How I learned ReactJs

Published Feb 05, 2018
How I learned ReactJs

About me

I am a Ugandan, with a BSc. In Civil Engineering from Makerere University

Why I wanted to learn ReactJs

I am a fully flagged Fortran developer. I believe to be among the best there are in the world. The challenge was Fortran programs don't have user interfaces and very people even know the language. I didn't really feel like a developer the time I was doing Fortran and therefore decided to pick another language.

I loved to do Android apps and there ended doing Java and developing applications for Android platform. I had become good at it and had developed over three programs that we were using to solve problems at the office and some for my own personal use.

My Java came to a halt when I was required to develop cross-platform apps. That is apps that can run on both Android and IOS. The answer was Reactjs and React Native which I embarked on still doing up to date. I have done our company website using ReactJs and also written the backend using express and MongoDB. Previously I was using PHP and MySQL database. At the moment I feel this is the language with which I can do anything. I feel complete, as I can from the web to console and mobile using a single platform. I learn once and develop everywhere. I feel I can do any package that uses JavaScript, all I need is time to try it.

While developing in Java I learned a lot of object oriented programming, a skill that has come in handy in my development career. I can't be happier if I can make some doing something I love doing and I am good at.

Before I forget, the very first language I did while I was still learning, was python, wrote some functions like the quadratic equation solver, gauss reduction all using Numpy for python. I have some background there too and it is among my motivations.

How I approached learning ReactJs

I bought online tutorials from Udemy and also did free tutorials on YouTube. I ask a lot of questions on StackOverFlow although most are usually answered and I just vote up. Same with looking through issues on GitHub for modules I pick interest in.

Challenges I faced

One of the main challenges of ReactJs that I have faced is deciding which path to follow. There is usually more than one way to do a single thing.
For example, should I add redux to a simple app or not? Should I develop using storybook or not? What npm package should I use for navigation?
Another challenge is getting recognised. I know I can develop but no one even knows about me. And there is a lot to learn and unlearn.

Key takeaways

It only gets easier. In programming, things are only hardest at the start. The more you learn. The easier it is learn more.

Tips and advice

Where is a will, there is away. Things that seemed impossible yesterday are what we see today. And if you can think it, then you can do it.
Just never ever give up. Giving is the shortest path to failure. Everyone you see somewhere, started somewhere.

Final thoughts and next steps

Learn something new every day. Share with other. Next learning is developing games. I will be happiest if I can do so in JavaScript.

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