Thoughts and Notes on Software Development

On Learning React

My first attempt at learning the React JavaScript library was by reading the ASP.NET Core 3 and React book. I started reading that book a few months ago. I've gone through the first six chapters, which mostly covers how to build a web app front-end using React. While I did learn a lot reading those chapters, I was barely keeping up.

There's so many new concepts, new libraries, new methods, new syntax to learn. It felt overwhelming at times. It didn't help that I kept getting distracted at the JSX syntax — which looked insane to me at times.

I found myself simply typing what was in the book. But I actually couldn't tell you why the code worked. I was honestly struggling to keep up. But more importantly, I was confused and frustrated at it all. Why would you even want to go through all this trouble of writing a React app? I didn't get it. And consequently, I wasn't too excited to learn more. But I had to.

So, after having gone through the first six chapters of the book, today I decided to take a stab at this React: Getting Started pluralsight course. And my God, what a change!

I'm actually now excited to learn more about what I can do with React. I've only gone through the first two chapters, which are basically an introduction to React. But man what a blessing! It explained really well so much of the key concepts that I've struggled to grasp. A lot of the confusion I had while reading the book, is now slowly starting to make sense.

It's almost like this course is required reading, before actually reading the book.

I now better understand props. I now better understand state management between components. I now better understand components, which is crucial if I ever want to master React. Even the JSX syntax is now starting to make sense.

I get it now. I get why you would want to build a web app using React. I get why you would want to learn React. And now I'm excited to learn more. I feel like if you want to start learning React, you should give this pluralsight course a try first.

This is not to say that the book, ASP.NET Core 3 and React, is a bad book. It's not. It's actually very detailed and covers a lot of topics that will definitely be useful at work. It's just that I think it's too advanced for a React beginner like me. I need to get a better handle on the basics and key concepts of React, before I can fully appreciate the book.

P.S. Apologies if this post is not as polished as other posts. I'm trying to follow Joel's advice on caring less and writing more.

Tags: #JavaScript #ReactJS

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