A recap of React Alicante

Written by Tom Offringa on 6th October 2017

At Spindle, we have a yearly study budget we can spend on study material, courses, and conferences. As I was looking at some options to spend that budget on, I came across React Alicante.

An international React.js conference

Because we’re currently in the phase of rewriting (prototyping) our entire VoIPGRID platform to a single-page-application, the talks scheduled for the conference looked very relevant. We have yet to decide whether we’re going to go with Vue or React for our platform but some of the talks seemed interesting regardless of that choice.

The conference itself had a lot of visitors from abroad. I checked into the Conference Slack a few days before and saw loads of people saying hi from all kinds of countries. In this blog post, I’ll summarize the talks I found educational and inspiring.

Modular CSS

One of the talks I found interesting was about Modular CSS by Andrey Okonetchinikov. I’m sure by now we’re all familiar with making our apps more component-based for better flexibility and easier encapsulation. The talk gave a retrospective on how we write, organize, and bundle CSS and how we can use a better folder structure, naming conventions and scope with post-processors like PostCSS and bundlers like webpack, but also principles like BEM and CSS in JS (JSS). It gave a good insight on how to write modular CSS with better scoping and modularity. I didn’t learn a lot of new things but it’s always nice to get a better understanding of how to make CSS more modular when working with React (or any similar library/framework).

Redux development workflow

After the talk by Andrey and a short coffee break, we continued with a talk about a React and Redux development workflow. This talked looked interesting because I think it’s always nice to see how other people integrate Redux into their workflow. Unfortunately, the talk was a bit vague and basically only showed how to incorporate recompose into your project to split lifecycle methods and render functionality. Not a very useful talk for me personally.

React-Storybook

The next two talks were very interesting. Marie-Laure Thuret took us on a journey through React-Storybook. A very good way to design, develop, document, and debug UI Components in React. React-Storybook creates a nice and solid library of your components and lets you show and debug your components in their various states by writing stories for your components. Great talk!

Redux Form

The talk after that showed a practical guide to Redux Form by the creator himself (Erik Rasmussen). We use Redux Form in our feedback tool Flindt and I also use it in our VoIPGRID prototype at the moment. I’m a bit of a fan of Redux Forms so it was nice to hear how the creator would use Redux Form to create forms, with validation, async functionality, etc.

End to End testing

After a post-conference day visit to the beach, tapas, and a good night’s rest, the second day kicke