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A peek into React: 5 reasons why I love it

Sauradh Hooda
© Shutterstock / By Julia Tim  

React quickly gained popularity among developers thanks to its long list of features and an extensive application pool. We have a look at this library’s development so far and its best features.

React, a front-end JavaScript library was created by Facebook engineer Jordan Walke in 2011 and has been growing ever since. Initially, it was featured as the V (View) in the MVC (Model View Controller), but it has emerged as something much greater than that. The creation of React was influenced by XHP, an HTML component framework for PHP. First used on Facebook Newsfeed in 2012, React was initially utilized only for Facebook internal functions. When Facebook Inc. acquired Instagram in April 2012, the minds at Facebook aspired to extend support for the new acquisition.

Before React was employed on the Instagram mobile applications, developers at Facebook used the library to create the iOS application for Facebook Ads which allowed advertisers on Facebook to manage and create their campaigns. React was first used on the Instagram website, Instagram.com at the end of 2012.

Once React proved to be a good investment by the developers at Facebook, it was decided to be gifted to the world in the form of an open-source library. React became open-source in May 2013 at the JavaScript community conference, United States and it has influenced the lives of both new and old developers around the globe. React quickly gained popularity among developers due to its long list of features and an extensive application pool. A notable feature of React is that it lets developers design views for each stage of their application using a simple approach and React updates as well as provide the correct components when the data changes. Some renowned applications which have employed React are Facebooks Ads, Instagram, Airbnb, UberEATS, and Discord.

Main features

Thanks to its pool of features, React has become the first choice for a large number of developers. A few features that make React different from other JavaScript libraries are presented here.

Easier learning curve

In simple terms, React is a small library which deals with the view layer in the development stage of an application. Anyone who wishes to give React a chance can do so easily after reading a few React tutorials. Even though it may take some time to get in sync with the whole React ecosystem, it is easy to reach the required equilibrium and start creating amazing projects. Once you become proficient with React, your effort will yield far better results than working with any other conventional JavaScript library.

SEE ALSO: JavaScript developers prefer React, want to ditch Angular & are attracted to Vue.js

Multiple, customizable components

What makes React different than other libraries is that each of its assets is made up of multiple components. Due to this feature, React made a lot of noise among developers as it enables them to develop self-contained and customizable elements which can be altered using one click. What is more, these components can be reused and combined together as well. This saves the developers a lot of time and gives a boost to their productivity while simultaneously helping beginner developers.

Tools are a necessity

React provides a large number of tools to the participating developers, with the most significant being a handy Chrome browser extension which works as an effective diagnostic tool. Once installed, the extension provides a number of helpful tools at the click of a button. One such feature is that it allows the developers to peep directly into the Virtual DO. React developer tools help the developers and designers to detect any potential problems easily, making the overall process of both development and design much simpler.

React and SEO are buddies

It is important that an application or a website takes good care of its Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in order to be recognized for their work and stay a step ahead of their competitors. When we discuss the features of traditional JavaScript, being SEO-friendly never makes it in the list. Despite some drastic changes and improvements, search engines still have problems when they have to analyze an application that is JavaScript heavy. On the other hand, React renders the Virtual DOM which returns to the browser as a general webpage not requiring any further rendering.

React Native

Native applications vs. hybrid applications have been an eternal debate. A native application is one which is developed specifically for a mobile OS and not for any other platforms. On the other hand, a hybrid application is generally a website packed into an application for its users. The debate on which is better might go on forever but React has made native application designing a lot easier for developers. Native applications provide faster performances and high reliability, making it slightly better than hybrid applications.

React Native helps the developers create native mobile applications using only JavaScript. Using the same design as React, React Native enables the developer to use declarative components and design a brilliant user interface. Once developed, a React Native application cannot be distinguished from an iOS Objective C application or an Android Java application.

SEE ALSO: React Native: A new competitor to native development?

React is evolving

Ever since its inception, React has been regularly further developed and enhanced. With numerous developers and designers working with React at Facebook as well as globally, the library receives a fair amount of feedback. Subreddit for React has over 38,681 readers (at the time of posting) and is increasing dramatically.

React is still seen as a child in the family of JavaScript frameworks and libraries. In this short span of time, React has managed to attract many new and old developers as well as top firms that are investing in the library. React has proved to be a flexible and useful tool for developers and it is being employed in an increasing number of applications.

Author

Sauradh Hooda

Saurabh Hooda has worked globally for telecom and finance giants in various capacities. After working for a decade in Infosys and Sapient, he started his first startup, Lenro, to solve a hyperlocal book-sharing problem. He is interested in product, marketing, and analytics. His latest venture Hackr.io recommends the best Android tutorial and online programming courses for every programming language. All the tutorials are submitted and voted by the programming community.


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Great explanation of the benefits of React!

If you want a curated list of the best React.js tutorials & the best React.js books, check out: https://reactdom.com/react