In this article, we are going to talk about ReactJS and how it is increasingly becoming the most popular library for front end development.
React works by changing the DOM of the page and renders any changes that are made to the DOM during the interaction/update of the page. These DOM changes can be done by a user or automatically by the system. It detects the changes made to the DOM and only updates those specific changes, this makes it fast for dynamic websites as only a small portion of the HTML code is changed without reloading the full webpage.
Developed while keeping speed in mind
Facebook is a dynamic website, and to load new content; it is not feasible to render the whole DOM repeatedly to make small changes to the webpage as it will slow down the entire website. React tackles this problem in a unique way; it keeps a “virtual DOM,” which is a copy of the actual DOM that is being displayed to the user.
Whenever a change is made to the actual DOM, React first changes the virtual DOM and then checks the difference between the actual and the virtual DOM. This helps in identifying the elements that are required to be re-rendered to the screen. It thus only updates the required elements, making it much faster.
The new way
React has popularised a whole new architecture of web application called Single Page Application. Earlier, the web page was loaded from Server, and anything you click resulted in a new request being made to the server, and the browser loaded a new page.
Single Page Applications, on the other hand, loads the webpage(HTML, CSS, JS) only once, and any further interaction with the app only loads the required data or performs an action on the server. This never reloads the whole application making it lighter on the server end as well as faster.
Gmail, Facebook, and Twitter are all examples of a SPA.
Web Development Landscape
We development have come a long way.
Earlier, one would have to learn multiple languages to make the backend and frontend and then make them work together. You would have to gain a lot of experience in both the domains to start building complex applications, but now things have changed a lot because of some sweet new technologies.
APIs for the rescue
Application Programming Interface (API) is a piece of code that defines a way for different components of the code to interact with each other. These codes can be owned by anyone and can be anywhere. It is an amazing way to separate the functionality of the code with its usability. APIs allow a programmer to create/update/read/delete data (CURD) without having to understand the way in which those operations are being done by the server.
APIs have become the most common way in which frontend applications now communicate with the server and exchange data. React makes use of APIs to the fullest, most of the interactions with the outside world is done using APIs, and thus it helps in truly separating the frontend code with the backend.
The rise of Node.js
The combination of these technologies changed the landscape of web development. It has now become a lot easier to become a web developer. Anyone can now start complicated web apps with enough practice. This is also one of the major reasons for the increase in the demand of web developers in the industry. As more and more businesses move online, there will be greater demand for coders and developers in general, and anyone looking to move into coding will find it easier to do so now than ever.
Let the data speak for itself.
Now let us look at what thousands of developers have to say about their next career choices. Hackerrank conducted a survey in which 116,000 developers responded. Here are the relevant insights from the report.
You are in demand
Across the company sizes, there is almost the same demand of frontend developers in the industry.
Also, with the increased popularity of Node. Frontend engineers can now even become backend engineers and transition into a Full Stack Development. This opens up massive opportunities for growth.
React overtaking AngularJS
The popularity of React has been growing year on year and is expected to take over AngularJS soon. The ease of learning and technical advantages offered by it are the reasons behind this trend.
Everyone is learning React.
React beats all the other frontend frameworks by a huge margin when it comes to learning it. A lot of developers are keen on hopping on the React train, which offers a whole new world of opportunities.
Where to learn it from?
Now that you are aware of all the reasons to learn React, here are some of the resources you should consider to learn it.
Code with Mosh
Mosh’s style of teaching is one of the best out there. He understands the exact problems that a student might face and teaches it right in the videos. He is very hands-on, and all of his courses are well made. With coding experience of more than 20 years, he is an amazing teacher.
The React course by Mosh is very simple, and he takes you through every aspect of the React library by building a real application that can be used in the real world. It is perfect for getting you to an Intermediate level from zero.
The Complete Guide
This course takes you through React in a very smooth manner. All the examples are well explained and implemented in the videos. The course gradually increases the difficulty as he takes the users through different ways to implement the same thing. This is a great course to start and get to an intermediate level.
For users who are more used to a guided environment, learning from a professor is the best possible way to do it. This course offered by HKUST is a top-rated course on Coursera and teaches you right from the basics.
Computer science aspects are also covered in the course so that you can think from the perspective of a good software developer who takes scalability, security, and all other aspects in mind while building a great website. The best part of learning from Coursera is that you earn a certificate at the end of the course. Coursera’s certificates add a lot of value to your Resume and can be of fantastic help in the career.
This nanodegree program from Udacity will give the required boost to your career. This course also includes React Native, which is a framework for Hybrid App development that can run on both iOS and Android systems.
The teachers of these nanodegree are highly skilled and have a lot of teaching experience. The degree also includes career support, which helps the students get a job in a good company. Technical mentors available throughout the course ease the learning experience.
YouTube is one of the best learning platforms in the world. For people who are looking to acquire free knowledge and make their life better, YouTube is one source that will never disappoint.
This tutorial series by Viswash takes you through React from very basic. It is a good tutorial for beginners, after which they can advance to intermediate courses.
React For Beginners
reactforbeginners.com creates a full web application from scratch while teaching this course. He also teaches you how to deploy the app on Netlify.
Wes, the instructor, takes his students from every aspect of a real-life app, including animation and design. This sets the course apart from the others. It shows a beginner everything and teaches enough to go out there and dig deeper.
Full Stack Development
For users looking to go “all in” into full-stack development and build a whole application using React, Node, and JS, then this Master Program by Edureka is perfect for you. The program takes you through all the concepts one by one and then stitches them together to make a fully functional web application.
The program also makes use of a non-relational database called MongoDB in the backend.
freeCodeCamp is one of the best ways to learn to code for beginners. They offer completely hands-on lessons where the user is taken through each element of React and implements them while they learn the concept.
The best part is that you can finally use your newly learned skills and help out a charity to build their site and help support a good cause.
Coding for Entrepreneurs
If you are someone who is just looking to get started and build something using React ASAP, then you can start with a project by codingforentrepreneurs.com. The project might not cover all the basics but will teach you enough to get started and learn by building projects.
Web Dev and Web Design channel on Discord is one of the best channels to connect with similar minded people who are out there to help you in every step of your journey. The channel is very active, and you can find people with all kinds of skill levels on the channel, so it the perfect destination for anyone who is into React or web development in general. You can join the channel using this link.
Another discord dedicated entirely to React is Reactiflux.
The front page of the internet also has a front page for ReactJS. Here you will find all kinds of cool stuff people are doing using React. It offers you a way to look into projects from other users and also posts your own projects and questions.
Finally, the best source to learn about any kind of code is to look into its documentation. React is an open-source library, which means anyone can look into its code and even modify it. As you improve your skills beyond the intermediate level, this documentation can help you go deeper into React and use some of the advanced features that it offers.