React in FlipFlops = ”bootcamp”

import React from 'react';
import ReactDOM from 'react-dom';
import { Provider } from 'react-redux';
import configureStore from './configureStore';
const store = configureStore();

Our trainers, Max Stoiber and Nik Graf, Sebastian Siemssen, Xavier Cazalot and Sacha Greif were superb. We met in a shared workspace right near the beach, in Las Palmas, called Soppa de Azul.

The 10 - 12 hour days were intense, set in segments of presentations, labs (practical application), team coding and then free time to explore Las Palmas and surrounds. We ended off the week with each group of 3, creating and presenting their React apps, with much laughter and pride.

React Coding workshops

Day 1

We started the week with some ECMAScript (and JavaScript) history as well as some basic React introduction. We discovered the latest changes ES2015 brought that makes the developer experience much nicer. But there is an issue, as we can see it from this ES2015 compatibility table: not even the most up to date browser has support for all of its features. So, Babel to the rescue. This is a great library that is able to compile ES2015 code into plain old ES5 JavaScript.

With this tool in our hands, we are ready to start building JavaScript applications and have fun at the same time. Does that mean that you can use React only with ES2015? The answer is: no! You can use React with ES5 too, it is just that in this case, you'll not get the benefit of the better developer experience as with ES2015. In the afternoon, we started to get the power of React by diving into the interaction and state management topics.

Day 2

The second day we started with checking out the lifecycle events of a React component and we saw how useful is this especially when trying to use other third party libraries that work on the actual DOM elements (like maps, plots, etc) when you actually need to initialize the library only after the component did mount into the DOM, or perform updates each time props are changing with componentDidUpdate. We also learned that the shouldComponentUpdate may be the first thing we should check when trying to improve the performance in large applications.

However, the conclusion was that unless we really have performance issues (like thousands of components needing to be re-render very often, maybe during an animation), we should avoid using this method because of the side effects it has. The most important one is that, if a component decides to not update, then no other component below it will update. So, use it, but use it with great care!

Sebastian, Vasi & Stew participating in the post presentation labs.

We then had a short introduction to the different methods of styling in React, from just importing plan css files and using inline styles to css modules and styled components. While every approach has its benefits, most of the audience was convinced that styled components are currently one of the best approaches when styling a React app.

The last presentation of the second day focused on Redux. This is a really big and complex topic, which cannot be covered by a few lines in a blog post. We did discuss the main advantages of using Redux in a JavaScript application (not necessarily built with React), among which: forcing immutability when changing the state and having a central source of truth for your app (the Redux store) are one of the top ones.

Day 3-5

The last three days (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday) we spent building a React app, in teams of 3 which gave us the chance to apply all the knowledge we got in the first two days. Almost every team made use of other React libraries which were not covered in the sessions. We managed to build city guide, stars wars and anitpodes apps, which we presented on Saturday morning in front of the entire audience.

We really enjoyed the extra demonstrations, including React Web VR, GraphQL.

Vasi Enjoyed the React Web VR

Grabbing the opportunity to explore

Many went for surfing lessons, hikes and sightseeing. Gran Canaria was hosting a variety of Carnival events which made the city and towns very festive.

Incredible Sand work

On the weekends we hired a car and went south to Maspalomas where we enjoyed 27 ℃ weather and great seafood. Part of the beach resort includes a mass of sand dunes, where we left our mark.

   react in flipflops 

 Of course, we couldn't leave the magnificent island without checking out its highest peak: Pico de las Nieves, which goes up to 1.940 metres.

Pico de las nieves   react in flipflops


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