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Brighton Dube – My Journey to Becoming a React Developer

Dive: Coder - React
Description: Knows how to code using React
Level: Level 1
Level Requirements: Can code using Angular at a basic level
Certified On: Jun 18, 2020

Editor’s Note: On all dive certifications, we try to edit the writing as little as possible to preserve authenticity, personality, and writing style. We typically fix spelling errors, but minimally modify grammar and sentence structure (just enough to ensure readability).

Brighton Dube

Name: Brighton Dube Break Diving Level: Recruit Number of Certified Dives: 1 From: Zimbabwe In: South Africa

1. When and Why Did You Decide to Pursue This Dive At This Level? What was your inspiration and motivation?

I have always loved coding and over the years, I have learned a few programming languages like JavaScript, Python, and Java. Of these, Javascript is the one I have used extensively and I decided that I wanted to make it my primary language. I wanted to be a JavaScript expert.

November 2019 was when I decided to learn one JavasScript-based stack and MERN was my choice. [Editor’s note: MERN = MongoDB, Express, React, and Node.] I chose MERN because of React. I found it to be the easiest to learn for me from all of the JavaScript front-end frameworks simply because it’s a library, not a framework. React offers flexibility and one can learn just the basics and start being productive in a short space of time.

2. How Long Did It Take For You To Accomplish This Dive At This Level From The Day You Decided To Pursue It, And Why Did It Take That Long?

React is an easy to learn library is you already understand HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. I was already proficient in these so it only took me a little over a week to master the basics and to be able to build production apps and websites using React and plugins like styled-components. Writing components in React is easy because using JSX (which is the syntax used to create React components) is similar to writing HTML. Luckily, there are hundreds if not thousands of free resources online which one can use to learn to React and I made use of some of these.

3. What Was The Hardest Part About Achieving This Particular Dive Level?

To be honest, level 1 of this dive is pretty easy to achieve. Mastering the basics of React is not that difficult unless one is not yet familiar with HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. It would take much longer to learn React if you don’t have a solid understanding of these technologies.

Maybe the difficult part about this level is to understand exactly what knowing the basics really entails. The other thing that I found challenging was that there are two ways of writing components in React, using classes, and using functions. If you are not well versed in JavaScript object-oriented programming, you would be better off using functional components.

However, prior to React Hooks, most people preferred using class-based components because functional components were not capable of handling state. What this means for a beginner, is that most tutorials found online are using class components and it made my learning difficult since the course I was taking had only taught me how to use functional components.

4. What Was The Easiest Part About Achieving This Particular Dive Level?

It was easy for me to learn the basics of React since I was already proficient in the basic web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Knowing HTML made me understand JSX which has a similar syntax to HTML and in React we use JSX to write components. I was able to write my first useful and stateful component within a few hours of starting my tutorials.

JavaScript is the programming language used in writing React components and because I already knew it, I hit the road running. Create-React-App (CRA), a JavaScript module created by Facebook to scaffold a new React app made things even easier as I didn’t have to spend time installing and configuring things like Webpack and Babel. CRA does all those for you and all you have to do is create your components, put them together, and run npm build and you have yourself a web app.

5. What Is Your Advice For Someone Who Is Pursuing This Dive And Level?

  • If you would like to learn React basics, I say go for it. It is a fun Library to build front-end web apps with. You can easily connect it with your favorite API and have a fully functional app in no time. Components are reusable, so after a while, you can have your own library of components that you can use across multiple web apps and it will speed up your coding.

  • To learn the basics of this Dive, you need to be familiar with the basics of HTML, CSS, and Javascript. If you don’t already know those, I suggest you start with the HTML & CSS dive. If you already know them, then Godspeed! Warning, be prepared to go against some of

  • Following along with a tutorial where one just shows you how to create a certain app can fool you into believing that you are learning the material, but when you finally need to use the skill you realize that you know very little to nothing. I believe in learning by doing, building your own apps, trying to figure things out by yourself, and using the docs if you get stuck. If you don’t understand the docs, asking on Stack Overflow will also help you.

6. What Are Some Of The Best Resources You Recommend to Those Pursuing This Dive At This Level, And Why Do You Recommend Them? Please Include Relevant Weblinks, If Applicable.

There are countless free resources online to learn the basics of React.

Resource 1: Break Diving - Come and make friends with other coders.

Resource 2: React Basics - This Youtube video by Free Code Camp is really useful. It’s long, but worth it. It will teach you the basics really well.

Resource 3: -

Resource 4: -

Resource 5: -

7. Tell Us A Story Of One Of Your Adventures While Pursuing This Dive (At This Level).

While I was learning the React basics I decided that I wanted to apply my knowledge to some real-world use cases. I decided to search online for coding opportunities and I came across one non-profit that required a web developer to redesign their website. I let them know that I could do it for them and they gave me the task.

They didn’t require the use of React at all. I could have coded the site in simple HTML and CSS and it would have been great. However, I decided I wanted to use my React skills so I coded the whole website from scratch using React and a few other packages and it came out great. The client was happy and we are now friends!

8. What Evidence Did You Submit to Prove You Met the Requirements for This Dive and Level?

Here are some React apps that I have created that I shared with the dive committee:

9. Will You Be Pursuing The Next Level For This Dive? If Yes, Why? If Not, Why Not?

I will most certainly be pursuing the next level. In fact I have started. Level 2 requires that I code something in React from scratch that is live and I have a live website that I coded from scratch using React for a client. I also have other small apps like to-do apps that I coded in React and they are online for the whole world to see. I will continue writing bigger and better apps to improve my skills.

10. What is the Break Diver's Creed?

No Rules. No Excuses. No Regrets.

Certificate photo:

And having made this post, and provided adequate evidence to the dive committee, Brighton Dube is now hereby certified by Break Diving, Inc. as: Coder - React - Level 1. Congratulations ! Thank you for being an inspiration to others!

Certificate number: 47

The author above wrote this WYSEguidance post as one of the certification requirements to become certified by Break Diving, Inc. for a dive completed. Would you also like to find greater success, happiness, and friendship, and make genuine supportive connections with others around the world pursuing your same dreams? Come join us at Break Diving and soon your story will be the next one you read about on this site!

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