How do you make a decision for a tech stack?
At Railsware, we follow the product. Dozens of successful products built at Railsware run React JS framework on the front-end. This framework proved to be great for building fast and scalable web applications.
React was open-sourced by Facebook in 2013, and we've been using it for the last 4 years. From a hardly popular framework React quickly went mainstream and improved greatly over the years! Vue.js, Angular, Ember.js are all fine. But React has all we need to turn big ideas into successful products.
React web development
Why React is a way to go for building products
Rich ecosystem, reusable components, high performance, and a proven track record make React one of the best frameworks for front-end development. React is officially supported by Facebook and it's battle tested. Instagram, Netflix, and WhatsApp use React on the frontend. Examples of our products written in React include Montessori Compass, myKVH, and Smart Checklist. If you want to build your own React JS app, here is what you need to know:
From independent, reusable pieces to complex and interactive user interfaces
With React products are fast to develop and easy to maintain
React has components which are simply functions that transform data into visual representations. The great thing about components is that they allow you to split the user interface into smaller reusable pieces that can be developed in isolation. Any change in one component doesn't cause a chain reaction. And this is why components are such a great solution for rapid front-end development. We can develop an entire application or build a website with React JS in just a few weeks. Going further, it is also easy to maintain this app. React is a great library for product development because it lets you gradually ramp up features without requiring large investments upfront.
Design consistency throughout the product
Calendly is arguably the world’s most popular meeting scheduling tool. It integrates with an online calendar and generates a link others can use to quickly schedule meetings. It also provides a robust dashboard for managing meetings and contacts. We’ve been with Calendly from its early days, participating in all stages of product development. We’ve also pioneered the company-wide adoption of ReactJS for the frontend architecture of the platform. It allowed the team to quickly scale and maintain the UX/UI consistency by utilizing reusable blocks across different projects.Read more
React is great for real-time high-performance apps
With React you can build fast and scalable web applications. This is because React uses the virtual Document Object Model (DOM). Virtual DOM is an in-memory representation of a UI that allows React JS developers to improve the performance of their client-side apps due to avoiding unnecessary DOM operations. The Virtual DOM is synced with the "real" DOM using a fast reconciliation algorithm so you can change only what needs to be changed instead of rebuilding large portions of the layout. Also, React's super fast rendering capabilities reduce page load time which improves the app’s ranking on Google search.
ReactJS code is reusable and effortless to update
Knowa is a communication platform for companies, pension schemes, and charities, and the winner of the UK Pensions Awards 2020. It offers tools for preparing and running board meetings, sharing materials, and all-around communication both within your organization and outside of it. We’ve built the entire platform for Knowa, initially relying on Ruby on Rails for rapid development. We’ve since moved the large parts of the frontend into React, splitting the code into clear and easily maintainable parts. It effectively simplified the development and gave us access to a huge library of ready to use React tools.
It's easy to migrate to React from another framework
When product managers decide upon migrating from an older technological infrastructure to a new one, they often worry about the amount of effort and time that is required to perform the task. Remember how difficult it was to migrate from Angular 1.x to Angular 2? With React, migration from the previous framework is easy. React code can be added into an existing infrastructure, and components can be migrated one piece at a time. This front-end framework integrates perfectly well into legacy applications. We've performed migrations from JQuery and Marionette (the Backbone framework) to React + Redux, and they turned out successful.
Frontend development is much faster when React is involved
BrightBytes is an award-winning analytics platform that gathers ideas from the world’s best educators. It then transforms them into actionable frameworks, used by tutors in over 25,000 schools across the US. We’ve been involved with BrightBytes since 2013, delivering the majority of the frontend side of the platform. Our engineers have collaborated closely with the BrightBytes’ team in designing, architecting, and developing the library of common ReactJS components used across many of their products. It simplified and accelerated the creation process for the new pages, saving plenty of time for the design team as well.Read more
React is a robust and adaptable programming library
Our React JS experience has been awesome. And here are other reasons why we love it:
- Reusable componentsThe component-based approach is simple, yet powerful. It makes apps testable, scalable, and maintainable. Because of the reusable components using React makes a great financial sense.
- High performanceThe virtual tree representation of an HTML document allows React to be very smart and fast when it renders components. It only rerenders the updated parts of the document tree, not the entire tree.
- ArchitectureThe component-based approach is simple, yet powerful. It makes apps testable, scalable, and maintainable. Because of the reusable components using React makes a great financial sense.
- Great ecosystemThere is a ton of open-source projects compatible with React and a big React JS community. So when your app grows it won't be a problem to find a third-party solution to solve complex problems.
- Community and adoptionReact has achieved massive popularity very fast. It's easy to find a React developer to maintain any project. Also because React is supported by Facebook it'll continue to be used for many years to come.
We build web apps with React. And cross-platform mobile apps with React Native. Let us know if you need ReactJS consulting services
Thanks to React, web developers turned their focus on the benefits of writing pure functions that are easier to combine, test, debug, and reason about. By adopting the principles of functional programming, React provides a very powerful way to develop complex web applications. And it provides a great framework for building mobile apps. What is React JS used for? It is the best fit for the following types of projects:
- Apps with dynamic UIsReact is a great option for building large applications with dynamic user interfaces where data changes all the time. Think Canva, for example, a tool that makes graphic design a no-brainer. This seemingly simple drag-and-drop functionality is in fact, a hard one to build. It has a complex data flow with various user interactions. React works great for products with dynamic content like Canva.
- Single page appsReact offers great user experience for single page applications (SPA). SPAs are websites that re-render content in response to navigation actions (eg. clicking to see a comment). Instead of re-rendering the entire page when you navigate to a new route, SPAs re-render only the part of this page that has changed. React works great for building solid and fast SPAs because it works with a virtual representation of the DOM and offers reusable UI components.
React works great with any backend technology
Node.js, Ruby, Python, Go – React works with any of these technologies on the backend.
At Railsware, we're most comfortable with Ruby on Rails so the majority of our products are built with the combination of React + RoR. We don't only provide React JS services. Quite often we also use Node.JS:
- Node.JS is an excellent choice for apps that need to take advantage of server-side rendering.
- Server renders React components and provides HTML to make content indexable by Google.
- For memory-intensive applications, we combine React with Go.
A product is more than the sum of technologies
The code – whether it's written for frontend or backend – is as important as the value it creates. When it comes to selecting a technology stack we consider a problem your product needs to solve and pick technologies that solve this problem.
You can call Railsware a React development company, but a team with a strong product culture is a better definition. Our product development process is based on ideas and insights from Agile, Design Thinking, Lean, Jobs-to-be-Done, Customer Centricity, and our own experience.
Learn how we build products
Start with Inception
This is a kick-off meeting and the first step in our process. We use Inception to understand the context of your product and align the team on the project's goals.
Prototype and ship as fast as possible
Our first working experiment for front-end takes about six weeks of work. We build React JS websites or just components and launch them to get the proof of concept as fast as possible.
Lean. Build. Measure. Repeat
After we gather the feedback and measure the success of our first experiment, we can see the ways how it can be improved. We continue working on the prototype through an iterative process.
Build a fully featured MVP
We keep iterating on the product until we deepen our understanding of what a minimum viable version (MVP) is by continually gathering user feedback and testing product features.
We focus on the bigger picture and plan ahead
At Railsware, we focus on the bigger picture and think of the product as the soul that lives in code. Technology is surely important. But a product as a whole is more than just technology. Consumer perception, market feasibility, competitive landscape, value proposition, and long-term product vision – we take all those factors into account before we write a line of code.