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React.js Conf Round-up 2015

February 18, 2015 by Steven Luscher

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It was a privilege to welcome the React community to Facebook HQ on January 28–29 for the first-ever React.js Conf, and a pleasure to be able to unveil three new technologies that we’ve been using internally at Facebook for some time: GraphQL, Relay, and React Native.

The talks

Keynote #

Tom Occhino opened with a history of how React came to be, before announcing Facebook’s answer to a long-looming what-if question: what if we could use React to target something other than the DOM?

Tweaking in real time #

Brenton Simpson showed us how eBay brings Bret Victor’s feedback loop to your favorite editor using webpack, react-hot-loader, and Ambidex.

Abstract Syntax Trees #

Gurdas Nijor showed us how we can leverage some conventions of React to perform source code transformations that unlock an inspirational set of use cases.

Relay and GraphQL #

Daniel Schafer and Jing Chen showed us how Facebook approaches data fetching with React, giving us an early peek at the forthcoming duo of Relay and GraphQL.

Channels #

James Long explores what might happen if we introduce channels, a new style of coordinating actions, to React.

React Router #

Michael Jackson reminded us that URLs should be part of our design process, and showed us how react-router can help to manage the transitions between them.

Full-stack Flux #

Pete Hunt showed us how a Flux approach can help us scale actions and questions on the backend in addition to the frontend.

High-performance #

Jason Bonta showed us how complex user interfaces can get, and how his team keeps them performant as they scale. He also had the pleasure of open-sourcing his team’s work on FixedDataTable.

FormatJS and react-intl #

Eric Ferraiuolo showed how you can bring your app to a worldwide audience using a series of polyfills and emerging ECMAScript APIs.

Hype! #

Ryan Florence showed us how easy it is to transition from a career selling life insurance, to a burgeoning one as a software developer. All you have to do is to learn how to say “yes.”

React Native #

Christopher Chedeau showed us how to bring the developer experience of working with React on the web to native app development, using React Native.

Components #

Andrew Rota explained how React and Web Components can work together, and how to avoid some common pitfalls.

Immutability #

Lee Byron led a master-class on persistent immutable data structures, showing us the world of possibility that they can unlock for your software, and perhaps JavaScript in general.

Beyond the DOM #

Jafar Husain told us a story about how Netflix was able to push React into places where the DOM could not go.

Data Visualization #

Zach Nation showed us how we can produce visualizations from over 45 million data points without breaking a sweat.

React Refracted #

David Nolen gave us a view of React from a non-JavaScript perspective, challenging some common intuition along the way.

Flux Panel #

Bill Fisher coordinated a Flux panel together with Michael Ridgway, Spike Brehm, Andres Suarez, Jing Chen, Ian Obermiller, and Kyle Davis.

Component communication #

Bonnie Eisenman led us through the ‘adapter’ approach to inter-component communication taken by her team at Codecademy.

Flow and TypeScript #

James Brantly demonstrated how we can reap the benefits of static typing using both Flow and TypeScript.

Core Team Q&A #

Tom Occhino, Sophie Alpert, Lee Byron, Christopher Chedeau, Sebastian Markbåge, Jing Chen, and Dan Schafer closed the conference with a Q&A session.


The conference is over, but the conversation has just begun.

Mihai Parparita detailed his efforts to hack his way to a React.js Conf ticket; James Long blogged about his first encounter with React Native; Eric Florenzano talked about how he perceives the impact of Relay, GraphQL, and React Native on software development; Margaret Staples blogged about her experience of being on-campus at Facebook HQ; Jeff Barczewski tied his experience of attending the conference up with a bow in this blog post filled with photos, videos, and links; Kevin Old left us with his takeaways; Paul Wittmann found React Native freshly on his radar; and finally, undeterred by not being able to attend the conference in person, Justin Ball summarized it from afar.

And, in case you missed a session, you can borrow Michael Chan’s drawings, Mihai Parparita’s summary, or Shaohua Zhou’s day 1 / day 2 notes.


All proceeds from React.js Conf 2015 were donated to the wonderful programs at code.org. These programs aim to increase access to the field of computer science by underrepresented members of our community. Watch this video to learn more.

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