Hands-on Web Development With React (Video Course)

After nearly 200 hours of work, my first video course is available! Hands-on Web Development with React is available via Packt Publishing and you can actually jump into the course for free via Mapt. (Packt’s on-demand course platform.)

The Elevator Pitch

You’ll learn how to build a ReactJS web application / SPA from scratch. We’re going to build a job board app where:

  • Visitors can see job postings and search through them via a global search bar.
  • Registered users can add/edit postings (if they’re on a paid plan) and view stats on their existing/old ones.
  • Admin users can edit postings and view global analytics in the form of a nice chart.

Along the way, you’ll also learn about css-in-js, mocking, functional programming, and pick up some general software engineering wisdom.

The course is structured into 7 sections that span across ~4.5 hours. Each with a particular set of goals and challenges that we’ll overcome. You can skip ahead and read the full list.

Note: The course is made with React 16 in mind, but works with 15.x.x. The guide will still be relevant once React 17.0.0 is released.

Style & Approach:

  • The videos are mostly a mix of talking and live coding, accompanied by slides when discussing theoretical concepts.
  • Code files are included with the course.
    • There is also a git repository where each commit is tagged with the video it related to.
  • Each video follows a similar pattern:
    • Step 1: What’s the problem? How are we planning to solve it?
    • Step 2: What technical concepts do we need?
    • Step 3: Let’s code it out and discus along the way!
  • The sound is recorded with a solid condenser microphone and pop-filter.
    • An introductory video at the bottom of the course landing page will give you a good idea of the sound quality and my accent. :)
  • There’s a quiz within and at the end of some of the videos, to test if you’ve been paying attention.

Note: if you’ve seen my YouTube or Twitch videos then you should know that the approach in this course is different. The videos are between 4 to 10 minutes long and highly focused. Unlike the streams which last for hours and are fairly “free form.”

My advice for consuming the content of the course is to watch it in chunks between 2 to 6 minutes and then pause and try writing some code yourself.

The Long List

You will:

  • Learn how to bootstrap a React application with Create React App.
  • Create React components and manage application state.
    • Forms and event handling.
    • Lists and dynamic item rendering.
    • Loading indicators and placeholders.
    • Other common UI components.
  • Understand the why and how behind core React concepts and common patterns.
    • Lifecycle methods.
    • React PropTypes.
    • State lifting and prop drilling.
    • Callback-controlled data flow.
    • Functional (Stateless) components.
  • Learn patterns for building reusable ReactJS components.
  • Learn how to communicate with a real server, as well as local mocks.
  • Use CSS-in-JS with styled-components.
  • Build a fully-functional, feature-rich SPA with:
    • Dynamic routing via react-router-dom,
    • support for multiple roles, and
    • granular access control via feature/permission flags.
  • Learn core functional programming concepts and how they apply to working with React.
    • Map, filter, reduce!
    • Pure functions.
    • Immutability.
    • Higher order functions and higher order components.
  • Practice Unit and Snapshot Testing with Jest, a JavaScript test runner.
  • Figure out how to configure your build and deploy it to production.
  • Learn about the basics of React’s internals:
    • The virtual DOM.
    • The reconciliation algorithm and diffing process.

What I Left Out

There are also some things that I’ve left out and that you might have expected would be in the course. I think it’s fair to mention those:

  • The React Context API – it’s not something you need at a junior/intermediate level. When you need it, you’ll be able to read up on it and learn it by yourself.
  • Render Props – it’s considered an “advanced pattern”, but this is mainly to it being a new, shiny tool in a React developer’s arsenal. When you need them, you can learn them on your own. They’re not that important at this stage.
  • Redux – it’s common for instructors to bundle Redux into a React course. The two technologies are used widely. However, I feel that Redux is it’s own topic and I am against learning it before you have a good grasp of React.
  • Once you understand the pains of state management, you’re ready to start exploring Redux on your own. There’s also a ton of free resources that would explain it better than I would. Including one by Dan Abramov, the creator of Redux.