This is a talk I gave for Santa Cruz JS on May 14th, 2020. It was titled this way because it was 5 years after I delivered my first talk on React at the same meetup.
5 Years Later
Santa Cruz JS
14th May 2020
When I came here ﬁve years ago...
React was new and radically diﬀerent
from other frameworks of the time.
I tried to convince you that React is a
"it will not just change the way you build
user interfaces, but change the way you
think about UI."
Since then, React has become the de-facto standard in
and has impacted the career of almost every
who are not using React today are likely using a
framework that has been inﬂuenced by React in
I’m a software engineer, a founder, dad, consultant
I help companies build cool stuﬀ with React. I worked
at Facebook, I’ve been at Google/YouTube, I’ve hired
and trained engineers and founded a consultancy and
I’ve built a whole lot of React stuﬀ.
What I’d like you to take away
from this talk today.
● What's the journey been like
● What have we learned
● Why is React still #1
● What is new and exciting in
Let's take a look at how far
we’ve come in the past few
...but ﬁrst, come with me on
this journey back to May,
● The Apple Watch has just been
released; Airpods don’t exist
● The ﬁrst Macbook with USB-C
● Windows 10 not yet released
● IE is the #2 browser w/ 10-20%
Edge does not exist yet
● Barack Obama is president
● InstaStories doesn’t exist yet
(you have to use Snapchat)
● Periscope and Meerkat just
started the live-streaming
● California is totally in a drought
● Human contact is still a thing
But in development world...
● ES6 still called "Harmony”
● We’re mostly using Gulp and
Browserify (Webpack is just
● AngularJS is the most popular
web framework by huge
● CSS in JS is not really a thing
● The Node.js community is split
in two: io.js / original Node
● GraphQL just announced
● React is starting to gain
● React Native has just been
open sourced (iOS only)
● Flux is hot! Redux doesn’t exist
● Rust 1.0 just got announced
Now that I think about it..
2015 was a HUGE year for
Remember Meteor and
Remember Firefox OS?
The ecosystem got kinda messy for a while.
Really though, React was in its infancy.
Let’s talk about
that's happened in React world since then.
Redux came and went
Flow came and went
Higher Order Components was a thing
Render props kinda replaced HoC
(for a bit...)
Do you remember Thunks and Redux-Saga?
React kicked oﬀ the "CSS in JS" revolution
The rise of TypeScript!
...and it's subsequent world domination
...the state of excellent tooling
Server-side rendering and
static site generators
How 'bout that async/await stuﬀ!
Oh yea… and
● Cleaner code; less code
● No classes or `this`
● Excellent set of built-in hooks
● No more HoC mess
● Strongly typed
Naturally, we rewrote
React on other
One of the most exciting things to happen in the React
ecosystem since we last talked is React Native.
● Probably the most inﬂuential
x-plat mobile solution to date.
● Any web developer can jump into
being a mobile dev
● Fully immersive native
● Incredible ecosystem of packages
● World-class companies are
pushing this forward
It's like the missing tooling for
● Tooling, libraries, SDK
● Online playground
● Build pipeline
● Automation tools
Expo Web also supports Electron
for Mac and Windows
And on top of that...
React Native support
Windows and Mac
React: Looking forward...
Hooks paved the way for “Fast refresh”
a hot reloading reboot
React as been completely rewritten as part
of the “React Fibers” initiative
That rewrite unlocks two important future features:
● Concurrent Mode - 3 years in the making!
● Huge shift in the way React internals work (demo)
● React.lazy for granular control over code splitting
● Enables Suspense for more granular control over
The future of React Native
● Re-architecture of RN including new render engine
● Hermes JS engine for fast perf on low-powered
This is exciting stuﬀ.
Why is React still innovative after all these years?
That's my talk!
Thanks for listening.
Ask me questions!