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How React JavaScript Framework Works And Best Way To Learn It | Touchstone Words

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What is React framework and how it is different from JavaScript programming

By Editorial Team on 2018-01-17

Popularity of JavaScript in most part comes from its powerful and versatile frameworks. For instance, frameworks such as jQuery Mobile, Ionic, and React Native are used by App developers to design native mobile Apps for both iOS and Android devices. Thus, understanding and learning a JS framework will give a winning edge to a JS developer in the current competitive job market.


Trying to build a website with just HTML and CSS seems like a very difficult task. While a few elements might be on the page with a few background colors, maybe a gradient, with some really simple built in web views being rendered. Not a lot of functionality exists on the site. A user can’t write data into a text field, which would then be inserted into a database on the backend and subsequently update the website. A user can’t see if their friend is online or send them a message which they would then receive almost immediately. However, all of this functionality can be achieved through JavaScript.


With the use of JavaScript came the creation of frameworks. Different programming paradigms were introduced to abstract parts of the development process that were otherwise annoying and unnecessary after the first time being created. These frameworks allowed developers to slowly step further away from the basic web tools like HTML and CSS and create their web applications purely in JavaScript. React is one of those libraries.


React comes with numerous features that give it an inherent advantage over coding in just JavaScript with HTML and CSS. First off, it makes the Document Object Model or DOM completely virtual, enabling the manipulation of elements purely in JavaScript. In usual JavaScript, this would require the linking of an HTML object to a JavaScript variable, which would then be able to change aspects of the object. This entire concept is abstracted in React, and developers have automatic access to elements they generate on their web page. This makes it easier to not only access information users inputted on a page but also output information generated by the business logic.


Additionally, React is entirely state based when creating user interfaces. Developers can describe their interfaces using a specific state and based on what state it is at any point in the software lifecycle, React handles functionality from there. This declarative style of programming makes it considerably easier for developers to create web applications using a higher level of abstraction. Declarative programming is a paradigm that has grown in popularity with the increase in functional programming languages, so React having such a paradigm makes it easier for developers familiar with a functional style language to create their web Apps. However, for developers who has a background in imperative development, creating applications can feel like voodoo as much of the actual hard work is taken care of for you.


React also allows developers to describe their views in JavaScript as well. React uses a modified language called JSX to create models for its web views and interact with these models. JSX has a syntax almost identical regular HTML code, making it easier for developers to understand the views that they are writing. All of the JSX code stays in the same file as the main React logic, so developers can easily maintain codebases in fewer files.


Programming Languages and Resources for Web Developers
Here are a brief summary of coding languages and resources for web designers. HTML, CSS (or HTML5 & CSS3) PHP, MySQL, JavaScript (or JS frameworks like jQuery, Angular, React, Node, or Express) or MongoDB, Apache, Ruby on Rails, and Linux are related to web programming. The most  popular content management systems that use PHP  & MySQL are  Wordpress, Joomla, and Drupal. Also, obtaining the following PHP and database certifications are highly rewarding for all custom web developers: Zend Framework 2, Zend Certified PHP Engineer, Oracle Database 11g Administration and Oracle Database 12c SQL Fundamentals. For those interested in learning more about web design and development, here are a list of step-by-step training guide articles: i- Become CMS specialist, ii- Become front-end specialist, iii- Become expert SQL developer, iv- Become expert PHP developer


React.JS coding is well suited for those interested in pursuing a career in web design and development; however, other options are mobile App design and development, system admin and software engineering. It is advisable to consult with an IT career counselor to understand what career options best fits your skills. For instance, if you want to be a software engineer, learning HTML and CSS might not fit the bill. Here is an excellent article for learning more on coding and technology career roadmap. Once you know what career path you wish to pursue, you can make a plan on what, when, and how to learn. There are lots of online resources for learning coding and technology in general. For teenagers and high school students, High School Technology Services offers variety of hands-on training. For adults and professionals, Coding Bootcamps and DC Web Makers Companies offer basic to advance project-based programming and technology classes.


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