Each Wednesday our development team meets together to discuss a chapter in the book they’re reading and work through examples together. These meetings have really helped our team and culture grow as everyone has the chance to improve together.
Upon investigation, we found that we had many backend strengths but could use improvement when it came to the frontend. Many of our projects were still using .NET MVC (which is a popular and well-supported platform) but, we felt there was an opportunity to create more dynamic, responsive User Interfaces with a pure Typescript client framework. Some of us had previous experience with Angular and React or both.
When evaluating potential books to read, we had a few key goals:
- It must be comprehensive – We did not want any prior React knowledge assumed
- It must be approachable – We did not have time to dig through terse, academic writing
- It must have well-documented example code – Getting hands-on with the code was an essential aspect that could not be overlooked.
Ultimately we decided upon Full Stack React as our choice since it met all of our criteria.
The book club for React ended up being the longest book club that we have had to date. For a subject as hands on as React, we decided to introduce workshops every other week, that were focused on the previous weeks chapter content. This allowed us as a group to get comfortable writing and reading all sorts of React code. Whether it was a concept as simple as passing values into components, or an advanced technique such as Higher Order Components, we were able to discuss and work through the concepts together.
As a result of our React book club,
We are now more capable as a company in the ability to produce our clients’ desired functionality, using the most modern and accepted tooling in the industry
As a matter of fact, we have started three new projects since book club that are centered around React. This just continues to reinforce our belief that investing in our coworkers’ skills is always a cost worth paying.