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A Colleague's Project Learning About React.js

My colleague Ross Geller*  is working on a project. They recently have said they are learning React.js. They also mentioned egghead.io as well as webpack. Thanks to this conversation, they've inspired me to learn a bit about it.

How to understand what my colleague is talking about? Google-searching led to a page that linked to https://facebook.github.io/react/blog/2016/09/28/our-first-50000-stars.html, which linked to https://egghead.io/, including tutorials on React.js and on webpack.

Digging further into this one called "Start Using React to Build Web Applications" (https://egghead.io/lessons/react-react-fundamentals-development-environment-setup?course=react-fundamentals), one finds that it goes through installing Node.js.

The tutorial describes installing Node.js and npm ( the tutorial is for on mac -- googling instructions for Ubuntu leads to https://github.com/nodesource/distributions#debinstall )

For someone who is learning about the existence of some of these technologies, at the same time as learing how to use them, it's creating a lot of files during the tutorial without really knowing what's happening. For example the tutorial depicts editing a package.json file that's already been created. But it's not there. So extra googling research is needed to find out how to create a default package.json file, without knowing why. From this: https://docs.npmjs.com/getting-started/using-a-package.json

Moving on.

At the end of the "Start Using React to Build Web Applications" live coding tutorial video, when running "npm start", errors come up, the first one being:
"sh:  1: webpack-dev-server: not found". This is unexpected, as part of the tutorial was to run a command to install webpack-dev-server!

In other words, unfortunately, something is wrong and it'll have to be investigated. Time to take a break before re-assessing and trying again!

Take-aways after having come this far?

- For a n00b to React.js and some of its surrounding technologies, going through the above steps helps to learn terminology and to learn elementary configuration steps. If these are fundamental and re-usable, then it will have helped, because the steps will be a foundation for a subsequent React.js -based project.

- It's not comfortable, and it's disorienting. It's frustrating to have to take so many configuration steps when it's not clear why each step is needed. However it's a similar discomfort to learning other technologies, so the feeling of discomfort-while-learning is familiar. In other words, it feels like learning!

Thanks to my colleague for sharing that they're working to learn React.js, and for mentioning some resources for learning it. They've inspired me to learn a bit about it.

tags: #mingling , #working

*The asterisk here denotes that this is a pseudonym. (To obfuscate my colleague's real identity, for privacy reasons.)

Note: This post was pre-published on 2016-11-04.

[2019 edit: Moved to: https://investorworker.com/2016/... .html.]