Hello there fellow developers!
Glad you made it here. So you are interested in React-Native but feeling little bit unsure? Is it good enough? Can it really replace native Android and iOS applications? I cannot tell you yes or no, but I can share you my journey coming from native Android world to explore possibilities of React-Native.
Why didn’t I do this earlier?
Call me lazy. Excuse after excuse. “no time”. Regardless, I heard about React-Native many times in past couple years and was interested in checking it out for myself. And BOOM, my dear colleague showed me a Sketch design of his idea. That was perfect opportunity to stop running away and face the challenges.
Here is my personal checklist (which I naturally didn’t follow) to get started:
Surprise 😜 Go through the very basics and tutorials. They were actually pretty fun to do and you get a high-level idea of how React works. Give it some time. Rushing is not a key factor. Let your brain rest and process the information you are getting.
Since you are here, I assume you are kind of person who does some research aka Googling. There are dozens of great articles on various areas of React-Native. Check out https://medium.com/tag/react-native for starters.
That’s it. Reading makes you prepared, but getting your hands dirty is when you really start to learn.
Let's do this!
Setting up the environment for RN development is very direct. Just follow the official documentation and you should be good to go, but not always. My first time didn’t go so well. Not sure what I did wrong. Was it just bad luck? Or was I rushing and looking old documentation? I fell into a pit of error after error. Googling for a day just to find another tweak to change which led to another problem. If you see yourself in this position, take a long breath and STOP! Start over the next day, it worked for me. Everything was smooth and I got the setup ready in only minutes.
Tools you say?
I chose Atom, I liked the visual look. It's OK, but coming from the almighty Android Studio, I was sad. It does the job, but I tell you, it’s not as fast for development. I heard of WebStorm. How cool of a name is that? I haven't checked it out yet, but it sure does sound like a promising one. However, it’s not free, so start saving your pennies for future.
You should be running a blank application at this point and you’re feeling strong. So what’s next? The libraries, yes? I found out that in order to save time, libraries are a must. Spend some time on this. List carefully your needs and look for the most starred libraries in GitHub. Thanks to the community, there is quite a big list of components that can be extremely handy. https://github.com/jondot/awesome-react-native
We did it!
Now we can start making our first app. Soon I will be sharing all the pain, the drudge, the tears of joy, and the A-ha moments of making my very first React-Native application from start to publish in Google Play and App Store. Until then, cheers and have fun!
About the Author:
Niko is Finlabs mobile development guru. Working in a team, or as a one-man show, Nikos skills in mobile development are some of the best and fastest around. Niko has strong experience in modern development methods and technologies and has flexed his development muscles at the likes of Nokia and Osuuspankki, where he was a leading member of teams creating global, award-winning products.
On our projects, Niko is often the driving force. His passion to push himself to the edge encourages other team members to push themselves beyond their regular limits.