Lego, Fistfight, GraphQL, & Observable – React in Silicon Valley

Real World React had its first Silicon Valley meetup. As a React newbie who enjoys the Silicon Valley cities, naturally I attended!

Held at Atlassian, this is the Meetup “GraphQL with REST APIs | RxJS & Redux-Observable“.

Real World React at Atlassian

We started off with the Lightning Talks, and the first one up is Joshua Nelson from Atlassian. His original topic line is “Component libraries and React as a platform”. The final version of his topic? “Why Lego is Great”!

I concur! Lego is Great!!!
More Legos!

Lego have a rich history and culture, which Joshua started his talk with and eventually turned it around to Atlassan’s component library, discussing its 3 key advantages: Clean API, Reusable, and Platform.

Then Michael Leung and David Katz talked about their Reactathon project. Utilizing the OpenTable API, their project BrokenTable determines which bar is most likely to have bar fight.

Yep, bar fights.

All while the developers are students too young to even step into a bar.

Those orange dots are fist!
That black thing is actually a broken table. A non-broken table means no fights

Needless to say, the idea was hilarious, and the duo succeeded in giving a presentation that was both funny and educational. I particularly enjoyed their presentation of how their code works and how they implemented React Native and Redux in the fast-paced environment of a hackathon.

After a brief break, Feature Talks started, with the first one being on of my main goal for attending this Meetup: “Going GraphQL First on Web and Mobile” by Jon Wong from Coursera. I am considering GraphQL for the next on my to-learn list, so this is perfect timing!

Jon discussed about the task to implement GraphQL in an existing project – a task he found similar to what Justin Bachorik mentioned in the Reactathon talk regarding NPR’s transition from legacy code to React. Both are accomplished through the process known as incremental adoption.

Speaking of, I have been studying Redux, and I don’t envy the future me that will eventually adopt Redux for my React project. Incremental adoption indeed.

Jon touched on how Joshua talked  API contract earlier in the Lightening Talk and stated that GraphQL inverts API contract back to client, who is the the one to actually build product. Such schema-first approach helps create better contract.

For someone planning to learn GraphQl, his description is helpful in giving me an idea of what and why I should learn it. His diagrams also did a great job in graphically representing how GraphQL works with React’s Component-focused system.

GraphQL & Server.
GraphQL and React working together in Coursera. The visuals and the way he presents really showed why they interact well with each other!

The last but not least (oh, definitely not least) is Berkeley Martinez, CTO at freeCodeCamp. Perhapes a reflection of his work, he is quite excellent in teaching – seriously, I have zero clue of what Observables when I started. Yet, I wasn’t lost with the amount of codes he displayed, and I came out with a pretty good understanding. He was very good at being precise yet informative and to the point.

I love the definition here.
Once again, concise but to the point.

I must say, this Meetup was one of my most satisfying I had. Meetup that shows lots of codes and teaching materials can be dull if it is not a tutorial everyone can follow. Not a lot can be fun, inspirational, and technically informative. This definitely hits all the spots. I can’t wait to attend another one!