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New Course: ReactJS

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Ben Finkel recently completed his ReactJS course. Ben brings his experience as a programmer and web developer to the course, setting learners up for real-world success in applying the javascript framework developed by Facebook. Ben explores topics including rendering an element, component props, JSX, unit testing, and more.

We recently chatted with Ben about his new course.

Q: Why should companies train their IT professionals in this technology? What value does it bring?
ReactJS is a significant step forward for web user interface development. By bringing declarative HTML code into Javascript, in the form of JSX, it allows developers to create highly functional UIs that are testable and can be managed with source control tools.

Q: From a student-perspective, what did you keep in mind when creating this course?
The learning curve for ReactJS can be very steep. Often, it’s approached from a “tools” perspective, dealing with setting up a development environment with a whole suite of ancillary products not directly related to ReactJS. I found that tack to be more confusing than helpful. I tried to keep the Nuggets small and focused so that each one represented a discrete step in the learning process. I utilized JSFiddle as a development environment so that the learners and I could go directly to writing actual ReactJS code without focusing on extraneous libraries and tools.

Q: Any out-of-the-box tips for students to get the most out of your course?
As with any development product, play with it! I made sure to use public JSFiddle code so that anyone can open up a browser and mess around with the code as I’m going over it. You’ll get the most value by trying the code out for yourself.

Q: What’s one real-world application someone can expect to use, thanks to this course?
Any reactive UI component can be fairly easily built from the fundamentals we cover in this course. In particular, the latter half of the course builds a searchable list, which could immediately be used in any application and styled completely with custom CSS.

Q: What was your favorite Nugget to create?
I really enjoyed hooking my code up to the Jest unit testing library. There has been such a renewed focus on proper scripted unit testing the past few years and it’s incredibly cool to see the tools that have sprung up in response. Jest makes it super easy to script out and execute unit tests against ReactJS code (or any Javascript code for that matter).

Q: What’s the ONE thing you hope learners take away from this training?
The power and potential of ReactJS! It’s such a unique way of approaching UI design that it can really be a little mind-bending to grasp initially. However, once you are “thinking in React,” you begin to see web development in a whole new light.

Check out the first video in Ben’s ReactJS course:

Start watching Ben’s new course today!


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