Learning React: A Hands-On Guide to Building Web Applications Using React and Redux (book review)

Book Author: Kirupa Chinnathambi

Just in case you don’t know, React lets you build components that are then used to create pages. Components can be as small as you want such as an input box which is then used many times throughout your application. The component contains all its HTML, CSS and JavaScript in one place so that you can quickly see what it is doing. Any data that a component needs should be passed into it, thus making it more reusable. Components can raise events for its parent container to handle.

Firstly, a bit about me. I think that this will be useful so that you know where I am ‘coming from’.

I have been a Software Developer for over 18 years.

Many years ago, I used JavaScript, but not with a deep understanding of it. Over the past 5 years I have been using Angular and Typescript extensively. This gave me a better understanding and appreciation of JavaScript.

I had an opportunity to work for a company that wanted to migrate from MVC to a Single Page App using React. I was keen to get involved and searched for and read a few books, articles and viewed some videos.

The book “Learning React” was without a doubt one of the best resources for getting up to speed with React.

I suppose we can learn anything from scratch, but I would advise that you have at least a basic knowledge of JavaScript, CSS and HTML before trying to learn React.

The author, Kirupa, takes you from a blank sheet and by the end of the book you will have learnt enough to build a production quality application.

One of the things that is important to me when I am learning a new technology is to get something up and running so that I can experiment and tinker with it. I want to get all things like dependencies, the build and run processes in place. Kirupa does an excellent job of showing you how to get your first ‘Hello World’ application working. This is always a key point for me, it removes a lot of the “I haven’t got a clue” feelings.

The style of the book makes it really easy to grasp new concepts. Each chapter builds on the previous chapter to introduce more complex ideas. I rapidly got to the state of mind where I was thinking “Yep, I can create a Single Page App in React”.

The book also dives into Redux, this is a library that is often used with React to manage state.

I highly recommend this book if you want to learn React.

The book is available from Amazon at:


If you have read the book, please add your comments below.

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