React Native: Is It Worth It?

Andy Dyer
Android Developer at Zalando, Germany.

When new technologies start gaining momentum in the Android community, the pragmatic (or lazy) among us eventually have to ask ourselves, “Is it worth it?” After the initial arrival and departure of the hype train, some of these become trusted tools we use in almost every app. Think RxJava and Dagger.

React Native may be on its way to earning a place in the same club. Once we get past the fact that JavaScript on Android and HTML in JavaScript seem pretty damn weird at first, there’s a lot to like. Seeing your changes on a device almost instantly is a love-at-first-sight kind of thing. And rethinking your app architecture as a series of actions, state changes, and UI render phases can eliminate a surprising number of silly bugs.

A dive into every new technology starts with the flashy “type these commands and run your ‘Hello World’ app” tutorial. This is not that kind of talk. Instead, I’ll recap my experience digging into React Native for real world use. From integrating RN code into an existing Java/Kotlin app to dealing with the kind of problems they never mention in the README, I’ll cover what you need to know to decide if React Native is really worth your time. 

About speaker

Andy recently moved to Berlin from Houston, Texas to join the Android team at Zalando. An Android developer since Froyo, he’s currently focused on learning Kotlin and React Native. When not writing code, he can be found listening to records, practicing his German, and proselytizing the merits of craft beer & meticulously prepared coffee.
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