React is still everywhere.

16 December 2019
Two and a half years ago I noted my fears of a dominant JavaScript framework. My thoughts have evolved and I feel a little better about it now.

When I wrote about problems I perceived with React.js in 2017, I saw it as a potentially over-dominant paradigm in the minds and activities of web developers. For recruiters and managers it was an easy box to tick. It was a honey trap.

With time, my perceptions have evolved. React is probably more popular and dominant now than ever, but my fear of vendor lock-in has subsided. Using React daily at work has taught me new things about JavaScript. I have grown to value its place in my UI developer toolbox. More broadly I have grown to appreciate the React patterns and paradigms, and its ecosystem and the contribution its active communities make to my better use of JavaScript generally.

The patterns that inform React's design, and the approaches to using React have high interoperability with the rest of my tech stack. I am now more familiar with patterns like composition and other functional programming concepts. I now make better use of modern idiomatic JavaScript. I now understand better some of the design decisions and trade offs that go into developing a reactive UI with state management. These are not concepts unique to React. But React's role in bringing the conversations forward, and educating developers is clear.

I use React daily, but not exclusively. I like to experiment with other frameworks and ideas. But I think I am a better developer for the presence of React in my universe, if I'm using it or not.

Well for now, at least. Will check again in a couple years time…