5 Topics to Master Before Learning React

December 10,2020 - 5 min read
Top 5 Skills You Must Know Before You Learn ReactJS

React, one of the latest technologies in the field of web development, is developed by Facebook. It is also being maintained by Facebook along with a community of dedicated developers and organisations as it is open sourced. Lately, React has become immensely popular amongst the front end developers. For those who don’t know, React is basically a Javascript library which uses a component- based approach that helps in creating complex and dynamic web and mobile user interface. It is also used to create reusable UI components. Every component in React has a fixed lifecycle that consists of several phases. Some of the phases of React components are lifecycle is Mounting, Dismounting and updating along with a few others. If you wish to understand React lifecycle methods in a more detailed manner, you can always refer to this blog.

Once you are comfortable with React, writing a web application becomes enjoyable and also React has a vibrant community which makes the experience smoother and more efficient. Using React has many advantages and a strong and open- source community is one of them. Also, it is an excellent tool for making the front- end of an application. At the end, we can only say that React is the best thing to learn if you wish to create an attractive user interface for your application. Although, React is an interesting front- end tool, it can be really daunting and sometimes frustrating when you are learning it and especially without a strong foundation.

Hence, it’s important to make a robust base of web development and more so of basic front- end development skills before jumping to React. In this blog, we have compiled 5 topics to master before you learn React. These prerequisites will help you to build a solid foundation before you dive into the world of React development. Let’s get started!

  1. Basics of Front- End Development

    The task of making the user interface of the website is actually a complex set of sub-tasks. The point where you would begin coding for your front- end would probably always be ‘HTML and CSS’. These two are the most basic technologies of front- end development without which you can’t even think of starting your journey as a front- end developer. HTML (Hyper Text Mark-up Language) is basically a mark-up language that is used for developing web application. It defines the structure of the web page. CSS (Cascading Style Sheet), on the other hand is used for adding styling the web pages,

    So, it is not a very wise idea to begin learning React without the foundational knowledge of HTML and CSS. Make sure that other than the foundational, theoretical knowledge, you also have a good command on writing the basic HTML tags and CSS code. You should also the basic features of CSS like the box model, media queries.

    You should know how to write semantic HTML tags, how to write CSS selectors, how to use classes, how to implement a CSS reset, box model, how to reset to border-box, flexbox, how to write responsive web applications including media queries and how to build a frontend application using HTML and CSS. You can learn more about CSS in this blog.

    Hence, before you start with this giant front- end technology, React, make sure you are proficient with HTML and CSS. It would be great if you make static websites with HTML and CSS as projects because that would make you proficient with the basics of front and development.

  2. JSX and Babel

    JSX stands for JavaScript XML and it makes it easier to write and add HTML code in React. JSX is probably the easiest way to incorporate HTML code inside javascript. It can be thought of like an extension of the Javascript language syntax. Basically, JSX extends the ECMAScript to incorporate the XML/ HTML along with JavaScript code. Before starting with React, make sure you have a concrete understanding of JSX . There is an example of a code below for you to understand the whole ecosystem.

    • var KonfinityComponent = React.createClass({
    • render :function () {
    • return(
    • <h2>Hello Developers! 7lt/h2>
    • );
    • }
    • });
    • ReactDOM.render(
    • <KonfinityComponent />, document.getElementById('content'));

    Another important prerequisite for learning React is Babel. Babel is basically a compiler that changes HTML code found in JavaScript files into standard JavaScript objects. You should know how to work with Babel because it is an important skill to have if you are making complex web applications. Before starting with React, make sure that you clear with the basics of both JSX and Babel.

  3. Fundamentals of Javascript and ES6

    If HTML and CSS are essential for creating the structure of the webpage, Javascript is required to make the websites more dynamic and interactive. Javascript was initially a scripting language to add dynamic content on a webpage. However, with the advent of Nodejs, Javascript is also used in the server side development.

    Before learning React, it is essential for you to strengthen your knowledge of Javascript language. You should first learn about the basics of Javascript and then move to the advanced versions or ECMAScript5 and ECMAScript6. It is also important to learn Javascript before moving to React because even in interviews where they test their knowledge of React, the begin with asking questions on the basics of Javascript.

    To begin with, you should start with Javascript variables, number, boolean, string. As a Javascript developer, you should also learn about operators, conditionals, functions, loops, keywords, array, objects and other basic fundamentals in Javascript.

    Before going to React, make yourself well versed with Javascript and maybe you can learn by creating some small applications on Javascript like a calculator to see how the various concepts work together. After the basics, you can also move to higher order concepts like callback function, arrow function, class & constructors etc.

    In short, before you escalate to React, make sure you are well versed with Javascript.

  4. Package Manager

    When you work with React, you install many, smaller software packages that contains all the files needed for a module (Javascript libraries included in the project.) Packages basically have package.json files and Javascript files. NPM (Node package manager) is an installer that can help you to download, install and keep track of these packages easily without worrying about the dependencies. When you install Node.js, NPM gets installed automatically.

    Therefore, before moving to React, it is important to have a concrete knowledge of NPM registry that keeps track of the file that has been submitted and how to install packages using it. When you are making complex web development projects and especially if you are working with React, it’s important to have a good knowledge of Package Manager.

  5. Version Control

    Version control is another important skill that every developer needs to have in order to share and store their project on various code hosting platforms. These platforms help developers to work and collaborate with each other and hence learn while working with fellow developers across the globe. Before learning React and making complex and advanced web development projects, you should have a good knowledge of code hosting platforms and how they work. You should at least have the proper knowledge of all commands such as push, pull, add, commit and the like in order to make your presence as a developer across the globe. Making the entire web application by yourself can be daunting and is also not required, hence it is important to collaborate with other developers. Version control is all the more important when all developers in a team are working in a remote environment. Version control would remain an important prerequisite of learning React and other front end development skills.

    Basics of front- end development, Javascript, JSX, Package manager and version control are the most important 5 Topics to Master Before Learning React. In your path of becoming a front- end developer, these five topics should definitely come before React. These topics would help you create a strong foundation and you would be at a better position to learn and make use of React in building the user interface of your website. If you are already proficient with all of these topics and are comfortable working them, it’s a good time to escalate and upgrade yourself to React.

    Also, if you wish to learn web development from scratch and become a proficient developer, we suggest you to enrol in a professional training course. As explained in the blog, web development consists of various topics and sub topics that you need to master and hence it can be a difficult experience to learn all of it by yourself. Hence, if you wish to become a web developer and grab a job in your dream company, a course for web development where industry professionals would teach you all the concept of web development, right from the very basic to the complex and advanced ones.

    In case you didn’t know, one such course we want to suggest is Konfinity ‘s Web Development Course is developed by experts from IIT DELHI in collaboration with tech companies like Google, Amazon and Microsoft. It is trusted by students and graduates from IIT, DTU, NIT, Amity, DU and more.

    Join the course to master the art of creating web applications by learning the latest technologies, right from basic HTML to advanced and dynamic websites, in just a span of a few months.

    Konfinity is a great platform for launching a lucrative tech career. We will get you started by helping you get placed in a high paying job. You know what’s amazing - no prior coding experience is required to take up our courses. Start your free trial here.