To make the development process easy and flawless, developers heavily rely on extensions to aid them. The Chrome extension, React Developer Tools, is an add-on for React developers to make debugging smooth and easy.
To add this extension, navigate to the react developer tools page on Google Chrome or Firefox and click on ‘Available on Chrome’. If you see ‘Remove from Chrome’ it means it’s already available on your machine.
The same procedure is used to install it on Firefox.
To verify extension installation, at the top right corner is the extension tab. Click on it and React Developer Tools should be among the added list.
The debugging application at hand needs to be built in React.js in order for the add-on to properly function. To determine if an application was built using react.js, launch the application on a browser, preferably Google Chrome or Firefox. On Google Chrome, hover to the extension tab and click on ‘React Developer Tools’.
If the add-on (extension) is colorless, and in this case white, it means the application is not using react.js.
On the other hand, if the extension is colored, it means the application is using or was built using react.js.
To inspect components, start the React app and right click on the application for a dropdown. Navigate to ‘Inspect’ and click on it to launch the workspace. Alternatively, you can use the shortcut Ctrl+Shift+l to get into the workspace or Chrome developer tools. Here is a brief overview to create and start a React application in easy and simple steps:
After starting the application, and in Chrome developer tools, to show the React component tree, click on the three arrows (>>>) in front of ‘Sources’. In the dropdown there will be other options to select but we are interested in component and profiler. So click on ‘Component’ to show the component tree.
As this is an empty application created simply to demonstrate, the component tree is empty. Normally it would have shown all levels and hierarchy of our components here.
Inside the component tree you can inspect properties, or props for short, and make the necessary changes. If you want to further record performance, the profiler tab is where you will click to start recording any performance issues.
In all, React Developer Tools are simple to use and help edit and inspect components in addition to recording performance via the profiler.
With the knowledge of the above tools and many others combined to be a good React developer, you might in turn perform functions beyond the scope of only front-end development.
Below are key responsibilities of React developers:
Mobile app developers: React developers easily leverage react.js to build mobile apps using React Native, as it heavily relies on react.js. As a lot of businesses turn to mobile, React developers are given added tasks to develop associated mobile applications for apps built using React. This in a way reduces cost on the side of the company as they can easily use a single or couple of developers to develop both front-end application and mobile app for a business using the same technologies.
UI/UX researchers. As a React developer building front-end or fullstack applications, you work mostly with designers to get the best of user interfaces to the public. The continued interaction with these experts in UI/UX helps the developer to be informed about best practices, guides, and aesthetics. This indicates that as a React developer, one can still play the role of a UI/UX engineer.
Team lead and mentoring: The time comes for you to take the mantle as a lead developer and moderate the junior development team. As a good React developer, you stand the chance of leading your team and also mentoring and monitoring the junior developers to enrich the heights they so desire in development.
Technical writer: Documentation and curated articles are some of the key areas developers and designers resort to when trying to solve a problem. Of course you cannot write about the whole programming landscape but the field you are coming from, React developer in our case, can help you be a technical writer in React or documentation of an application built in react.js. So, React developers are also technical writers.
Code review: As you develop applications and push code to GitHub for preservation and collaboration, you also need to review code to enhance application functionality and security to protect the image of the company and customer data. Obviously you cannot do code review if you do not know how to code. Being a React developer testifies you can also be a code reviewer.
Among many factors, key points that actually get the attention of developers (React) are listed below:
Alternative to a proxy server: During development, test applications might need to make a call to an external service to store data or retrieve files. Node.js can be used as a proxy server in this instance in case there are not adequate resources in place to provide a proxy. The ability to use Node in accomplishing such tasks makes it loved by many React developers.
Plethora of hosting providers: As lots of organizations adopt using Node, hosting service providers are also making it easy to deploy Node applications using a few commands. In an environment where there are multiple options to choose from, it forces service providers to give out their best in order to not lose the already shared customers. This impacts developers positively as they no longer need to stick to a single service provider whose services might not be good, but enjoy monopoly power.
Robust NPM tooling: Dependency management could be a nightmare for a developer in terms of management: adding, updating and maintaining modules. With Node package manager, the process is robust, fast, and effective. One could add dozens of modules at a goal and update packages with a single command without breaking changes in the application. This robust nature of Node obviously captures the attention of React developers as it simplifies the package management process without many issues. Moreover, there are over a dozen Node modules to install due to its vibrant ecosystem of users and contributors putting in effort to forever make it great.
Data streaming: Although HTTP requests and responses are truly data streams, outdated web applications see them as discrete events. Because data comes in the form of streams, this functionality can be fully utilized with Node.js to create some fantastic features, such as processing files as the upload is happening. This helps to decrease overall processing time. This can be used for real-time audio or video encoding as well.
Yes. React Native for Web is used to develop web applications. The scalability of your application might call for developing on different platforms to meet client’s demands and as such, the initial development stack should be versatile and be able to withstand changes dynamically without any negative impact on developers or users. React Native for Web empowers developers to build for existing and new apps using web based components (React Native) and web APIs.
I outline seven skills below to help you level up your React development:
HTML and CSS: Well, HTML and CSS is a house name for every front-end developer. To be able to develop clean and intuitive user interfaces, you need to know HTML and CSS. The ability to develop an interface with HTML coupled with CSS styling is a manifestation you are a step ahead in becoming a good React developer. Working with media queries, flex box, CSS selectors, and understanding responsive web design will put you in a winning position to become a good React front-end developer.
Variables and data types
Type conversions and comparison
Debugging in the browser
Arrays and objects
Event handlers and DOM manipulation
Git and GitHub: As you work your way through, code sharing with team members is inevitable, and as such, you need to learn git and the basic git commands. Then upon learning git, you need to know GitHub, where you can actually push your source code to.
Remember git and GitHub are two different things. In simple terms git will help you manage your source code whilst GitHub will offer you a space to host the source code.
Node and NPM: Starting from React installation to creating apps you will need Node to work through. In addition, Node is needed to manage packages in application and it handles everything pretty well due to its robust nature. Moreover, Node serves as a proxy server in case you are unable or your company is not able to set up a proxy server for use.
Redux: State management in an application is very crucial and Redux is a state management library for React. Having a firm understanding of Redux will make your work handy as a React developer
Next.js: As an application grows, one might find ways to ease pressure and get the job done quickly and when that is an option, next.js comes in handy as it’s open-source framework for React applications development.
The above coupled with dedication, passion, and hard work will see you become the good React developer you desire to be. It’s doable. Many have done it and you can do it too.