Coding with React JS is a great way to simplify your development processes. The library allows you to quickly insert an array of UI elements with minimal efforts and increases overall productivity and accuracy. That being said, React doesn’t work alone – or at the very least, it works better when paired with other development tools. These 5 React JS tools can help you get the most out of React’s library and take your process to the next level.
Debug With Chrome
Debugging is one of the most important steps in building and launching any platform, but it also demands immense attention to detail to get right. Luckily, React already simplifies the debugging process because it uses a one-way data binding process, but that’s not enough to ensure there aren’t any stray elements or malfunctions floating around in the code. No, you’ll still need some supplementary debugging tools, and that’s where the Chrome extension comes into play.
Facebook offers a React Developer Tools extension that can be installed directly to the Chrome Browser. This tool lets you examine the entire React component hierarchy entirely within your browser, and what final elements are rendered. Most importantly, you can actually select an option to “Debug JS Remotely,” which initiates a debugging application that can review all project roots.
The Create React App
Like React itself and the Chrome developer tools above, the Create React App is another Facebook product, this one released in connection with Github. When you initiate the Create React App – a one line piece of code – you’re immediately provided with a new development space. The Create React App also sets up a frontend pipeline and optimizes the coding environment. Overall, this isn’t a particularly complex app, but it doesn’t cut out some of the busy work involved in preparing a new project. Why spend all that time building out your development space, when a little piece of code can do it for you?
Storybook – A Glance Inside Your App
React JS is designed specifically to support UI development, but as a code library, it’s doesn’t exactly offer much in terms of UI on its own. That’s not a big problem for experienced coders, but if you’re new to using React JS, not being able to see the elements that you’re building can be a challenge. Maybe you start to lose the design theme or the organization starts to slip. With Storybook, you can continuously check your project components. This makes for a more attractive final project and better UI, generally a top concern for React-based developers.
Test With Jest
We’ve all experienced the phenomenon in which products from the same developer or source are easier to use together, and Facebook’s assortment React tools are no exception. When it comes to testing applications then, the tool that you need is Jest.
Jest is not just the preferred React JS testing tool for security-focused groups like Threat Stack, but because it’s a Facebook product, it easily integrates with the Create React App. Jest also makes the testing process faster because it runs separate elements in sequence, plus, when it identifies a problem in your code, Jest is able to use rich context to suggest what the problem might be. No more hunting around for errors when a tool isn’t working – what more could you ask for?
Web accessibility may not get much attention outside of disabled communities, but there’s a growing body of developers focused on ensuring that everyone has equal access to the internet, and who recognize this as a pressing legal issue. One problem: most web designers don’t specialize in this issue, and so even with thorough review and testing, it’s easy for them to miss critical issues. Enter React Axe.
React Axe is an accessibility checker supported by Deque, a company that specializes in access-based compliance issues, and it includes several powerful features. In particular, React Axe is able to identify the sorts of function issues that only exist when multiple components come together. In other words, you can build your website entirely using tools known to be accessible, only to end up with a final product that doesn’t work as planned.
Another key advantage of using React Axe for accessibility testing is that it allows you to test each page as you go, providing real-time feedback. Too often, access issues are only evaluated at the end of a build, at which point developers are no longer invested in going back to fix them. Any time you have the ability to check a critical process as you go, that’s preferable, since it makes it easier to fix – otherwise, the problems just build up and become an overwhelming tangle.
Put The Pieces Together
With so many React JS tools at your disposal, how do you know which ones you need and how to use them together? It can certainly be tricky to coordinate all your tools, but most React-focused programs work smoothly together, as long as you’re not trying to duplicate tasks. You wouldn’t use Storybook along with Chrome’s Debug reactor because one is an independent platform and one is an extension designed for convenience.
Another reason you may have trouble combining some React tools is because a platform already offers its own add-on for a function. Storybook, for example, works with both Jest and React Axe, but you have to download the appropriate add-ons, rather than just try to plug in some code. Luckily, with a little troubleshooting, you can have just about any combination of tools working in sync.
Start A React-ion With ZAGA
React JS and its associated tools are great for developers trying to launch new platforms and products, but it’s not always easy to put all the pieces together. That’s why, if your business is struggling to make your ideas reality, you need ZAGA. Our development approach combines a commitment to your goals with clear planning for optimal outcomes. Contact us today to learn more about how ZAGA can help you cross the finish line. Whether you’re grappling with React JS or struggling with big picture development questions, we’re here to help.