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November 29, 2021

What is React JS?

Ironhack - Changing The Future of Tech Education

Many people are already familiar with coding languages such as HTML, CSS and Python. React JS is a JavaScript library created for frontend development. It is a relatively new code that was developed in 2011 by a Facebook engineer in order to make frontend development easier and more efficient. It looks just like HTML code but is a library that expands massively on HTML's capabilities. (Note that it is more of a library than a framework.) If you need to build interactive elements on a website, React JS is a suitable and versatile option. It is easy to implement and also offers enhanced website performance. Nowadays, it is one of the most popular libraries or frameworks among frontend developers, alongside Vue and Angular.

What is React JS used for?

This library can be used to build interactive user interfaces which include vertical and horizontal menus and menu tabs, a search bar, clickable buttons and other features that require interaction from the user. It is a frontend code and is primarily used to build features for the user. For this reason, developers who use this particular library will often be working closely with UX or UI designers. In a nutshell, this library can be used to:

  • Create large, interactive web applications

  • Build mobile apps for Android and iOS using the Native library

  • Build data visualization tools and dashboards

  • Implement new interactive website features

  • Create individual applications that change data without reloading the web page


JavaScript developers benefit from some key features offered by React JS, in particular, JSX and virtual DOM. Most basic websites are built around HTML files and documents. Web browsers then display the HTML code on a laptop, smartphone or tablet, for instance, so that it is a browsable and usable website. In doing so, browsers such as Chrome and Safari create a Document Object Model - which looks a little like a family tree - to represent how the website is structured. In order to add dynamic content, developers need to modify the DOM which other coding languages such as JavaScript and CSS.

This library also lets developers easily adapt a website’s DOM with a straightforward, HTML-type code. Adding new and independent features is quick and easy with this library as it uses a tree-type structure of components so a website or page can be put together or edited in blocks. Each component can be built independently, so updating it or adding new ones won't affect other areas of the website.

Other frameworks that allow the manipulation of the DOM, for example, pure Javascript or JQuery, can lead to code that is unclear. This makes it difficult to maintain and update. React, however, uses components that contain logic as well as presentation and which are created by HTML, CSS and Javascript, so updating websites, or changing or adding features over time is much easier when done with this particular library.

Continuously Updated Library

This library is constantly in development from a global community of developers. This ensures it is adapted and updated regularly. It features a multitude of extensions and lets website users perform pretty much any interactive task while browsing. As its development is constantly ongoing, there are new capabilities and options added regularly.

Expanding Your Skillset

Anyone who wishes to work in frontend development and has a strong interest in user experience should add this library to their toolkit! It is an extremely valuable skill to have and is highly versatile when it comes to website development. Understanding the ins and outs of this code, along with the wide range of extensions it offers, will let you truly take advantage of this framework and develop websites creatively and efficiently.

There are ample opportunities for frontend web developers in the tech industry today. Whether you wish to work for one company, freelance and work with multiple clients or start your own ecommerce business, for example, web development skills will be incredibly valuable for your career. Add React JS to your skillset to truly boost your abilities and skillset.

Use in Graphic Design

Graphic designers who design websites would also benefit greatly from proficiency in the React JS library. It requires some coding know-how and an understanding of how HTML works in general. However, the possibility to execute your ideas independently and ensure that a web page looks and functions exactly as you intended can be a huge advantage for any designer. Communicating ideas and requirements can be time-consuming when working with a developer. Plus, the final product can sometimes not look precisely as you imagined it. Equip yourself with the skills to build features independently and place yourself ahead of the pack.

Freelance Web Developers

Anyone who works as a freelance web developer would benefit greatly from knowledge and experience in this library. It is quick to work with and lets you quickly add new, independent features to a website that can later be adapted or edited as needed. It is extremely flexible and easy to manage.

Coding for Entrepreneurs

Coding skills are a huge advantage for entrepreneurs. Most companies and organizations nowadays have a website which needs to be maintained or perhaps updated regularly. The ability to perform updates yourself rather than hiring a developer to do so can save a lot of time and money. Entrepreneurs who wish to upskill and who already have a basic understanding of web development can easily add Javascript and React JS to their repertoire. It is particularly suited to ecommerce websites and lets you add independent features. This javascript library is suitable for small to large projects in any organization.

If you want to learn React JS and improve your coding skillset, sign up for our Web Development bootcamp and take the next step in your career.

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