How to become a React Native developer in 2018 and beyond

Grzegorz Błachut

Grzegorz Błachut

Senior React Native Developer

React Native is an amazing, cool, modern technology. If you want to build a high-quality mobile app using this tool, you need to become a good React Native developer. You have to learn the nuts and bolts of this mobile app development framework. 


Becoming a React Native developer is not difficult if you know JavaScript and React well. In this article, I’ll tell you in details how to become a React Native developer in 2018 and beyond. I will give you, in this post, a basic guidance and a list of reliable learning resources.




What is React Native?


Let’s first get a quick overview of React Native!


React Native is a cross-platform mobile app development framework developed by Facebook. You can use it to build Android and iOS apps.


Using this tool, you can achieve near-native performance, which means that apps built with this tool will be super fast.


With React Native, you can build apps very fast using the pre-built components. The Hot Reloading feature also saves you a lot of time by letting you reload your app instantly. You don’t need to recompile the code, you can simply reload your app.


If you want to build a mobile app using this framework, you have to be very good at JavaScript and React first.


You can learn more about this framework from its official site.


Successful mobile apps like Facebook, Instagram, Skype, Pinterest, Bloomberg, Tesla, Uber,   and Walmart have been built with React Native. Great startups and Fortune 500 companies are using this framework.




Image source: React Native official site




Choose an IDE / text editor


The first thing that you have to do is to choose an IDE / text editor. With React Native, you can code in any IDE / text editor. So select one that you like the most. There are many IDEs and text editors available on the Internet, such as Sublime Text, Visual Studio Code, Atom, Vim Editor, Nuclide, GNU Emacs Editor, and so on.




Learn from online tutorials


In order to work with React Native, you must have a great understanding of JavaScript and React. You also need to have knowledge of ES6, backend technologies, and Redux. Links to the best online tutorials are given below.




JavaScript Guide from Mozilla




ES6 articles from Mozilla




React tutorial from the official site

Learn React By Itself - a course by James K Nelson


React Native:

Official documentation

React Native tutorial by Christine Abernathy




Parse Server tutorials

Meteor tutorial




Official documentation

Full-Stack Redux Tutorial by Tero Parviainen




React Navigation guide by Spencer Carli

Official React Native Navigation documentation




A debugging guide by Gunnari Auvinen

Reactotron documentation




Learn how to test your React Native app

Appium guide by Chase Seibert



Improving performance:

Performance guide from the official documentation


There are a huge number of technical articles and blog posts available about React Native on the Internet. You can learn so much from these free resources.




Learn by doing


Now that you have a list of best learning resources. But keep in mind that reading tutorials is not enough. You must work on projects. This is a common advice given by experts, and it’s a good advice.


If you don’t learn by doing, you will forget most of what you have learned. Once you work on a mobile app project, you will become skilled.


While reading tutorials, you should run the code examples given in the lessons and experiment with them. Once you have strong foundational knowledge, start a project! Complete your project and try to improve it.


After your first React Native project is complete, you can build more mobile apps with this framework easily, and in the process of learning by doing, you will get stuck in many places. To find solutions, google your problem. If you don’t find a solution, you can ask someone for help on QA sites like StackOverflow.




Challenge yourself


You have an IDE / text editor installed, you know the best sites and courses for learning, and you know that you have to learn by doing -- the plan is ready, but you can’t take action. It happens. It’s a very natural thing in the age of Internet where we get distracted every now and then.


What to do if you can’t start? What to do if you’re suffering from inaction or if your productivity is low?


Challenge yourself to complete a task in an extremely small amount of time. Give yourself an extremely short deadline. This will skyrocket your productivity!


For example, you may challenge yourself to read 40 lessons in 2 hours. You may say it’s impossible. But I suggest you try to achieve the impossible. Although you may not be able to accomplish this task in 2 hours, your work will become so much interesting. Challenges are interesting. Aren’t they?


Even if you fail in your challenge, you will end up accomplishing so much.


When you challenge yourself in this way, starting a task becomes a lot easier and you become very productive, you can accomplish so much in less time -- I’m talking from my experience. :)




What I personally do is — I write down a list of tasks in notepad in the following way:


1. Write countdown component with dateToCountdown props (which should determine the date we're counting down to). If you’re done you can extend it with countdownFormat props (passed value should determine how countdown is formatted).

2. Create meme generator component (it should have props such as image url, text top and text bottom)

3. Create simple card component with props to set person avatar, name, position and description (if you want to get fancier make only one prop called username and use github api to download user data)


4. Get familiar with react-app




Final thoughts


This article explained how to become a React Native developer in 2018 and beyond. I hope you have found this post useful. 


Using the high-quality learning resources available on the Internet, you can master React Native very quickly, it won’t take much time.


If you have a friend who is an expert React Native developer, don’t hesitate to take help from him / her. You can also get help by asking questions on Facebook groups related to React Native.




So what are you waiting for? Take action NOW!

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Easter egg ;)