React London Meetup - January 2017

This January 24th we gathered for another React London meetup. Pizza and drinks brought us joy and warmth while Facebook’s office got packed with hundreds of developers excited for a great round of talks. This month we had three presentations. The event was streamed live, and you can watch the whole video here.

Code Your Future

Before the talks, there was a very important announcement. Amit Shah got on stage to tell us all about the amazing Code Your Future. They are a coding school for refugees in the UK with a solid 6 month program focused on web technologies. They are currently looking for volunteer mentors in London. You can find out more about their work here.

Pepperoni - How to spice up your mobile apps using React Native

Tino Junge - Futurice

Tino works for Futurice where they develop many apps using React Native for their clients. Their choice on React Native resides on the ability to write React code on JS, but generate native UI, which is very practical for building cross-platform. When making apps for other companies, however, some part of the process was getting repetitive as the projects ultimately belonged to their clients.

With that in mind, they created Pepperoni. The goal is to provide basic building blocks with common features that can also be extended. The blocks can involve, for example, a web API, authentication, dev tooling, caching, CI, etc. The end result is a slim app-starter kit that not only has a nice development experience but also makes the entry level of building apps with React Native more accessible.

By the end of his talk, Tino also mentioned how important it is that companies keep dedicated to maintaining open source. One of the ways they reach this is with programs like the Spice Program.

Introducing Typescript to your existing React/Babel/Webpack projects

Vitaly Kondratiev - Deloitte Digital

Vitaly works in Deloitte Digital where they have been using react for some years delivering big projects to clients and building tooling for themselves. In his experience, front-end projects have been increasing in complexity almost exponentially in the last the years. Because of that, the front-end development has been adopting techniques to maintain the quality of these complex code bases in ways that once were novelties but now we take for granted so it’s time to take it a little further.

He then presents the advantages and drawbacks of adopting static typing in javascript with TypeScript, along with a tutorial on how to get started. Among the advantages, he mentions catching errors early, making the code more readable and being in sync with Agile, since it favors code over documentation.

Creating Charts in React with D3

Jonathan Kelly - Arthemis Group

Creating charts can be quite complicated. Jonathan started his talk by telling us about a trauma he experienced with an inherited projected revolving around a file with 1280 lines of JavaScript just for one D3 chart. This motivated him to rewrite it in a fashion that would be easier to maintain and test, using React. One of his requirements was that the DOM manipulation was done by React, while leveraging on D3 for the math.

He then showed us some examples of his solution creating the charts and passing the data as a prop. It was indeed very simple to grasp and his presentation was a great starting point for anyone wanting to create charts in React.

Sad you missed it?

The next React.js meetup will be on Tuesday, 21st February 2017 at Skillsmatter. We also have recently started a series of beginner React meetups and the next one is happening on Tuesday, 7th February 2017 at The Guardian. Check out the meetup page for more info about the events and how to get your free ticket.

Want to dive deeper in React?

Red Badger is launching a conference on React in London. Save the date, Tuesday, 28 March 2017, and get your tickets here!

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