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Corey Johnson
Corey Johnson

Posted on

Should I learn react before trying to learn Gatsby?

I'm new-ish on the web development front, haven't done anything in years and even then I was primarily focused on learning fundamentals of html, css, js, jquery and the like. I never really had exposure to some of the front end frameworks that are so popular today.

I recently started a little side project to build a portfolio page for a family member, and I was going to use Gatsby because it seems like it'd suit the project well. I'm not sure if my inexperience with React is going to bite me in the butt though.

Almost all of my experience with professional software is with Android development so this is out of my wheelhouse. Would love some insight!

Top comments (7)

changoman profile image
Hunter Chang

I would say Gatsby is a great way to practice your React. Just use it for things you would normally use Create React App for.

Try to stay away from the Gatsby specific files like gatsby-node or gatsby-ssr, those might add confusion.

Also Andrew Mead has a great Gatsby course on YouTube, it's a great way to start.

dahmon profile image
Dahmon Bicheno • Edited

I did the same thing! When I started at my current job about a year ago, I had to work in a team of 3 on a Gatsby site. There was a learning curve and it wasn't a graceful transition from HTML/CSS/JS to a JS Framework, but I don't think it would have been much different if we'd started on a React site instead.

So from my personal experience I don't think it is a massive concern if you start using Gatsby without React experience first, since syntactically they're the same, Gatsby just has some extra frills and features.
You will learn React along the way and in future you can make React sites without Gatsby. :)

To add to this, Gatsby even makes some things, like routing, easier to implement. So coming from HTML/CSS/JS sites that doesn't have the concept of routing, it can make the transition into JS Frameworks a little bit smoother.
I would definitely recommend that you do learn how to implement these things "the hard way", but by all means get your Gatsby site going first!

johnson_cor profile image
Corey Johnson

Awesome feedback, and thank you for sharing your experience! I'm glad to know it's certainly possible 😁

zooly profile image
Hugo Torzuoli

I think you don't need a knowledge of React if you want to try Gatsby, this is really easy, well documented, lot of examples.
Gatsby use JSX, you have to understand how it works, but it's not that hard ! 😊

albertomontalesi profile image

I created my blog with Gatsby and little to no experience in react. Unless you have to build something complicate, starting from a base template and building upon it won't be hard. Just follow the documentation and you should be good

codenutt profile image

100% agree with others on here, Gatsby is a great way to learn React 👍🏼

harittweets profile image
Harit Himanshu

Yes, definitely. Gatsby uses React, so, it's clear that you should first learn and understand React