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Byteconf React is a free, two-day conference with some of the best React speakers and teachers in the world. The level of the talks range from beginner to intermediate so you're guaranteed to learn something new, no matter your level. In this post, I share my experience and things I learned on the second day of the conference.

Byteconf React is a free, two-day conference that has some of the best React speakers and teachers in the world. The 2020 conference was streamed on YouTube, for free, so that anyone can attend (even days or months later). It was fun for me because, while I listened to the insightful talks, I also asked questions during the stream and the speakers and other attendees responded to them in real time, and it felt like we were all in the same room talking to each other. The level of the talks ranged from beginner to intermediate, so you’re guaranteed to learn something new, no matter your level.

In a previous post, I shared my experience about how it went for the first day of the conference. In this post, I’ll also highlight the talks from the second day. I’ll share some info about the talks, how I feel about it and links to the videos.

Concurrent React from Scratch

The first talk for day 2 was from Shawn Wang and he talked about Concurrent React. In this talk, you will learn about how React renders components, schedules Time-Slicing updates, add Hooks, and end off with a mini-clone of Suspense. You will create a mini clone of React which will help you understand:

  • How JSX elements are plain JS objects with type and props
  • What React Fiber is and how it’s used in React
  • What the work loop is and how to implement one
  • How to implement the useState hook
  • How Suspense works.

This is one of my favorite talks and I recommend it for React developers of any skill level.

Building Scalable Web Applications with React

Saeed Ahmad presented his talk about building scalable React applications. If you watched the talks from Day 1, you would expect that you’ve learned all there is to know about building performant React apps. But in this talk, Saeed comes at it with a different insight. The talk focuses on how to think like a good software architect and make better decisions when architecting your React apps. This one I’d recommend for intermediate React developers. He talks about what scalability means for a React application, and goes on to show approaches and best practices for scaling a React application.

Adding Accessibility in Your React Apps

The next talk was on accessibility, which I think is one of the areas developers ignore when building a web application. It’s a topic which I’m least knowledgeable about and I was curious about what I was going to learn from it. In this talk, Neha Sharma walks us through a non-accessible React site and shows:

  • How to know that its accessibility is broken
  • How to debug it and fix the issues
  • Tips for making sure accessible components get created
  • Accessibility tools you can use

She explains what accessibility is and why it matters. She talked about accessibility guidelines and the different levels of accessibility. If you’re new to accessibility or want to learn how to build accessible React apps, go watch this talk.

Add Authentication to Your Gatsby App with Auth0

The next talk was delivered by Sam Julien who works for Auth0. This talk is focused on securing a Gatsby app using the Auth0 platform and JS library. He also talked about Gatsby’s build process and runtime, and also some tips and tricks to avoid common pitfalls with adding auth to a Gatsby site.

Lifting State up Is Killing Your App

Lifting state up is one of the concepts you likely have learned when learning React. In this talk, Andrey Goncharov shows why lifting state up might slow down your application. He starts out with an example that lifts state up using standard practice, then shows you where it fails and why. After that he refactors by moving the state down and showing how it improves the app’s performance in this scenario. You’ll also learn how to use the profiler from the React DevTools to track how your components are rendering. So if you want to learn how a misuse of a pattern can slow your application, make sure to watch this talk. 🙂

From create-react-app to create-any-app

The next talk that followed is one I like a lot. It’s about speed and productivity. This time not about speeding up your app, but rather your team velocity, thereby making developers productive. In Ema Suriano’s talk, he shows how they built tools/framework that help different teams bootstrap and maintain their projects, deployment configurations. He explains the concept and architecture behind this framework, and shows a demo of a sample project showcasing some use-cases.

React Bandersnatch Experiment: Getting Close to a Real Framework

The next talk by Claudia Bressi explored the concept of using React as a framework. She explored adding different libraries and tools to explore what would likely make a complete framework built on top of React. By the end of the talk, you will have learned what a framework is and when to use one. You’ll also learn how to build one on top of React, and if you combine this knowledge with the previous talk, you can as well have built a framework which can be shared between teams if you work in a large org or want to build one for your own use as an independent developer or consultant.

Speeding up Your Gatsby App in a Day

The last talk of the conference was an amazing one that you’ll love if you using Gatsby. Guess what, it’s also about speed! In Henrique Cavalieri’s talk, he shares five things you can do to speed up your Gatsby app. Some of these tips seem simple but they work magic. Things like how you serve fonts, images and third-party scripts. I don’t want to spill too much information which is better said in the talk. So go watch this talk. 😉

That’s a Wrap!

That’s it for Byteconf React 2020. Watch out for another one next year! I hope just like me, that you learned something from the talks that you can apply today and in the future to speed up your apps and improve your productivity.

Peter Mbanugo
About the Author

Peter Mbanugo

Peter Mbanugo is a software developer, tech writer, and maker of Hamoni Sync. When he's not building tech products, he spends his time learning and sharing his knowledge on topics related to GraphQL, Offline-First and recently WebAssembly. He's also a contributor to Hoodie and a member of the Offline-First community. You can follow him on Twitter.

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