Lesson learned in a large web project using React.js

April 9, 2016

Currently I’m involved in a very large web project, constructing very complex UI functionality. We’re doing it with React.JS. So far, so good…

A few weeks ago, one of our team members came up with the idea to follow more of the guidelines Dan Abramov has published for developing good React frontends and assumed good architectures. Already at this time I mentioned that this seems to be some of the worst practices we learned already 15 years ago from JSP development. But he wasn’t convinced and followed blindly without thinking about the advice.

Then, in the last few weeks, the application became more and more unresponsive and horribly slow! So I investigated into the issues and did a large refactoring. After some days of heavy work, the application is again responsive and fluent work is possible. And this is thanks to the experience of many years of software development and not running blindly behind some mysterious trends and “recommendations” of some so-called JavaScript “Gurus”. (No, you’re neither a Ninja, Rockstar or whatever, you are just a damn developer. We all are just damn developers, nothing more!)

Use your brain to think about the requirements and your possible approaches and solutions. After that start coding. Not before!

I don’t get the thing why people get over-hyped for saying some already well-known things, but relating them to JavaScript. JS itself is also not a new language and thus should be better known than it is. I love JS, but I don’t love the current ecosystem and community behaviour!

I don’t say that everything that Dan Abramov says is wrong, but you always have to put it in the context of your application and then you have to prove if it is good or not for your own requirements and application!

Period.

Tags: javascript reactjs experience lessonslearned