TL;DR: Stop using React for EVERYTHING. It's not the end-all solution to every application need.

My team is staffed about 50/50 with tenured devs, and junior devs who have never written a full application and don't understand the specific benefits of different libraries/framworks. As a result, most of these junior devs have jumped on the React train, and they're under the impression that React is the end-all answer to any possible application need. Doesn't matter what type of app is, what kind of data is going to be flowing through the app, data scale, etc. In their eyes, React is always the answer. Now, while I'm not a big fan of React myself, I will say that it does its job when its tasked with a data-heavy application that needs to be refreshed/re-rendered dynamically and frequently (like Facebook.) However, my main gripe is that some people insist on using it for EVERYTHING. They refuse to acknowledge that there can be better library/framework choices (Angular, Vue, or even straight jQuery,) and they refuse to learn any other frameworks. You can hit them with countless technical reasons as to why React isn't a good choice for a particular application, and they'll just spout off the same tidbits from the "ReactJS Makes My Nips Hard 101" handbook: "React is the future," "Component-based web architecture is the future," (I'm not arguing with that last one) "But...JSX bro.," "Facebook and Netflix use it, so that's how you know it's amazing." They'll use React for a simple app, and make it overly-complex, and take months to write something that should have taken them a week. For example, we have one dev who has never used any other frameworks/libraries apart from React, and he used React (via create-react-app) to write what is effectively a single form and a content widget inside of a bootstrap template. It took him 4 MONTHS to write this, and it still isn't fully functioning. The search functionality doesn't really work (in fact, it's just array filtering,) and wont return any results if you search for the first word in an entry. His repo is a mess, filled with a bunch of useless files that were bootstrap'd in via create-react-app. We've built apps like this in a week in the past using different libraries/frameworks, and he could have done the same if he didn't overly-complicate the project by insisting on using React. If your app is essentially a dynamic form, you don’t need a freaking virtual DOM.

This happens every time a big new framework hits the scene. New young developers get sucked into it, because it's the cool hip new framework (or in React's case, library.) and they use it for everything, even when it's not the best choice. It happened with Angular, Rails, and now it's happening with React.

React has its benefits, but please please please consider which library/framework is the best choice from a technical standpoint before immediately jumping on the React train because "Facebook uses it bro."

  • 1
    Facebook uses PHP too.
  • 1
    Aaaah I know what you meant by this now. Agreed. React is most definitely not a silver bullet.
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