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React Starter Kit—A Quick Start Guide to the React Ecosystem and Creating Your First App

Time to complete: 1h 3m

Published byO'Reilly Media, Inc.

CreatedJune 2018

For building interactive web interfaces, encapsulated components, native apps, and virtual reality applications, React has become the most popular open source JavaScript library among web developers, providing elegant and intuitive options for creating complex, highly scalable full-stack web applications. However, the learning curve can sometimes be a bit overwhelming for beginners, given the array of tools and setup options that are available.

In this learning path designed for entry- to intermediate-level developers, your hosts and authors of the book Learning React, Alex Banks and Eve Porcello ease you into the React library and cover foundational knowledge for building your first components and applications. You’ll examine Create React App, which you can use to quickly and easily set up your React projects. You’ll also learn one of the most important concepts underpinning React: how the library handles state. The incremental approach used by Alex and Eve will help you to get up and running with React quickly, but to be certain, this learning path does more than merely scratch the surface, and when you’re finished, you’ll have a solid understanding of the tools and skills necessary to build nontrivial applications using React.

What you’ll learn—and how you can apply it

  • Understand the underlying concepts that make React unique so that you can decide whether it's a fit for your frontend project
  • Discover how to use Create React App to set up your React projects in a hassle-free manner
  • Gain hands-on experience building React UI components
  • Learn community resources and references for keeping up with changes to the React library and its tooling ecosystem

This learning path is for you because…

  • You're a frontend developer and you're interested in getting started working with React.js
  • You're a JavaScript developer currently familiar with another frontend framework (jQuery, Angular, Ember, etc.) and want to see what React has to offer

Prerequisites: None

Materials or downloads needed in advance:

  • Node.js and npm installed (latest version of Node can be found at