Wait, what am I meant to be doing again?

I’m not primarily a JavaScript Developer - I’m more used to Front-end Development and the tooling scene that has grown with it. Coupled with that I’ve been building websites using WordPress and, for the past 7 months, ExpressionEngine.

Skills on the web atrophy quite quickly, so I’ve been spending some spare time touching up on what I think will be relevant in the years to come. It’s a requirement of the trade, really, otherwise you run the risk of using the modern-day equivalent of table-based layouts.

This can be frustrating as you have to be willing to throw out what you spent all those months, or even years, learning, but it’s also a fantastic opportunity.

I’ve been shying away from JavaScript because it’s a mental block for me. Here’s my process:

“Angular looks really cool, I’ll have a play around with it.”

  • bower install that shit.
  • Mess with some boilerplate to build a controller.
  • Marvel at the wonder of data-binding.
  • I’m a rockstar, this is easy.
  • What’s a service?
  • What’s a factory?
  • When should I use one or the other? Or at all?
  • I’m out.

I’m probably too impatient with myself, but the end result is having rudimentary knowledge of something that’s never enough for production use.

Enter React. This is what I’ve been waiting for. After some light reading on Flux, it made a whole lot more sense to me. I could visualise the flow of data, and so was encouraged to learn more to build on that understanding. It’s an incredible feeling to gather such motivation with such a brief encounter. Before long I had built a little demo, and it felt right.

Then there’s React Native. That means I can apply my new-found knowledge to native applications. I nearly caked my pants with excitement, and with any luck I’ll be caking my pants on a regular basis for months to come.