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How i started learning web development and React

Sachin Thakur
September 2nd, 2018 · 3 min read

About me

Hey, my name is Sachin Thakur and I come from a background of computer science and engineering. I started doing web development during the second year of my college and I started with basic HTML5/CSS3 and a little bit of javascript. I started my journey with Udacity and it will be a great learning experience at Udacity if you are just getting started with HTML5/CSS3.

Why I wanted to learn React

Now, after learning the basic HTML5/CSS3 and a little bit of javascript I moved on to AngularJs(yes, AngularJs the first version of angular), and I loved it, it was the main reason I went on to learn Node.JS because yes at that time everyone was talking about THE MEAN Stack and I wanted to explore more of JavaScript and writing JavaScript on servers was something new for me as I have heard that JavaScript can only be run on web browsers. That’s where my real journey of becoming a web developer started. I started looking for new technologies in the Web ecosystem and I came across ReactJs and Angular(not angular 1.X) but the later versions. At first, I was confused between the ReactJs and Angular but then I started going through GitHub and many developer blogs and found out that more people were using ReactJs and were really happy with it, and most of these developers have a common opinion that if you want to develop a smaller SPA learn ReactJs, as most people were familiar with JavaScript and learning TypeScript, could be a little time consuming. So, finally, after a month of research, I started learning ReactJs as I was already familiar with JavaScript.

How I approached learning React

My approach towards learning ReatJs was like most other self-taught developers. Go through Youtube tutorials and a little bit of documentation. I must say the documentation of ReactJs is one of the best documentation I have seen, and it was really helpful and a great resource for learning react. After scrolling through a lot of Youtube tutorials I came across Tyler McGinnis and he is one of the best react teacher out there on the web. He teaches each and every topic in depth and easy to understand approach.

Challenges I faced

When I started learning ReactJs the most difficult thing to understand was HTML inside of the JavaScript. It was a little weird for me to write HTML inside of my JavaScript and often time I was confused with the JSX syntax and made a lot of mistakes, but lessons learned, now it’s pretty common for me to write HTML inside JavaScript after I got hang of the syntax. It took some time but it was fun. There are many things which still confuses me in React like styling React components. There are many approaches for styling React component but choosing one is really difficult. I don’t know about others but for me, it’s still a little bit off to write CSS in JavaScript. But as I got hang of writing HTML in javascript maybe I will also get a hang of writing CSS also. It’s just a matter of time and a practice.

Key takeaways

Learning new technology or a framework is never easy, and when it comes to web development there is a new framework every now and then, and we have to keep up with all these changes. But if we put our time and effort into learning we can learn these frameworks.

Tips and advice

When it comes to web development we all know how many frameworks are released every now and then. it will be very difficult for anyone to learn, understand and master all these frameworks. But one thing we know is that all these frameworks have in common and that is JavaScript, and if we want to master this framework, we first have to master JavaScript the language and that’s what most beginners don’t understand, they jump right into framework without understanding JavaScript.

Final thoughts and next steps

I think that JavaScript, in general, is a great language and it is evolving and moving forward. And react has given a new shape to the JavaScript ecosystem. React Native has given us the ability to write Native apps through JavaScript and it started with React in general. I know many other also supported Native apps but they were not truly native, React has changed a lot in the JavaScript ecosystem. And it is still evolving and changing constantly. So we can hope a lot of things from React and JavaScript in general.

More articles from Sachin Thakur

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How to Get Started With a Graph QL, React, Apollo Client, and Apollo Server App- Part 2

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April 9th, 2020 · 6 min read
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