Learning React with Baby Steps

At the beginning of the year I set out to learn React. I’m currently nearing the end of my first “real” React project, and am feeling significantly more capable with React and JavaScript than I did just a few short months ago. This is not without a lot of struggle along the way. I’m someone who has a tendency to think my struggle is unique. I forget that just as there are people ahead of me on any particular journey there are also people behind me. I’ve received a lot of help from those ahead of me, as a developer, as a designer, and most recently as a new business owner. So naturally if I have something to give to someone who might be behind me, I’d like to do so.

This is not a React course or tutorial, there are plenty of them out there though and I’ll make some suggestions at the end of this series on next steps. I’ll leave the official teaching to others. Disappointed? Don’t be, I feel confident in saying I think you’ll find this valuable. So if it’s not a course on React, what is it? Let’s think of this as a pre-React course.

Learn from my hang-ups

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to do a series of posts on the items I learned are foundational to working with React. Things the tutorials I went through breezed over leaving me to spend entirely too much time banging my head against a wall until I made a dent. I’m writing from the perspective of a WordPresser, and I know there are a lot of other WordPress devs that are trying to tackle React without a ton of prior JavaScript knowledge. So I’m going to make this a series of posts with some little tidbits that I hope you’ll find helpful before you dig into React.

What will be covered:

  • Don’t be Afraid of the Terminal: node/npm/cli
  • brow-ZER-ify (browserify)
  • Big Gulp: Processes and Workflow
  • JavaScript: the Essentials
  • JSON: objects, arrays and strings, oh my!
  • Consuming JSON
  • Replacing “The Loop”: forEach(), map(), objectKeys()

Bonus: Going Headless

I have a new site in the works I’m building with a “decoupled” or “headless” WordPress install and a React front-end. Once I get through these foundational pieces, I’ll hopefully be in a place where I can start sharing some tidbits and even code snippets on going headless with WordPress.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *