Welcome to Hacking with React, a hands-on introduction to making a web app using React 0.14, React Router 1.0, ES6, Jest and more. This book is brand new, so if you spot any typos or bugs, or if you just have general feedback, email or tweet me.
This e-book is available completely free online right here, but if you're able to purchase a copy of the book I would greatly appreciate your support. The two are identical in terms of their content, but the paid-for version is available as PDF, ePub and Mobi for a single purchase. This means you can read the book offline and on a variety of devices, plus you also support my work.
If you scroll down you can find some frequently answered questions, or if you just want to dive right in go ahead and select the first chapter below. You might also be interested in my other free books, Hacking with Swift and Hacking with PHP.
The least you need to know: each chapter is very short, and designed to be read in order. Unless you know what you're doing, start with chapter 1 and work your way forward to the end.
How much does this book cost? Hacking with React is available completely free at hackingwithreact.com. If you want to support my work (please do!) please consider buy the paid-for version of the book. The book has a suggested price of $12, but you can pay as low as $10 if you want, or *cough* more. Come to think of it, you do look like the generous sort…
Hey! It's asking me to pay more – what's going on? Depending on your location local taxes may apply to your purchase, which will increase the price you pay. As you might imagine, there's nothing I can do about this.
What will I learn? We'll cover lots of React, naturally. But we'll also be using ES6, Babel, Webpack, React Router, Jest, SuperAgent, Chance, ESLint and more.
Do you cover Flux or Redux? No, I’m afraid not. React has a steep learning curve all of its own even before you add in JSX, React Router, Jest and others; as much as I like Redux, adding it into the mix would have made things much too complicated for beginners. Perhaps if this book gets enough interest I shall be able to add Redux material as part of a second project.
Will I actually make anything, or is it all just theory? This book takes you through one complete project that loads data using the GitHub API. I chose the GitHub API because it has public access to interesting data. In order to help make the learning curve shallow, the first quarter of the book uses very simple examples that evolve into the full project later on.
Will this book make me a React expert? No, I'm afraid not. Hacking with React is targeted at beginners, and walks you through creating a fairly simple example application while teaching the fundamentals of developing with React. If I get enough interest, it's possible I may add more projects in the future that go further.
How come this book is so short? I've seen React books twice this length! It's true: this is a short book, but it's short because I focus on teaching you React. I don't discuss the history of React or other components, and I don't go off on any tangents comparing various options. This book teaches you React in the shortest possible time, and I think you'll be impressed by how quickly you learn.
Does the book cover testing? Yes, although I leave it to near the end. Heresy, I know.
If I buy the paid-for version of the book do I get anything special? Yes, you get the warm fuzzy feeling of knowing you're helping keep my kids off the streets. Seriously: your support is hugely appreciated, and I'll high five you over the internet. (But otherwise: no, the paid-for version is identical to the web version.)
I spotted an error / typo – what should I do? Email me at email@example.com and let me know. Please send me the chapter name that contains the error otherwise it can be hard to track down!
Can I get the source code for the finished project? Yup, it's all on GitHub.
Who are you? Why should I care what you say? My name is Paul Hudson, and my apps are used by the likes of MacLife magazine, Edge magazine, Fender, Virgin, Jamie Oliver, Odeon, Tesco, and more. I'm an author in my spare time, having written PHP in a Nutshell, Ubuntu Unleashed and Fedora Unleashed. Previously I was the editor of Linux Format magazine, but my writing has also appeared in MacFormat magazine, Net magazine and TechRadar.
You might like to know that I have two other "Hacking with…" books available online: Hacking with Swift teaching iOS coding and Hacking with PHP teaching server-side web development. Yes, they are both available online for free.
You will often find me on Stack Overflow answering questions about iOS, PHP, and React.
I love your stuff – are you available for hire? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org and let's talk – I love coding, and I love writing, so being able to put them both together is pure magic for me.
Copyright ©2016 Paul Hudson. Follow me: @twostraws.