RB Group attend React Live Conference in Amsterdam

Over 800 developers were present on Friday, September 13th 2019 at the React Live Conference in Amsterdam. There were talks and live coding sessions by 14 speakers, about topics such as System Design, Animation, MobX, React Hooks, Performance, React Native, Gatsby, Next.JS and Micro-frontends. The fact that all speakers coded live, made this both a fun and educational experience.

React Live Conference

RB Group‘s mobile strategy has embraced ReactJS and React Native. This is why RB Group’s front-end developers Stephan Kouwenhoven and Akira Chow were excited to attend the conference. React is very much a technology on the rise, which was proven again on the conference with so many ace developers gathered to get inspired.

System Design, MobX, and React Hooks

Stephan: Because the topics were so diverse, there was something for everyone. For me as a starting React developer I particularly liked System Design, MobX, React Hooks and Performance Monitoring. The speaker that covered System Design showed how the quality of CSS can be improved by using libraries such as Styled Components and Emotion. These libraries allow you to style the components faster, simpler and more maintainable.

In the live MobX demo, the speaker did not only show how MobX can be applied, but also how MobX works behind the scenes. He emphasized that it is important that developers that use certain libraries, also know how they work. There was also an interesting presentation about React Hooks.

AH and Micro-frontends

Akira continues: David den Toom from Microfrontends gave a presentation on how the Albert Heijn webshop utilizes various micro-frontends to form together the webshop. As the name implies, micro-frontends is a way to divide your frontend into smaller apps, which is maintained and developed by a dedicated team. David spoke about Albert Heijn tackling the refactoring of the old webshop, which used Java and Backbone, to switching to micro frontends (which is still a work in progress after 2 years).”

With Java and Backbone there was a really tight coupling between the backend and frontend, which made things difficult to further develop the webshop. Slowly the team at AH started to introduce micro-frontends to replace certain parts of the existing webshop. A micro frontend would be for example the login or the sign-up feature.

The team faced difficult challenges and continue to do so as they refactor the enormous webshop. David finished his presentation by showing a dashboard to display information about the micro frontends. Here the AH team can keep track of analytical data of their micro frontends to see information such as traffic, downtime, server information, etc.

NBA app

Jamon Holmgren, founder, and CEO of Infinite Red, gave a presentation about creating a React Native application from the bottom up in 15-25 minutes time. It is an application to track NBA players and favorite ones that he likes. Using Infinite Red’s Bowser, which creates a template application. He used mobx-state-tree to keep track of states in the application – and seeing it in action was really impressive, especially how easy it was to use.

Towards the end of the presentation, Jamon mentioned one of the tools that his company developed: Reactotron. After the presentation I looked at this tool and found it very helpful since it provides more insightful information about your React or React Native application.