ReactJS, Mobile App Development, Events

Highlights from React Native EU Conf 2020

This has been an unusual year for conferences; with everything remote, this past week members of our team simultaneously attended ElixirConf while others attended React Native EU, with some members bouncing back and forth between both events.

In a year when people around the world are working on new ways to run events remotely, it was interesting to see the differences in production choices between ElixirConf and React Native EU. ElixirConf chose to build a new remote conferencing platform and had some technical hiccups, while React Native EU used an existing solution that worked very smoothly. All of the RNEU talks appeared to be recorded in advance, while the ElixirConf talks were a mix of pre-recorded and live presentations. ElixirConf also broadcast several simultaneous tracks, whereas React Native EU was a single-track event; our team found the single-track approach to be more manageable.

Regardless of production styles, both events showcased great and insightful talks from community members. Here’s a short list of a few of our favorite talks from this year’s remote React Native EU Conf.

Omri Bruchim: Performance Does Matter - Making Your React-Native App Fast Again

Performance does matter and Omri outline three approaches to improving performance in your mobile application. One key takeaway was reducing your bundle size. While that seems obvious, he presented the tool react-native-bundle-visualizer  to outline what is taking up space in your dependencies. This will make it easier to decide what is necessary for you app and what isn't. Reducing that package bloat is a quick and easy win for performance.

Yann Leflour: XState ❤️ NoNav - Taking back control of navigation

Yann presented a compelling case for rethinking mobile routing or navigation to help reduce dependency bloat. We looked under the hood at React navigation to mock your own navigation with the use of hooks and providers.

Pavlos Vinieratos: Xcode complexity? No more.

We thought this talk provided a great walkthrough for how to handle confusing Xcode config, using Xcodegen to make Xcodeproj files more like a package.json. The new approach can be especially helpful during React Native upgrades as well as simplifying regular changes and Git diffs.

Kadi Kraman: GraphQL and React Native - the urql edition

Urql is a fairly new React library from Formidable for making GraphQL queries in React much like Apollo. Though it is a relatively new project, we are excited to see where it goes; the most interesting aspect is caching. Apollo uses normalized caching whereas urql caches by query keeping the cache updated after mutations. This approach could lead to some good performance wins down the line.

Ramón Huidobro: 5 Lessons Learned from a Major React Native Upgrade

This talk walked us through the challenge of performing an upgrade on someone else's outdated app. Ramón broke the project down into steps, and spoke with empathy on how to secure little wins and stay motivated during a daunting task. We came away with solid technical tips as well as insights into handling the emotional obstacles of a difficult task with unwavering positivity.


Overall, React Native EU Conf was a very polished event that our team enjoyed attending; you can catch the talks yourself at the links below.

Day 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DduUntL2Sv4

Day 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWkQxg6RQ-A