React Components with Max Stoiber

Modern frontend development is about components. Whether we are building an application in React, Vue, or Angular, components are the abstractions that we build our user interfaces out of. Today, this seems obvious, but if you think back five years ago, frontend development was much more chaotic–partly because we had not settled around this terminology of the component.

React has become the most popular frontend framework, and part of its growth is due to the ease and reusability of components across the community. It’s easy to find building blocks that you can use to piece together your frontend application. Do you need a video player component? Do you need a news feed component? A profile component? All of these things are easy to find.

As you build a React application, you take some open source components off the shelf, and you build others yourself. To keep things looking nice and consistent, you need to style your components. If you are not careful with how you manage your stylesheets, you can end up with inconsistent stylings and namespace conflicts.

Max Stoiber is the creator of styled-components, a project to help enforce best practices around styling components. He has also a founder of Spectrum, a system that allows people to build online communities. Spectrum has similar design and engineering challenges to Slack or Facebook, so it made for a great discussion of modern software architecture.

In today’s episode, Max and I had a wide-ranging conversation about frontend frameworks, components, and the process of building a product. Max also describes the advantages of using GraphQL and the Apollo toolchain.

Transcript

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