I had the opportunity to attend React Europe this year. To say it was fantastic is an understatement. Here I’ll post my sketch notes on the talks the spoke to me, and my rundown on the most exciting topics.

Main Topics

  • React Suspense has everyone pretty jazzed.
  • Context looks awesome for preventing the passage of props everywhere. I wonder if it could replace Redux for some applications?
  • So do universal components. Everyone is looking for the best way to accomplish sharing React components across platforms, especially with web and Native.
  • There was a lot of talk about animation and gestures, and how to implement them in the most efficient/reusable way.
  • CodeSandbox: Pretty much the greatest place to sandbox React components.
  • Apollo is growing like mad, as is GraphQL.

learn once, write anywhere.

This quote from the Facebook blog best summed up the conference.

Keynote – The State of React

Ken Wheeler

Keynote notes

Ken showed off some of the cooler features of React v16.3.0 such as Context & Suspense. I highly recommend checking out his demos.

Future of Gestures and Animation

Krzysztof Magiera

Notes on the future of animations and gestures by Krzysztof Magiera

Krzysztof ran through the declarative ways of animating with React Native and how to improve performance. Particularly interesting was his library for gesture handling.


On Apollo

Peggy Rayzis

Notes on Peggy Rayzis's talk on Apollo

If you live under a rock, I’ll give you a quick rundown on Apollo. It’s a super extensive set of tools for integrating graphQL into your application. While not necessarily React centric, Apollo’s client tools focus heavily on React integration, providing tools to make the experience seamless.

Peggy showed some of React Apollo v3. She also showed off some slick Suspense integrations for intelligent caching.

If you use GraphQL in your applications, or are even thinking about it, her talk is worth a look.


Bridging React Native Back to its Roots

Vincent Riemer

Notes on Bridging React Native Back to its Roots

This talk was an interesting experience. Vincent built a library to port the layout engine, animations, and other goodies from React Native back to the DOM.

Do the Right (to Left) Thing

Maja Wichrowska

Notes on Directional Content in React 

Maja’s talk on RTL in React is exhaustive and fantastic. AirBnB is doing some great work. Their strategy of solving the right to left problem with a higher order component in React is kick ass.

Up and Running with Universal Components

Kurtis Kemple & Samantha Bretous

Sketch Notes on Universal Components

The concept of Universal components was a ripe one. It seems like everyone building web and native apps with React is trying to solve the problem of building reusable components across platforms. Samantha and Kurtis have some serious knowledge on the subject, and implementing it on a large scale. Their implementation of a Design System Committee is something that seems paramount when sharing component design and development across teams.

Full Stack React Navigation

Eric Vicenti

Sketch Notes on React Navigation

Not much to say here, other than React Navigation is baller for React Native apps.

Immutable Application Architecture

Lee Byron

Sketch Notes on The Idea Architecture

Lee’s talk waxed philosophical at times, but is definitely worth a watch. He talked about some of the older technologies like MVC, and how many of the directions the React community has gone have greatly improved them.

Concepts like immutability, Redux Flux patterns, and GraphQL reared their heads. Lee does a great job of putting all these best practice pieces together.

A year of CodeSandbox

Ives van Hoorne

… and here we come to the feel good story of the conference. Ives was one of the youngest presenters, and he built CodeSandbox as a project during school. His story of taking it from a personal project to the best app out there for React testing is amazing.

Beyond React

Devin Abbott

Sketch Notes on Beyond React

Devin’s presentation introduced us to Lona. This tool is incredibly ambitious. Here’s their description:

Lona is a collection of tools for building design systems and using them to generate cross-platform UI code, Sketch files, and other artifacts.

It uses React Native as the source of truth for publishing Sketch files, web components, and native components. This tool is still in very early stages, but it looks amazing. AirBnB, killing it as usual.

You can find all of the presentation videos on Youtube.