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Brian introduces himself and gives his background with React in launching the React code at Reddit. Brian also gives an overview of why he likes React.

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Transcript from the "Course Introduction" Lesson

[00:00:00]
>> Brian Holt: My name's Brian, I work at Microsoft as a Senior Cloud Developer Advocate which means that I'm a conduit between you and Microsoft's Cloud. I listen to your feedback, I take it to the product team. And then I listen to the product team's new features and I try and tell people about it.

[00:00:14] This course has nothing to do with Azure, that's just what my day job is. But I really quite like it. I think this is my, I was trying to count how many times I've been to Frontend Masters. I think this is my eighth time teaching here, something like that-ish.

[00:00:31] So I love Frontend Masters, I love what they do, I love what they stand for. That's why I keep coming back. Sometimes on this podcast called Frontend Happy Hour which is kind of fun. And I've also worked at LinkedIn, Netflix, Reddit, Needle, ksl.com, and NewSkin. And I was recently just made a board member of a really cool 501(c) called Vet to Code.

[00:00:56] Which helps veterans coming out of the military learn how to code which I think is a pretty awesome organization. From Seattle, I have a little dog named Luna. She's adorable, and yeah, it's pretty great. I have all my social links up here, so feel free to message me on Twitter, or connect with me on LinkedIn, or whatever suits you.

[00:01:17] And I just want to give another shoutout to Frontend Masters at this point, really really stoked to be working with them again. These materials are open source, so feel free if you see spelling mistakes or anything like that to open a pull request and fix them. Please take these materials and share them with anyone that needs them.

[00:01:38] I love that Frontend Masters lets me open source my materials so that people that can't necessarily afford to watch the video could still have everything I prepared here. So thanks, Frontend Maters. And just a slight humble plea, if you could star the repo on GetHub, it helps expand the reach of the repo, so that would be really great.

[00:02:01] There's a link down at the bottom if you want to do that. Up to you though. I'll just be a little upset.
>> Speaker 2: [LAUGH]
>> Brian Holt: Cool, so that's a little bit about me. I've been writing React since, I first launched React at Reddit, I was the first person to launch it at Reddit.

[00:02:21] We were pretty early adopters on it. But we were still in a stage where people like React is gross, because you have HTMLs in your JavaScript. Which admittedly at first felt really gross to me. I remember I was watching Pete Hunt announce it, and I was like this seems really bad, and I just kinda dismissed it out of hand.

[00:02:39] I had a colleague come back to me six months later, this is while I was working at Reddit, and said, you should really check this out. I spent a weekend hacking with it and was like, this is great, I'm going to rewrite the entire Reddit marketplace check out in React, which I did in about a weekend.

[00:02:56] Finished the rewrite, launched it without really telling anyone else I was going to that, and then I went on vacation. [LAUGH] Not just any vacation, I was on a cruise ship so I was unreachable. So the compelling story that I like tell people is that I launched this entire rewrite in React, went on vacation.

[00:03:14] I was the only front end developer working on marketplace at the time. And obviously it broke because you can't rewrite an entire large piece of software without it breaking. But one of the backend developers that wrote Python for his day job was not necessarily a JavaScript developer. Was able to actually go in, understand my code by reading it and fix it without knowing React, without really knowing JavaScript super well.

[00:03:38] And that, to me, was the moment I understand the real value of proposition of React. To me, having been writing React now at several companies, it's very maintainable. It's very easy to understand. It's very easy to kind of like read through and understand everything that things are doing.

[00:03:54] Like I'll be honest, if you're coming from Angular, this is gonna feel pretty verbose, right? We write more code that you write in Angular, and I'm speaking from the perspective Angular JS. I haven't written too much of the newer Angular, but with Angular JS1, which I was in love with before I started writing React.

[00:04:14] This feels a lot more verbose. You have to write more code. But the magic here is that because you're writing more code you're being more explicit, like this connects to this. There's no magic connection of the two, which means that later when I come back and I've forgotten everything that I've written I can still see that connection.

[00:04:31] I don't really have to know too much how React is connecting the two because I can see how they're connected. So that's why I like React. That's why I continue to go back to it. That's why I still write new projects in React is because it's very easy to maintain, that I can launch it and come back later and not yell at myself for using too much magic.

[00:04:52] So let's get into this. So yeah, these are the notes. If you fall behind as well, feel free to read my notes. I literally have my notes up here on this computer. So that's why I've kind of open-sourced my speaker's notes, so that you can kinda see what's happening.