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I am Ryan Florence. Ask me anything.

Ryan is Co-founder of React Training and creator of popular library React Router. He has been creating websites since the early 90’s, focusing primarily on the frontend for the past several years. He conceived React Router, which quickly became the most popular 3rd-party library built on React.

Ask Ryan Florence about:

  • ReactJS
  • React Router
  • Getting started with React
  • JavaScript
  • Contributing to OSS
  • Public Speaking
  • General Advice

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Hey Ryan. Do you think that you'll ever use anything other than React (or an evolution of React) to build UIs again? If not, what do you think prevents React from evolving to that thing?

Hi C.!

Hmm ... the only reason I'd never use another UI lib again is if I stopped building UIs. It's inevitable that something more interesting to me will come along.

But, the staying power of React has been extraordinary. Individuals and teams continue to pick it over and over and over, which I've never seen before. Personally I used to carry around a "bag of misgivings" about the tech I was using to build UI. React's bag is very, very small.

So, yeah, I'll use something besides React eventually--which may just be an evolution of React or something totally new--but I'm not looking for anything new right now, pretty happy with it even after 4 years.

It's silly, but I still get excited when teaching our fundamentals workshop. React is a lot of fun.

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What's the best career advice you've ever received? And by whom?

I like this one.

Alright, so I used to be securities licensed and sold retail finance: mutual funds, insurance, etc.

I had a sales manager then named Mickey, a bit large, tall, southern good ol' boy. Spoke with the accent you'd expect. When he said "Ryan" it sounded more like "Ron" or "Rahn".

Rahn, getting the sale is a lot like getting a date with a girl. Your chances go WAY UP if you ask.

That has always stuck with me. I say it to Micheal often whenever we're working a contract or trying to get in the door somewhere.

A second phrase that has influenced my career a lot was from my direct manager when I was in sales. He'd regularly say:

It worked so well, I quit doing it.

That is to say, sometimes we have an idea, and it works so well, we forget that the reason we're being successful is because of it. Eventually you don't need that thing anymore because of your success, at which point, the success starts fading and you eventually think "What the heck? What's wrong?" and you realize you quit doing the thing that made you successful.

This makes a lot of sense for marketing/sales strategies, but also code. I often get really lazy with tests. They work so well, I quit thinking I need them cause "the app has been stable for a long time, these tests are a waste of time."

The tests worked so well, I quit writing them. Months later, the app is a wreck.

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Hey, Ryan. Still Mookie Proofed?

PFFFFFFFFFFTTT Hey Dustin. Long time!

(For anybody following along, Dustin is an old high school friend and loyal fan of Mookie Proofed--my high school band.)

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Hi Ryan, Thanks for doing this AMA.

What are your thoughts on React going MIT?

I think its great I can just move on to the next question and not talk about the React license anymore 😜

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How did you decide what price to charge for your online courses?

It's always easier to come down, so start as high as you're comfortable!

I always think about our pricing as value based, and I definitely think our online advanced course is worth $250 if you're a few months into React and want to level up.

Consider this: if you make 100k/yr as a developer, that's only 5 hours of pay.

Learning how and when to use those patterns on your own will definitely cost your boss more money than that.

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