React Native Meetup

Community Report: React Native Meetup

Last Thursday I had the pleasure of hosting the very first React Native meetup in Vancouver. We started the group about two weeks ago and quickly had a hundred and fifty people join up, 50 of whom showed up for our first meetup! Needless to say, we were pleasantly surprised and excited that so many developers are interested in sharing their experiences with React Native.

I decided to start a meetup group because I felt the community for React Native developers in Vancouver was sorely lacking. I know a lot of companies in Vancouver, big and small, are using React Native and more companies are starting to use it for mobile app development. But we don’t hear from those companies or their development teams or share experiences nearly enough.

We started the session with a series of 5 lightning talks from the people with prior React Native experience. We wanted our speakers to share their stories, challenges and how they overcame those challenges.
In case you missed our first meetup, you can read a transcript below. Be sure to catch us at the next event.
React Native Meetup

Lightning Talks

Talk 1: Amin from A.Y. Technologies

Amin talked about their experience building mobile apps at A.Y. Technologies, using React Native for their client’s mobile app development. From the client’s point of view, using React Native was very beneficial as it kept the development low, while making sure the app is maintainable and up to date. Amin also shared his challenges integrating React Native with Unity, as well as issues with keeping the library up to date.

Talk 2: Brent from Exponent

Brent shared his work at Exponent and the way the Exponent app could be used for showcasing apps. He shared his approaches in solving some common problems developing React Native apps.

Talk 3: Paul from Bench

Paul shared his work with the team at Bench moving their app from Ionic to React Native. He talked about challenges building with charts and how they overcame that. He spoke to testing  apps and shared Bench’s team experience with different tools.

Talk 4: Siyuan from Move

Siyuan shared his experience with a focus on 4 different challenges he had with React Native. 1- The steep learning curve. 2- The fact that online tutorials are not always right. 3- Bugs in the main library and 4- Challenges with continuous integration.

Talk 5: Shawn from Semios

Shawn shared his experience building an app for React Natives for farmers. He talked about issues such as styling Android vs iOS, handling connectivity issues and testing.

Future Meetings

After our few lightning talks we opened the floor to discussion about future meetups. From the frequency and topics people wanted to cover, to the format the meetups should take.
Here’s the list of ideas people suggested:
  • How people solve code organization
  • Specific problems people come across
  • Testing
  • Updating versions of React Native
  • What components people have used that work well
  • Case studies
  • More demos
  • Codepush
  • Continuous deployment
  • Styles/sharing styles between platforms or react
  • Native bindings (web RTC)
  • Animations/transitions
  • Realtime apps
  • Other devices (apple TV, apple watch)
  • Offline first
  • Resources (websites etc)
  • React Native desktop wrapper
  • Share data between react/react native
  • Porting components into react native from a native app piece by piece

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