Secrets to Explosive Growth with React Native Event

   

Before Event:

After waking up at 4:30 A.M. for an early morning commute to campus, 20 minute run on the treadmill, and 4 classes back to back, I ventured into Santa Monica, aka Silicon Beach for another tech event on a Tuesday night, in February 2019. This tech event was titled “Secrets to Explosive Growth with React Native”; I was curious about React Native and how it supposedly helped with the growth of Instagram and other high tech startups.

Interesting Note: The founder of Quora came to this event too!

Arriving at Event:

Upon entering the tech event, there was a bright pretty interesting light up sign on the ground behind the check-in desk with the title “Welcome to Sweet House LA”. Looking further around the event, I noticed art pieces on the walls and the words “Sweet House LA” painted on one of them in black. It was also a two-story venue with an upstairs patio. Everyone networked in the center of the venue, in which an assortment of snacks and random drinks laid. Due to my curiosity, I eventually walked up the stairs to the balcony on the second floor, where it was pretty dark, but it had a decent view of Downtown Santa Monica.

During the event:

The talk then started shortly after I ventured upstairs. So I then hurried and sat downstairs in a comfy chair where all the guests, speakers, and film people were. The host then started the event by stating that this event was the first of its kind and some attendees had come from Silicon Valley for the event.

First Speaker:

The first speaker was Orta who is the founder of Art.sy. Orta’s development experience consists of 15 years of Mac OS, 9 years of iOS and 3 years of JS development. He talked about how he used React Native when he developed his new startup, Art.sy. The aim of his new startup Art.sy, is to make art as popular as music. In fact, he has a GitHub account with articles that he has written about React Native, and his goal for Art.sy is for it to become the world’s largest database of contemporary art; currently, he has an Art.sy website and iOS app. He talked about how in 2015, building stuff online used to be a lot slower and how there is a debate between companies using Swift and React Native. Moving to Javascript gave his team the ability to see the changes. By using React Native his team used react abstractions. Orta also mentioned that people should use native for: image caching, and navigation + routing. Also, that React Native sends over cocoa pods and 3 years ago Art.sy thought about moving to React Native.

Orta’s downsides of React Native: 624 dependencies, waters down native features, meh debugging, error reporting, focus on web developers (this lowers the bar to entry), few nuance write-ups, native complexity + JS complexity, needs native buy-in to win in big teams, JS “Stigma”, lossy abstractions, testing questions un-answered, choice paralysis, and JS moves fast.

Orta’s upsides of React Native: No more mobile team (they took engineers that had skillsets and are now able to contribute in all places and not just one; they consolidated their entire team into the “front end”), consistent abstraction with web, own your entire stack, js tooling, dev closer to the speed of thought.

Tips from the speaker:

  1. What to do when owning your dependencies— things you should care about and take care of: relay core, graphics working group, jest core, story booking org, contributions to react/React Native, contributions to typescript / definitely typed, write vs code extensions, danger.
  2. The moment you are not owning your own entire stack; it is very important to own it all so you can influence in the direction so it does not negatively affect you.

Second Speaker:

Another speaker then talked about his new startup, called myCrew. myCrew is a mobile application that connects local runners to go on runs together. He used geofencing with React Native for the app and in the past built the app Dubsmash, which he stated was the fastest growing video app in the world in 2015. The background location in myCrew uses the tracking and the geofencing module. It is battery conscious and has motion detection intelligence; also for iOS & Android. His geofence works by asking for geo permission, register handler & configure geofence, add geofence, act upon entry.

Tip from the speaker:

He knows that GPS drains the battery a lot in apps, so in order for it to be battery efficient, it has two states for this: moving and stationary. (Android is a little less strict with this)

 

Key Takeaways:

  1. There are both downsides and upsides to React Native
  2. React Native helps with: image caching, and navigation + routing
  3. The moment you do not own your entire stack it can negatively affect you
  4. Geofence works well with React Native
  5. There are two states to make GPS battery efficient: moving and stationary

 

 

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