What is React Native? 4 Takeaways from the Chain React Conference

I recently went to Chain React, a three-day React Native conference held in Portland, Ore. I have not done mobile development yet. However, I had a great interest in wanting to dip my toes in the React Native world. I decided this was a great place to immerse myself in what it has to offer. Here are some of my takeaways as a newbie who’s only spun up a starter app. First, what is React Native?

What is React Native?

In my own words, React Native is primarily a client-side framework that allows you to build mobile apps for multiple platforms. From what I’ve seen and heard, the biggest perk of the framework is being able to write apps for both Android and IOS in one application using JavaScript. Here is a great starter article that gives you an introduction to React Native. Now on to the few things, though not comprehensive, that surprised and left an impression on me as a newbie.

The app store ratings are weighted differently, and it matters!

Kadi Kraman from Formidable gave a thorough explanation of how the ratings are calculated for the App Store. She also gave some insight into how to increase your app’s rating. Here’s her deck.

Follow your gut feelings when something about the code “feels weird.”

Mark Rickert from Infinite Red gave a great talk titled “Outrage Driven Development.” His talk encouraged developers to follow moments when something about the code feels weird or doesn’t seem right and to take deep dives into possible solutions. He also had great tips on how to ask better questions to help resolve these “outrage” moments. Listen to his full talk here.

Deploying apps is hard! But an expert can help.

Cecelia Martinez from Ionic gave a thorough and informative talk on how to take your app from the start all the way to the App Store. She provided many tips on how to package the app for testers and then eventually get it to the app store for the general public. Here’s her deck.

Windows is built on it?!

Chiara Mooney and Shiven Mian from Microsoft gave a talk on how portions of Windows applications are built on React Native. They also gave several examples of React Native Windows component libraries that one can use to do so. Find that talk here.

Whew! These were all just from day one of the conference! These talks definitely gave me a better glimpse into the React Native world, and I’m excited for all that’s to come.


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