Book Review: Fullstack React, The Complete Guide to ReactJS and Friends

My notes from reading Fullstack React

I just finished reading Fullstack React. The following are my thoughts.

I have about ~10 years of experience working in developing web applications, including a few years working in AngularJS. I’ve also got a bit of experience working with React and GraphQL. I’ve been on a break from front end web development for a while and I wanted to get back into it, so I bought Fullstack react and spent the last 14 days working through the book. The book’s contents are useful to developers ranging from beginner to experienced.

The book is long but not page dense. It’s over 700 pages but I only needed half the time to read it as other ~800 page books I’ve recently read. (See how I tracked my reading progress) For instance, many pages are just screenshots of browser windows. Some sections, like the chapter that reviews how JS testing and assertion libraries generally work, are a bit overly simplistic. Overall I’d rate the book as pretty good.

Fullstack React is essentially an overview of ReactJS concepts and a tour of the associated ecosystem. As of April 2020, most of the content is fairly up to date, and the authors have periodically revised segments. The only section which was a bit out of date was ~30 pages devoted to relay. I read the relay section and then researched online how relay has evolved since the book was published.

I particularly like how the book teaches topics like redux by essentially guiding the reader through building the redux library from scratch. The provided code examples are a useful reference. The book is also full of higher-level organizational advice, like guidance on structuring components into stateful and presentational components for maximum component reusability.

Reading Fullstack React from cover to cover is a great way to get started with ReactJS. However, just reading this book alone isn’t enough to master the subject. I believe you also need to actually build something non-trivial to really take your proficiency level from basic to advanced. That’s what I’ll be doing for the next couple of weeks from my apartment here in Taipei.

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