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Did I Ditch React for Drupal? Kinda

Adrian Eufracio's photo
Adrian Eufracio
·Apr 18, 2017

So I have been working at my company for over a year now and for a better part of that time we have been primarily using JavaScript to power our app. A couple of months ago my Supervisor proposed a switch to Drupal thinking that it will help us build sites quicker. Now I am someone who is not experienced in Drupal at all but the idea of starting an app from scratch makes me more excited than Ralphie opening his Red Ryder BB Gun.

So we started migrating one of our existing sites that was build with React and primarily node with Drupal! This is the first time I have reflected on my experience and to be honest that last sentence I just wrote would sound ridiculous to me a year ago. Why would someone want to replace React with Drupal? 😳 I will hopefully answer this question by the end of this little leyenda (Spanish for legend). Migration was beastly but not because its hard to migrate from JavaScript to Drupal but because its hard to migrate things in general.

Like I said before, I have NEVER worked with Drupal before but to be honest I picked it up super quick. Then again it is Drupal 8 and it notoriously easier to use than the previous versions of Drupal. To quote a former coworker, "Drupal is fucking hard". Classic. I was able to grab our React components and refactor them to be used as Blocks, a Drupal specific way to render out HTML. We had bigger issues trying to recreate some of the server side logic that was handled by node. This was wisely contracted out as our team of Frontend developers are not suited for such a tall task.

With Drupal we know have a wsywig admin where we can pull in different components/blocks and build out our web pages. This seems to be the biggest benefit from switching over to Drupal as we are know able to create new entire experiences right from the admin screen where as before we had a cumbersome deploy process to get anything new on the servers. The awesome thing about Drupal 8 is that we can actually integrate React easy peasy.

The big takeaway I want to leave you with is that I learned Drupal in less than 2 months. Even though I did dump React like a bad habit, I am looking forward to picking it back up. By the way my name is Adrian and I am making a vlog on my youtube channel. Check it out for a candid look into a weirdo developers life.