React from Scratch
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React from Scratch

A friendly guide for absolute beginners

About the Book

This book is my answer to the question: how to teach React to a complete beginner, in as little time as possible?

Need to learn the basics quickly? This is your book.

About the Author

Ajdin Imsirovic
Ajdin Imsirovic

Ajdin Imsirovic is a full-stack web developer who has published several courses (way back in 2015) on the subject of web design and web development. 

Before self-publishing books on Leanpub, he authored four books on front-end development for Packt Publishing:

  1. Vue CLI 3 Quick Start Guide (Build and maintain Vue.js applications quickly with the standard CLI), May 2019
  2. Vue.js Quick Start Guide (Learn how to build amazing and complex reactive web applications easily using Vue.js), October 2018
  3. Elm Web Development (An introductory guide to building functional web apps using Elm), March 2018
  4. Bootstrap 4 Cookbook (Over 75 recipes to help you build elegant and responsive web applications with Bootstrap 4), June 2017

Additionally, he's published a number of books on the Leanpub platform, specifically:

  1. A Better Way to Learn JavaScript - The Basics:
  2. A Better Way to Learn JavaScript - Built-in Objects:
  3. A Better Way to Learn JavaScript - Useful Snippets:
  4. A Better Way to Learn JavaScript - Mini Apps:
  5. A Better Way to Learn JavaScript - Advanced JavaScript:
  6. Angular From Scratch:
  7. Vue.js From Scratch:
  8. React from Scratch:
  9. Building Amazing Layouts - Learn the Basics of HTML5, CSS3, and Bootstrap 5:
  10. Building Amazing Layouts - Bootstrap 5 Layouts in Depth:
Ajdin Imsirovic

Episode 208

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 0: Before we start
    • 0.1 Assumptions: Things to have before we start
    • 0.2 Disclaimer
  • Chapter 1: Building the simplest possible React app
    • 1.0 What is React?
    • 1.1 Install React Developer Tools in your Browser
    • 1.2 Let’s build the simplest possible React app
    • 1.3 Run our default React app and examine it in the browser
    • 1.4 Inspecting the app using React Developer Tools
    • 1.5 What happens when we run the npx create-react-app <appName>?
    • 1.6 Understanding our default React app’s folder and file structure
    • 1.7 Inspecting the contents of package.json
    • 1.8 Altering the default app
  • Chapter 2: Serving React from a CDN and running it without a build step
    • 2.1 Re-building the simplest app without a build step using
    • 2.2 Load another node into another div
    • 2.3 Challenge: Render three more h2 headings
    • 2.4 Adding HTML attributes using React.createElement
    • 2.5 What happened to the DOM?
    • Some Conclusions
    • 2.6 Optimizing our simplest example’s code, the React way: introducing JSX
    • 2.7 Exercise: Find at least one interesting React Codepen
    • 2.8 Making our simplest app a bit more dynamic, using JSX
  • Chapter 3: Back to the Basics
    • 3.1 Building a new version of the create-react-app starter application
    • 3.2 How does our React app compile and how does it get watched?
    • 3.3 Exercise 1: Build a new app about a car (locally)
    • 3.4 Exercise 2: Build a new app about a car (on Codepen)
    • 3.5 A fun addition to our Car codepen: adding an image from
  • Chapter 4, Intermission: Build a Bootstrap Layout
    • 4.1 Prototyping our website layout’s components
    • 4.2 Adding Bootstrap 5
    • 4.3 Adding the Navbar - the MainMenu component
    • 4.4 Adding the Jumbotron component
    • 4.5 Fixing the rendering issue
    • 4.6 Adding the Footer component
    • 4.7 Coding our React Bootstrap layout locally
    • 4.8 Updating the App.js file
    • 4.9 One component per file
    • 4.10 Importing a component to App.js
    • 4.11 Adding the jumbotron and the footer component
  • Chapter 5: Adding icons
    • 5.1 Importing the icons module
    • 5.2 Understanding how react-icons work
    • 5.3 Adding another icon to a component
  • Chapter 6: Regular functions to arrow functions
    • 6.1 What does Babel do with our ES6 function components?
  • Chapter 7: Looping over data
    • 7.1 Adding the data file
    • 7.2 Displaying the array data
    • 7.3 Passing props to display the data dynamically
    • 7.4 Adding another prop
    • 7.5 Props destructuring
  • Chapter 8: Beginner-level tips and tricks
    • 8.1 Code organization: Reorganizing our reactbootstrap1 app
    • 8.2 Passing objects as props
    • 8.3 Default props
    • 8.4 Using ternary statements in our components
    • 8.5 Using fragments
    • 8.6 Handling events
    • 8.7 Simplifying a complex component (without props)
    • 8.8 Simplifying a complex component (with props)
    • 8.9 Don’t display a component if a prop is not passed in the parent
    • 8.10 Conditionally returning a different string than the one passed in from a prop
    • Conclusion
  • Chapter 9: Class-based components, functional components, and React hooks
    • 9.1 Class components, functional components… what’s all the fuss about?
    • 9.2 Class components
    • 9.3 React Hooks
    • 9.4 The useState React Hook
    • 9.5 An example of updating text on a button click
    • 9.6 Display text from an array on button click using useState in React
    • 9.7 Rendering li elements from an array of objects
    • 9.8 An example of updating a value from an input element using the useState hook
  • Chapter 10: Forms in React
  • Chapter 11: Let’s build a todo app
    • Add the App component with basic static structure
    • Get the initial state dynamically using the useState React hook
    • Convert the HTML form element to a separate functional component
    • Extract the state data to a separate component
    • Handle submit events on the form
    • Validate that the form input isn’t blank
    • Get the value of user input and store it in the TodoInput component’s state variable
    • Update the todos state with user-provided input
    • Add the done button on each of the todo items
    • Add the styling on the todos that are done
    • Add the delete todo functionality
    • Make the input text reset after a newly added todo
    • Make the buttons not lose opacity on the Done toggle
    • Make the Done button’s text value update based on the state of the todo item
  • Chapter 12: Rebuild a Todo app using create-react-app
    • Planning our local todo app
    • Generate the boilerplate React app
    • Building the structure for all the components
    • Adding the static content for all the components
    • Adding state using useState
    • Adding state to the TodoInput component
    • Improving the Todo component with methods from the App component
    • Updating the TodoInput component so that it adds todos
    • Conclusion
    • What to do next?
  • Chapter 13: Additional tips and tricks
    • Passing a single prop to simplify components
    • Props are immutable
    • Building a wrapper component

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