into React, it’s important to have a firm grasp of the following three pillars of web development: 

  • HTML (HyperText Markup Language) 

This is the language used to build the framework for websites. It’s important that you’re familiar with HTML tags, elements, and attributes. 

  • CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) 

Good-looking web pages are the result of using CSS. Developing aesthetically pleasing React applications requires knowledge of CSS rules, selectors, and how to style elements. 

  • JavaScript 

Interactivity on the web is made possible via the computer language JavaScript. Experience with JavaScript is required, namely with the concepts of variables, functions, and event handling. 

2. Text Editor or Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

You’ll require either a text editor or an IDE to get started with React. Tools like this make it easier to write, revise, and structure your code. Several well-liked choices are as follows: 

  • Visual Studio Code (VS Code):

This open-source text editor is popular since it is free and because it has many useful features and extensions. It’s the go-to option for many programmers. 

  • Sublime Text:

Quick and easy to use, Sublime Text has become a popular text editor. Many programmers use it because of its flexibility and small footprint. 

  • Atom:

GitHub has created a free and modifiable text editor called Atom. It’s easy to use and has a robust community of programmers backing it up. 

  • WebStorm:

Web development is a breeze with WebStorm, a robust IDE made for the task. It has sophisticated tools for working with React and debugging JavaScript.

3. Node.js and npm (Node Package Manager)

React relies on Node.js and npm to manage dependencies and build projects. Node.js is a JavaScript runtime that allows you to run JavaScript on the server side, while npm is a package manager that simplifies the process of installing and managing libraries and tools. You’ll need to install both Node.js and npm on your computer to work with React.

4. A Modern Web Browser

To develop and test React applications, you’ll need a modern web browser. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari are commonly used browsers that offer developer tools for inspecting and debugging your code.

Step 2: Set Up Your Development Environment

Provide step-by-step instructions for setting up a development environment with Node.js and npm. 

Step 1: Install Node.js

  • Visit the Official Node.js Website: Start by visiting the official Node.js website at nodejs.org.
  • Choose the Right Version: Node.js offers two versions: LTS (Long-Term Support) and Current. For stability and compatibility, it’s advisable to download the LTS version unless you have a specific reason to use the Current version.
  • Download the Installer: Select the installer for your operating system (Windows, macOS, or Linux) and download it.
  • Run the Installer: Locate the downloaded installer file and run it. Follow the installation wizard’s instructions. You can generally accept the default settings unless you have specific preferences.
  • Verify Installation: To ensure Node.js and npm are installed correctly, open your command prompt or terminal and enter the following commands:

node -v 

npm -v

Step 2: Create a React App (Optional)

  • You can create a new React application quickly by using Create React App, a tool provided by Facebook. To install it globally, open your command prompt or terminal and run the command:

npm install -g create-react-app 

  • Once CRA is installed, you can create a new React app with a single command: 

npx create-react-app my-react-app 

  • Replace “my-react-app” with your desired project name.
  • Move into your project folder with this command:

cd my-react-app 

  • To launch a local development server and start your React app, run:

npm start 

Step 3: Build Real-World Dummy Projects

Learning React, like any other skill, benefits greatly from hands-on experience. While tutorials and courses provide valuable knowledge, applying that knowledge to real projects solidifies your understanding and hones your problem-solving skills. 

Learning React while experiencing things can help you in many ways. Here are some. 

  • You can put your React skills to use, reinforcing what you’ve learned in a practical context.
  • Building real projects boosts your confidence as a developer. It’s immensely satisfying to see your ideas come to life.
  • You’ll inevitably encounter challenges along the way, which provides opportunities for creative problem-solving.
  • Completing projects gives you tangible work to showcase to potential employers or clients. 

Project Ideas for Beginners

If you’re just starting, consider these beginner-friendly project ideas:

  • Create a simple to-do list application where users can add, edit, and delete tasks.
  • Build an app that fetches weather data using an API and displays it to the user based on their location.
  • Develop a personal portfolio website to showcase your projects and skills.
  • Create a recipe finder app that allows users to search for recipes by ingredients.
  • Build a blog site where you can write and publish articles.

Projects for Intermediate Learners

If you’re feeling more confident, try these intermediate-level projects:

  • Develop an e-commerce platform with features like product listings, a shopping cart, and user authentication.
  • Create a dashboard that displays social media analytics and statistics.
  • Build an issue tracker for software development projects, allowing users to create, assign, and track issues.
  • Develop a real-time chat application using technologies like Firebase or WebSockets.
  • Create a task management system with user roles, project assignments, and notifications. 

Resources for React Updates

To stay current with React in 2023 and beyond, consider following these resources:

1. Official React Blog:

  • The React blog is an authoritative source for announcements, release notes, and in-depth discussions on React’s latest features.

2. Podcasts:

  • Tune in to podcasts like “React Podcast” and “The React Native Radio” for insightful discussions and interviews with React experts.

3. Social Media:

  • Follow React’s official social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for quick updates and announcements.

4. YouTube Channels:

  • Channels like “The Net Ninja” and “Academind” regularly post React tutorials and updates.

5. GitHub Repositories:

Key Takeaways 

React is useful whether you’re just starting out in web development or are an established professional trying to round out your knowledge. It’s time to take your first step into the world of React now that you have a plan, resources, and insights to help you. 

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Ahmad Jamal

Ahmad works as a content writer at Mavlers. He’s a computer engineer obsessed with his time, a football enthusiast with an MBA in Marketing, and a poet who fancies being a stage artist. Entrepreneurship, startups, and branding are his only love interests.

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