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Learning React

Planted August 29, 2020

I think React is great - I love building it particularly using a framework like Next or Gatsby which provide helpful tooling and structure out of the box. When learning React though it can be hard to find resources that are useful, timely and up-to-date. This is always challenging when approaching a new learning challenge. I want to collect here the resources I’d confidently point people towards to help with their React journey.


I’m an instructor and learner advocate with egghead - I think they are great! But the reason I wanted so badly to work alongside the team there is that I learnt so much from what the content that put out. The egghead philosophy takes developer time seriously - the minute to value ratio is high (and even higher when you 2x stuff like I do). I will speed watch a course, write notes and, if I found the subject matter interesting, watch it again and try to reproduce the code examples. This leaves me in a good position to know if what I’m learning is a good fit for my next steps.

There is so much great React content here but I want to call out a couple in particular:

Kent C. Dodds

I think this man is great! He is about to launch https://www.epicreact.dev which is going to be Epic! I attended the 8x5 hour workshops that helped develop this content and learnt so much.

Start here: https://egghead.io/courses/the-beginner-s-guide-to-react

I am normally sceptical of beginner’s guides and feel somewhat insulted - I’m not a beginner thank you very much! Kent’s style of building up from first principles and going deep means that you leave this course knowing the why of React which works if you’re engaging in a class or hooks heavy codebase.

Any of Kent’s stuff is great and if you haven’t read his blog then you really should. His blog-posts cover a host of helpful code topics and he create new content regularly!

Chris Achard

Chris has an awesome style and his course on PWA with create-react-app is excellent (https://egghead.io/courses/progressive-web-apps-in-react-with-create-react-app)

Tomasz Lakomy

This guy is a content machine - he produces awesome, short, information packed lessons on lots of great topics. He’s currently positioning himself as the king of AWS content but his React stuff is great.

Colby Fayock

I’ve streamed with Colby twice now (and we’re planning more). His excellent project https://50reactprojects.com provides a lot of ideas to practice what you’re learning. He has a new course coming out on using Leaflet with React which is 🚀.


I work a lot with NextJS and can highly recommend their introduction tutorial (https://nextjs.org/learn/basics/create-nextjs-app?utm\_source=next-site&utm\_medium=nav-cta&utm\_campaign=next-website). Next is an awesome framework that builds the first paint as SSR and further interactions as client side. Much to the chargrin of haters, I describe it as the PHP of React. It has file based routing and can create function based APIs out of the box.


The other big player in this space - there is lots to love about Gatsby. Building a statically built, content heavy site - then this is a great place to look. Again, their community resources are excellent.


I listen to a lot of React based podcasts (my favourite being Michael Chan’s React Podcast - a work of genuis!)

Summing up

I’ll keep adding more things here as I find them. React is a moving target and it can be frustrating when you find a tutorial that feels dated. Hooks are over a year old now but classes are still around. Personally, I don’t use classes at all and only ever use hooks - if I see a class based tutorial, I look for a hook equivalent and, if I can’t find it, start to build my own version.

What resources do you point people towards? Send me some ideas, I’ll check them out and see if I recommend them as well.

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