still learning React

I’m still trying to learn React, and a bunch of the stuff that goes along with it. I’m almost done with the Learning React book that I’ve been reading. It’s been helpful, but there are still a bunch of things I need to work on.

As previously mentioned, I’ve set up my MacBook for React development, by installing Node.js via Homebrew, with VS Code as my editor/IDE. I still haven’t gotten around to setting up a dev environment on my new Lenovo laptop. I did, though, decide today to take a shot at setting up my work laptop for some minimal development. I wouldn’t ever do “real” production development on my work laptop; we have dev VMs for that, and I’ve got a dev VM that will work for React dev. But it’s useful to have some dev tools on the laptop, just to work through sample projects and stuff like that. I can’t go too far with dev stuff on the laptop, since, from a security standpoint, it’s basically an “end-user” machine and a lot of software installs are blocked. But I thought I’d try to install a few mostly harmless tools. So I managed to get VS Code installed, no problem, and Git. Then I tried to install Node, via the standard Windows installer. That worked fine, up to the point of installing node-gyp which seems to have failed. I don’t think that I actually need that, so I’m probably fine. But that was a reminder of how these things can get confusing when you’re trying to install dev tools on a locked-down laptop. (If I want to install Node on my personal Windows laptop, I should probably look at this MS doc that walks you through installing nvm first.)

In reading about React stuff, I’m hitting a lot of issues with figuring out what’s current and what’s out of date. And also in figuring out how to do stuff in TypeScript (vs. “plain” JS). There are a lot of blog posts, and Medium articles, and videos, all showing you how to build a basic React app. But most of them are a little messy. I keep hitting stuff that doesn’t seem to work, either because React (or some dependency thereof) has changed since the article was written, or because the article was poorly edited and the code in the article doesn’t really work. And even when the code does work, sometimes it’s not being done in the “right way,” given current standards. So I guess I’m stumbling my way into becoming a semi-competent React / TypeScript developer.

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