Dispatches from ReactEurope in Paris, France

Written by Nick Van Weerdenburg


This month, Rangle had the pleasure of being the lead sponsor of ReactEurope 2015 in Paris. Having used ReactJS and Flux architectures in about a third of our projects in the last six months, we were very excited about this event… And what a fantastic event it was: being well organized, with an amazing roster of speakers and talks.

Seth Davenport, one of Rangle's senior developers who attended, said, "I was most impressed with the sophistication of the talks and the topics being discussed. While flux and React are straightforward concepts, they lend themselves to some pretty advanced programming techniques. A lot of the talks presented very cool things that can be done when you embrace functional and reactive programming, which are the computer science concepts that underlie much of the React community."

In addition to hearing great talks, Rangle.io’s team met with key members of the React community, and interviewed speakers for an interview series that appears on YouTube. (You can see one of the interviews done, below.)

ReactEurope Was Huge

Over 700 attendees wildly passionate about React, functional programming practices, and component-based complex web applications was a sure sign to us that React has solved some important web development challenges. But more exciting than this was the clear excitement about the new wave of innovation emerging in the web development field: ReactJS, Flux, GraphQL, Relay, ReactNative, React Router, isomorphic Flux, and even inline CSS.

What particularly and unexpectedly impressed me was the sense of humility in the face of the massive disruption web development has seen over the last few years and the incredible amount of innovation that is currently going on. Nobody was preaching from a pedestal, claiming to have the answer, or arguing for one technology camp or another. The spirit at the conference was very focused on continuing innovation and it was inclusive of a wide variety of thoughts and approaches.

The Biggest Take-aways

  • React and Flux are something to pay attention to - They are bringing better programming techniques to the community as a whole.
  • The React community isn't afraid to re-evaluate long-held ideas about best practices; this is key to the high level of innovation that's coming out of this space.
  • ReactNative offers something new and interesting to mobile development and is worth serious evaluation.
  • The broader React ecosystem is starting to form with exciting technologies like Relay and GraphQL
  • Transpiling is here to stay (Babel, TypeScript), and the mainstream is moving towards supporting ES6 in front-applications as a result.

A Few Recommended Talks

While all the talks were uniformly strong, we were particuarly impressed and influenced by the following talks, which you can watch, below.

Dan Abramov - Live React: Hot Reloading with Time Travel for its demonstration of how powerful functional techniques can be.

Michael Chan - Inline Styles: themes, media queries, contexts, & when it's best to use CSS for an entertaining take on the controversial topic of inline CSS.

"Lee Byron - Exploring GraphQL" and "Elie Rotenberg - Flux Over the Wire" for new takes on client/server communication.

Also, check out my interview with Lee Byron, for a look at what a leading design technologist working at Facebook has to say:

Overall, ReactEurope 2015 was a fantastic conference and we look forward to returning next year. In the meantime, our CTO Yuri Takhteyev and I will be giving a webinar on best practices for building large applications using React, Flux, and Angular on August 12.

Sign up for our free React webinar today.