This month, Button hosted the NYC network of Women Who Code for an Intro to React.js Workshop. Our goal was to create a welcoming environment for female developers to gain familiarity with a popular, but often intimidating, piece of technology.
But how exactly do you create a welcoming environment? Based on my own past experience as a newbie frontend engineer, I decided to run an interactive workshop instead of a lecture-style tech talk. After a brief intro to what React is and what distinguishes it from other libraries, we learned the following concepts:
- JSX, with a simple “Hello World” example
- Props, with a custom CoolButton component
- State, by building a Counter
- Lifecycle methods, by building a Stopwatch
For each concept, the developers in the room were invited to code alongside me in CodePen and ask questions along the way (“What’s the difference between ReactDOM.render and the component render function? What’s ES6?”) . In less than 45 minutes, many participants went from never having written a single line of React before to building functioning, interactive components!
Despite my love for React, the highlight of the event was seeing so many female developers gathered in pursuit of learning. Community spirit was evident throughout the event: Participants helped one another debug their examples, and many lingered afterward to share their experiences with frontend engineering and enthusiasm for the event.
I’m proud of Button for making an investment in diversity by allowing me to spend working hours developing this workshop, not to mention offering our sweet office space.
If you’d like to start your journey with React but couldn’t make it to the event, the full content of the workshop is available for free on SlideShare.
Finally, if you’d like to work at a place that invests in diversity, inclusion, and each of its employees’ growth, Button is hiring!