React Summit is a global event that brings frontend developers using React/JavaScript together to discuss the latest and greatest from the framework. In this blog, Christian Nwamba gives his rundown of React Summit Lagos 2018.

Audience cheering at React Summit 2018

React Summit is a global community-driven event aimed at bringing together frontend developers who use React/JavaScript or are hoping to learn more about it. The conference fosters deep, valuable discussions around what’s new, what’s possible and best practices with React.

On October 20, 2018, The Nigerian React Summit event was held at the Havilah Event Center, Yaba Lagos. It saw a large number of developers coming through to learn, network and share insights on all things React.

The event was organized by the Facebook Dev Circles group and chaired by Innocent Amadi, who made tremendous efforts to see that the best speakers were available to deliver amazing sessions.




Innocent started the event with a brief description of the React Summit goals and potentials for React developers. He opened the stage with an amazing session on The Evolution of React JS. Moving on, he introduced the first speaker Shedrack Akintayo, who spoke on Optimizing Your Use of React LifeCycles—When, Why, How.


After the first speaker, we had a brief question-and-answer session before the moderator introduced the next speaker, Timi Aiyemo. Timi is a Senior Software Consultant at Andela. He loves application development and opportunities to share ideas with others. He recently facilitated four weeks of React workshops and found himself drawn to the struggles of the beginnings.

Timi’s session focused on the top 10 things React newbies should always remember when starting the journey. His session highlighted Serverless React.


Abati Adewale, also known as Ace, delivered a session on leveraging the capabilities of the create-react-app CLI tool for building React applications. Adewale is a web developer and advocate at Ingressive. He is passionate about open source, the web and basketball. He also runs a YouTube channel where he documents his journey through tech and a host of other interesting things. Feel free to check him out on YouTube.

His session covered why you should make create-react-app your best friend and go-to boilerplate for building React apps. He touched on the various reasons why should you use it in production and gave many more tips surrounding the boilerplate.


Another amazing speaker who graced the pulpit was Kesiena Akpobome. He is Technical Team Lead at Andela and a self-proclaimed software architect. He delivered a session on why and how developers can build React applications with TypeScript.


We had Miguel Jimenez come on stage as he shared insights on Metro—a tool built by Facebook for writing React Native applications. Miguel is a Senior Software Engineer at Facebook and is currently working with the JS Foundation team. Before, Miguel was at New Relic for over a year, and before that at Spotify for three years. With these teams, he has consistently built products that optimize for performance, speed, ease of use and memory utilization.

Miguel joined us in person from Facebook’s office in the UK to lead the keynote on Metro. He took us through what makes Metro unique and what to expect from it during the upcoming months.


Finally, we had the amazing Kent C Dodds speaking remotely on Advanced React Patterns. Kent works at PayPal as a full-stack JavaScript Engineer. He represents PayPal on the TC39 (Ecma International, Technical Committee 39). He’s actively involved in the open-source community as a creator and contributor. He is also an instructor, Frontend Masters instructor and Google Developer Expert, among many other things he does in the React and general JavaScript ecosystem. His session covered all you need to know to fall in love with React.


At this point we had a lunch break to re-energize the audience and keep everyone spirited. Oh by the way, we had Jollof Rice 😍. This provided us the chance to hear from the community managers from Andela, Babajide Duroshola and William Imoh, who spoke about the opportunities in Andela and how the best developers can join their pool of developers to further enhance their skills.


Coming back from the lunch break, we had the amazing international speaker and author Christian Nwamba (I guess this is me). I’m a JavaScript evangelist and developer advocate with great love for everything JavaScript and performance. I spoke about responsive images for the web and how responsiveness is not just about media width but also optimization.

Christian Nwamba

After my session, Fiyinfoluwa Adebayo took the stage to introduce developers to the awesome features of Electron. He is a Senior Software Engineer at Andela and Happy Money. He is also a Product Designer at Kompilab. He currently leads a team to extend the functionality of a self-service portal and integrate their microservices architecture with a Salesforce solution to enable servicing of more applications per customer.

Fiyin is an advocate for using the right tools to build products that users understand and love. UI/UX and cars are favorite topics he loves to discuss over cake and coffee. His session focused on understanding Electron and how we can use React to build cross platform desktop apps while working through an example.

Fiyinfoluwa Adebayo

After Iyin’s session, we had Temi Lajumoke take the stage and deliver a session on Serverless React. Temi is a Senior Software Engineer at Coursera & Andela.

Temi Lajumoke

Next we had Robert John Thas take the stage and deliver a workshop on consuming pre-trained ML models on the Google Cloud Platform. Robert is a Data Engineer, certified Machine Learning Engineer at EnterFive, and a Google Developer Expert.

Robert’s workshop focuses on guiding developers through consuming pre-trained ML models on the Google Cloud Platform. The solution will take an image, read the text in the image and translate it into Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. This serves to show participants how to implement localization in their React and React-Native Applications.

Robert John Thas


The event wouldn’t have been possible without the help of our amazing sponsors:


Developer Circles from Facebook is a great way for developers to connect and collaborate. Each Circle is locally organized by members of the community.


Andela helps companies quickly and confidently scale their software teams with world-class, full-time developers.


VanHack is a community of over 180,000 software developers, designers and digital marketers who are ready to relocate. 90% of all jobs posted on VanHack get a qualified candidate in less than 24 hours.


TechMeetupsNG has been set up to create a network of tech communities around Nigeria.


The event was an overall success. We had technical glitches and projector disappointments, but these didn’t deter the spirit of the event in any way. Speakers delivered amazing sessions, the audience was booming and the environment was remarkable. We had fun, we learned from the best and we shared ideas and insights to help better our React development skills.

Moving On

In 2019, we plan to have more known React Experts come over physically. We also hope to better involve local engineering teams who are using React JS or any other frontend framework that could benefit from the principles discussed.

The goal is to work together with other similar conferences to strengthen the ecosystem and, by doing so, call global attention to Nigeria’s engineering talent and credibility.

Overhead shot of attendees of Lagos conference

Another overhead shot of attendees of Lagos conference

For more info on building apps with React:  Check out our All Things React page that has a great collection of info and pointers to React information—with hot topics and up-to-date info ranging from getting started to creating a compelling UI.

Christian Nwamba
About the Author

Christian Nwamba

Christian is a Lagos, Nigeria based software developer and developer advocate. He keeps pushing boundaries with/for the Next Billion Users and Next Million Developers through Microsoft.

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