I hope everyone will indulge me as I gush for a bit.
I’ve been learning front-end in my spare time for a while now (with the hopes of a career change eventually). I’ve mostly been doing vanilla JS, HTML, and CSS while building one page projects/sites, really nothing fancy: One .js file with a bunch of functions tangled together that kind of worked, usually.
The previous project I did, however, I decided to try as hard as I could to write code that was modular and not a huge mess. I jumped into the world of modules, and bundlers, and tooling issues. I definitely learned a lot, and I’m pretty proud of how it turned out, but about half way through I realized that basically in my architecture I was trying to re-invent React (or Vue, etc.) only worse. So I decided that when I finished that project I would take the next plunge and try to learn React.
I had looked at React tutorials before and was generally confused and a bit overwhelmed by them. So I prepared myself for a massive struggle last weekend, opened up the official React tutorial… and was surprised React was actually straightforward and makes a lot of sense. It turns out that spending more than a month struggling with writing clean modular code made me familiar with the problems that React is meant to solve, and thus made React easier to understand.
It wasn’t as simple as following one tutorial and being enlightened, there were parts I still didn’t completely understand, so I followed a few more tutorials just to be sure before jumping into writing my new project: Tic Tac Toe. I’m working on it now and, guys and gals, React is so nice to work with.
I had no intention of writing any real code today, I had a bad nights sleep and feel like poop, but I convinced myself to juuust open the editor and look at it, just to keep my head in the game. After a few moments of looking it I started changing a few lines with the idea of adding a start menu eventually aaand after about 20 minutes I had the thing implemented. It was soooo simple even my cranky, tired brain just did it without needing to feel motivated to code, and thanks to React’s conventions I feel confident that tomorrow morning when I wake up and open my editor again I will be able to understand what I wrote today without trouble. That’s awesome.
The enthusiasm of realizing that left me with enough energy and drive that I even wrote this whole thing out!
To be clear: I don’t mean to imply that React is the “best” framework, or that it’s “better” than Vanilla JS, or anything at all beyond the fact that I found it easy and fun to use.
I hope everyone has a nice day!