I'm more of a "backend" web developer who actually loves JS, so I'm definitely not a JS expert but my biggest issue is time (or more precisely lack thereof) in small to mid solo projects.
React seems fantastic but the learning curve is quite steep if you combine the tutorial, ES6, all the react-* libraries, your own brain that keeps asking "how do i do this jQuery three-liner in React" and so on.
I am super happy that the ecosystem is so vibrant and huge and it's harder now for a single person to keep all of this in their brain but I feel like that server technologies have more of a grip in the evergreen issue of "complex vs complicated". Most of the server side web frameworks now are immensely complex but are not complicated to use.
React to me seems both, and again, I'm not an experienced frontend developer so it might just be me.
Am I making sense?
I completely get what you're saying about the setup pain with all the tooling. It feels like a lot to keep track of for sure.
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