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Grégory D'Angelo for AlterClass

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3 THINGS YOU NEED to know before learning React JS

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I'm going to share with you guys, in this article, what you should know if you'd like to learn ReactJS.

So keep reading as I'm coming to give you a ton of tips and tricks that's gonna make a huge difference in your learning journey.

With that said, let's jump right into it!

Get Really Good at JavaScript

The first thing you need to know before learning React is JavaScript.

Indeed, the great thing about React is that it is "just" a JavaScript library. So the more you know about JavaScript, the better you'll get at writing applications with React.

It is really important that you master and become comfortable with JavaScript fundamentals. You'll be much more productive with React.

A common mistake many people tend to make is to start learning React before having a solid JavaScript programming foundation. So please don't make this mistake yourself.

First, get really good at JavaScript. Otherwise, you'll quickly be overwhelmed by everything you'll have to learn alongside React and you'll probably quit before you even realize how awesome it is to work with React.

So, build that solid foundation if you want to really focus on getting the most out of React.

Let me know in the comment section below if you'd like to know about the JavaScript concepts you need to become a good React developer.

Also, check out Eloquent JavaScript by Marijn Haverbeke. This is an excellent book about JavaScript that you can read online here (for free).

I've also included an entire lesson for you to learn Modern JavaScript with ES6 in the first part of my Become a React Developer course.

Check this out. The first part is totally free!

Modern JavaScript with ES6

Focus on Only React

The second thing is focusing on learning only ReactJS.

You need to start by understanding the three main design principles (Declarative Programming, Composition of Components, and Unidirectional Data Flow) that make React unique from the very beginning.

That's gonna make a huge difference in your learning curve.

So, make sure you watch my video about that so you can get up and running quickly with ReactJS.

Besides that, you don't need any extra 3rd party library or tool to start with React. The React API is pretty small and surprisingly simple.

Actually, there are only two methods necessary to build a React application. One for creating React elements, and another one for rendering those elements.

The most simple app you can make only consists of the index.html file with the React dependencies. That's all you need!

<html lang="en">
    <title>React App</title>
    <div id="root"></div>
    <script src="" crossorigin></script>
    <script src="" crossorigin></script>
    <script type="text/javascript">
      var title = React.createElement("h1", null, "Hello, World!");
      ReactDOM.render(title, document.getElementById("root"));
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Once again, you don't need to learn and configure any build tools to get you started.

You can even use create-react-app to set up your React application by running only one command line without having to configure anything.

npx create-react-app my-app
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Unfortunately, many online resources for beginners include many tools and make learning React more complicated than it is.

That's why I've created the Become a React Developer course. It starts from the ground up all the way through becoming a React Developer.

In this course, you'll learn everything you need to master React steps-by-steps by building your own projects.

So make sure to check this out.

Get Your Hands Dirty

Finally, there is no better way to learn something new, especially when it comes to learning a new programming language or a new library than building things.

I really believe that it is the only way to grasp a concept and make the most out of your time.

You can watch hours of video content on Youtube, watch people coding on Udemy. Still, if you don't practice early on, on your own, you won't learn anything from it.

So, build (a lot of) things and start as early as possible in your learning journey.

This is also valid with learning ReactJS. Just put in the work, and you will get better over time. I promise!

But don't just follow training tutorials and reproduce what the instructor is doing. Build React applications by yourself from scratch.

You'll learn so much more this way.

And you can start with something simple and go from there to build more complex applications.

For example, from the very first part of my Become a React Developer course, you will build a Kanban-style app all by yourself.


Then, you'll use modern React techniques (like hooks) to build an incredible car configurator.


So, practice, practice, and practice!

And check out my course.


So by now, you should have an idea about what you should learn and focus on from the very beginning to get started with ReactJS.

The most important things to remember:

  • Get really good at JavaScript and modern JS to excel at building React applications
  • Focus on only React so you don't get lost with too much to learn at once
  • Finally, Build things from the very beginning to practice your newly acquired skills

Become a React Developer

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