Takeaways from React Europe 2016

The React Europe conference took place in the beginning of June. It unites people who shape or are interested in the future of web as well as mobile applications.

Let me share the most interesting ideas from the conference.

Building a successful library

Dan Abramov, the author of Redux library, spoke about designing library API. Main principles:

  • start with a problem in mind
  • establish a vision
  • set goals
  • implement features that support the goals
  • make sure constraints are as valuable as features
  • define contracts that help developers to shape the code
  • find stress tests to see how far you can go with improving developer experience
  • make it pluggable so that others can extend it
  • market good ideas

Dan introduced himself to the community last year at the same conference. Today he is a well known and influential persona. Impressive work helps him build an impressive career.

Watch the talk.

Being Successful at Open Source

Christopher Chedeau has been directly involved in sharing Facebook projects such as React, React Native, css-layout, mention-bot and Jest with the community. He spoke about the phase after you’ve posted and announced your new shiny library to the world. What’s next?

  • make sure there is a channel of constant news, be it Twitter, Facebook, IRC, conferences
  • two strong channels are better than four weak ones
  • reach early adopters and ask them ‘What did you struggle with?’
  • fix the biggest pain points to lower the entry barrier
  • make the errors informative, this will save you a lot of questions
  • ask the early adopters to share their success by blogging about it
  • blogs create an illusion that the community is active
  • people join the community because they think it’s active
  • community grows and becomes really active

Main takeaway - Blog posts are a developers’ currency. That’s key to introducing yourself to a community and becoming a star.

Implementing the library seems not to be the hardest part of the library life-cycle. There’s so much post-implementation work to do to make the library successful.

Watch the talk.

React Native Retrospective

Bonnie Eisenman published a book about Learning React Native. She walked through how development is changing. Currently most of us implement our UI in at least 3 different languages and platforms - Web, Android, iOS. The effort and money we spend is enormous as we are building the same thing many times. Why is that so? Can we build it once?

React Native says YES!!! It’s amazing, it’s fresh and it’s rapidly evolving. Watch the talk, get exited and evaluate if it’s suitable for your case. There are promises and there are issues. More about those in JavaScript, React Native and Performance.

Watch the talk.

Other interesting talks

Cheng Lou: On the Spectrum of Abstraction reasoned about developer tooling in terms of abstraction levels to help us understand which ones bring the most value for concrete situations.

Laney Kuenzel and Lee Byron: GraphQL Future blew my mind with currently developed streaming, data deferring and real-time data solutions.

Jeff Morrison: A Deepdive Into Flow introduced a static type checker which can be incrementally added to the project.

Jonas Gebhardt: Nuclide as a React IDE spoke about Nuclide - an impressive Atom plugin for mobile and web development.

The conference was great in format, content and people. Please find all the videos at ReactEurope Youtube channel.