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What not to do when learning React as a beginner?

Please take everything as a friendly advice and as a personal opinion. Most of the things said below could probably be applied for many other things not only React.

Jumping on it right away without the basics

You can surely start on it without a good foundation, but the learning curve will be much much harder as you'll have to switch on/off between React & things like JS, HTML figuring out how they work instead of spending your time purely on React mechanisms and having to practice & learn them.

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While it is tempting, seeing how much people love it and not to even mention just how much tech influencers try to convince you with "Learning React within a week" (unrealistic content), its important to keep in mind that the realistic way to effectively learn React is to get the basics down first.

What does that mean? Learning things like HTML, CSS, JavaScript. Making sure you know how things work there first, think of React a "utilizer" of them but in its own way.

Blindly following courses and writing code you know works

There's nothing wrong with writing code that works & following courses.. However in order to get to the next step, what'll be more effective is to try to implement things in your own way, switching things up & experimenting with them. In order to learn more you have to start failing more, so that you can figure things out on your own way and get to that next level.

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"I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught." - Winston Churchill

I specifically picked this quote from Winston Churchill as it points out to the reality of learning things, which is that in the beginning it will be harsh, having to dig in and find out how and why things work the way they do and having to overcome obstacles one after the other. Its frustrating, but good things come after endurance and patience, it also gives you the opportunity to develop discipline, which is doing and sticking to things you might not enjoy over and over again.

Learning without a plan

Look, while we all know that most of our plans don't always work out, it doesn't really justify lacking one. While it might not work out the way you thought, it will give you structure for what you expect from yourself, what you potentially need to go through & what level you might be at a given time.

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You'll need to have a realistic incremental plan, and that goes hand in hand with having a feel on what level of knowledge you think you have. With that in mind, the best approach is to keep track of your progress, current level and then to combine it with your desired plan, at least this way you have a proper path you can follow.

I get it, at the start you dont really know whats what and having thoughts as "is this really the right way?". For that dilemma, I'd recommend taking a look at paths at where you have a proper plan for a variety of paths you might want to follow, you can also try seeing how others started it, what I would do is I'd search up for Youtubers showcasing how they started & believe me you'll also be inspired from it too as a bonus!

Mastering advanced techniques out of order

Seeing those cool advanced techniques sure does give you a high spike on that desire to learn and look cool in front of your React buddies, but I'd recommend to first analyze yourself whether you're ready to go there yet. What I mean by this is that those techniques like Memo, useCallback and others are hard for a reason, you first need to have a clear picture of how React works things out behind the scenes in order to go out to its harder methods.

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As a solution to this you need to use the upper point of having a plan and keeping track on yourself so you can better identify what you need to learn next, this way you'll have a better transition from one thing to the other and things would make more sense.

Hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful :)) There are many other things out there but I wanted to showcase the things I consider to be at the top of the list from my personal experience. I cannot wait to see many other opinions and what other people found helpful in their journey.

Top comments (2)

grapplingdev profile image
Dan Holdsworth

Thanks for the shoutout G!

g3nt profile image

My pleasure! Thank you for making things easier for us Dan, it has really been beneficial to me and to many other colleagues of mine.