What is React.js and why you should use it?

Published on 19 April 2019

Reading time 2 minutes

If you are interested in becoming a web developer, chances are high that you heard about React.js before. Our trainer Alexis explains what is React.js, why this library is so popular and how you can become proficient with React.js. in no time!

Hi Alexis, can you give me a quick overview about the web ecosystem? What is React.js?

Sure! Let’s talk about the holy trinity HTML/CSS/JS. You can use them to create a body – like a human: HTML is the skeleton of the page, CSS is the skin and JS gives you the ability to move.

Several years ago we used JS only for window animations and popups. Lately we saw an explosion of frameworks and libraries to create user-friendly websites (fast, no reload between pages…). React is a super powerful library.

You just learned new notions on HTML/CSS without even realizing it. You know in fact how to create a component with React!

A component?

Let’s imagine a web page as multiple boxes or components: user Image, userLink, FollowButton. When you isolate a component you will be able to reuse it.


And in HTML terms, how can we create a component?

Let’s imagine this little HTML code :

Easier, right?

So we can reuse elements, that’s all?

Of course not, with all those components we can create a Single Page Application (SPA). It means no more loading between pages.

It’s like a mobile app, but in your browser. By the way, we can also create mobile applications with React Native.

But if I’m lost in this big blackhole of information?

There is a community behind React, and a big one!

React was created by Facebook to maintain and develop its front-end app. When Facebook decided to open source React, it was already battle proven in a large application and ready to use.

Ok, so let’s summarize. We can create websites with components, which enable us to create a SPA and also mobile apps. I begin to speak like a developer 🙂 That’s all?

You can also do VR apps with React360. Quite awesome!

Is React really popular?

react js versus angularJS Vue Angular 2

Uber, Facebook, Instagram, Skype, Netflix are just some of the companies using React nowadays.

Ok, quite popular. How can I learn more about React?

You can start learning some basics about React on Egghead. To be fully operational with React, you can follow a 5-month full-time programme or a 10-month part-time programme in one of Wild Code School campuses. Our students will tell you that it’s a lot of new information to process during the first weeks, but after a few days of intense practice they feel React is the best library to let their creativity go wild!