Bluenove at ReactEurope

In the tail-end of 2016, we made the decision to re-write Assembl’s front-end from the ground up with a completely new stack. As a former Backbone/Marionette shop, it was vital that we picked a technology that would suit our needs whilst offering us longevity. React turned out to be the most appealing project, in conjunction with Redux and GraphQL, which combined gave our front-end developers the tools needed to re-write the app from the top-down quite quickly.

Fast forward to 2018, and I had the opportunity to represent Bluenove at React Europe in Paris! This year’s conference gave the team confidence moving forward with React. The community has grown tremendously over the last 4 years, and with the latest React 16 update, there are tons of new features available to for us to develop performant front-ends.

Arguably the most exciting news was React Suspense. The feature sits on top of React Fiber, which allows for asynchronous rendering, and gives the developer the ability to suspend rendering until a given condition is met. It is a new powerful tool that will enable applications to be functional under any conditions. Furthermore, Apollo Client, the GraphQL client of choice for Assembl, already supports Suspense out of the box. We can adopt these new technologies by simply importing the latest packages. It’s never been easier to integrate a new technology!

Throughout the conference, mobile and integration with React was also heavily discussed. React Native, the mobile React framework, has now been ported to the web. This completely changes how Javascript developers write React code. The native mobile experience is ported to the web. It’s still highly experimental, but it is a step in the right direction. Furthermore, ReasonML, the object-functional language based on Javascript and OCaml now supports React! This enables developers to write type-safe, functional code for the web based in React. Fantastic!

Key takeaway

This year, a lot of focus was put on lightning talks, rapid presentations and key learnings from the latest and greatest of React-based projects. Sadly, diving deep into each talk would simply take too long. So, in a brief summary, the React ecosystem has never been stronger, and integrations with React ecosystem is becoming a norm. The big takeaway from the conference was the direction of React. As the framework itself reaches peak popularity, it appears that the developer community has adopted the technology stack and is building tooling and languages which will help to bridge the gap between the various platforms. React is becoming less a front-end only tool, and React Native is becoming less a mobile-only tool. JSX and the philosophy behind React are becoming ubiquitous. The community is aiming to unify the web, mobile, and native OS systems on React. I believe we are going to see React become more than a framework, but a philosophy on which designers and developers can create products with. We at Bluenove cannot wait to see what the future will bring for React and what we can leverage in Assembl!