React and Redux


Tonight I went to another tech meetup in Los Angeles. The topic was JavaScript web applications, with a focus on the front end, specifically on React and Redux. I have taken a few classes on React in the past and in one class built a simple calculator. Tonight’s class was focused on React and Redux architecture and performance.

I have no exposure to Redux, so I was curious about what it is and how it works. At the core, Redux appears to make it much easier to manage data within a React application. I like the fact that rather than having to track which components make use of which data and having to update them, Redux, akin to a tree, will update all children when data in an ancestor node changes. Also, having a reducer that ensures a component only receives the data it needs makes it more efficient.

The speaker was also helpful in explaining when to use Redux (multiple client events, components that need data from one another, Graph QL queries) and when not to use it (dumb components, e.g. presentation and static data.) Also, he mentioned the need to learn Webpack — and didn’t hold back on his thoughts about how awful the docs for it are — but instead suggested that we just try it by doing. Overall, I learned more about React and I now know what Redux is, so it was a successful evening of learning!

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