React is one of the most popular JavaScript libraries out there. React gets over 10 million downloads a week from NPM, and is well-known as an essential skill to learn in web development.

Less well known is how long React takes to learn. In this article, we’ll go over just that.

Learning React can take anywhere between a couple weeks and a few months. Besides the amount of time you put in regularly, your prior experience with coding will greatly affect how long learning React takes you.

Knowing How to Code Helps with Learning React

If you’re learning React without any prior experience programming, React might not make much sense.

Basic coding concepts, such as object-oriented-programming, will really help your React journey if you don’t have them already. These concepts will help you get quickly acquainted with React.

Furthermore, React is designed as a simplification of existing coding concepts in order to speed development. If you try and write your very first program in React, you might get the wrong idea on certain fundamental concepts.

As we’ll see later in this article, React simplifies programs, allowing HTML-like code to have JavaScript functionality. If you’re not familiar with what is going on behind the scenes, it can be hard to build good React code.

Knowing JavaScript Helps with Learning React

If you already know how to program, knowing JavaScript will help you even more when learning React.

React is a JavaScript library, meant to make it easier to build functionality into websites. Vanilla JavaScript (JavaScript just by itself) is often a hassle to work with, and React can often make things much easier.

Because React is a wrapper for JavaScript, React maintains all of the JavaScript concepts.

Therefore, it’ll really help to know a bit of JavaScript before you start learning React. Key JavaScript concepts, like objects, callbacks, and async, will carry over and give you a huge boost when you learn React.

A few examples of concepts that will carry over from JavaScript to React are timers, events, and the DOM (Document Object Model). While you can start with React without knowing JavaScript first, it might be difficult to learn JavaScript concepts at the same time as React-specific ones.

The key idea here is that React is just rearranged and simplified JavaScript. This makes it much easier to code in many cases, but not necessarily easier to learn.

Even if you’re an impatient learner, like I was when first starting with React, I would first get acquainted with vanilla JavaScript. Knowing JS by itself will give you a good foundation to learn React, saving time in the end.

Knowing HTML/CSS Helps Too

If you know vanilla JavaScript, then you probably also know how to use HTML/CSS. Knowing HTML/CSS will help you a ton.

JavaScript is useless without HTML and CSS, and therefore, React is as well. React’s rendering is based on HTML’s DOM, and its styles still come from CSS.

HTML and CSS are both relatively simple to learn, and without them, you might get lost when trying to learn React. I’d highly recommend at least learning the fundamental concepts and looking at some example code.

Besides both React and vanilla JS relying on HTML/CSS to work properly, HTML, in particular, will help you code in JSX.

JSX, a format that looks and operates very similarly to HTML, is often used to greatly simplify code. Below is an example snippet of some JSX:

<div> <QueueList/> <input value={name} onChange={(e)=>setName(e.target.value)} /> <img/> </div>

If you’re familiar with HTML, you’ll see that there are actually many HTML tags in the above example. In fact, only “QueueList” is an element you wouldn’t normally find in HTML.

JSX elements integrate seamlessly into HTML, acting almost just like HTML tags. JSX allows you to build components modularly, and then render them just as you would plain HTML.

How Long Will it Take You to Learn React?

If you’ve mastered HTML/CSS as well as JavaScript, learning React should take you no longer than a few weeks. React restructures the way you code, but fundamentally many of the concepts will be the same as what you’re accustomed to.

If you have less experience with the web development languages, learning React might take you a bit longer — perhaps a month or two.

If you have no experience with programming at all, learning React could take up to a few months. Don’t worry though, as you’ll learn many other important programming concepts along the way.

Finally, how long it takes to learn React is greatly dependent on how much time you put in! Like programming in general, React has a learning curve, and the more you work at it, the better you will get.

If you’d like to pursue React as your next skill to learn, don’t hesitate to get started. Online tutorials, such as the ones you can find here are a great way to get going. Our tutorials don’t require you to have any prior programming experience.

That’s it for this article. If you have your own ideas on how long it takes to learn React, please leave your thoughts in the comments below!

👋 Hey, I'm Jesse Ryan Shue
I am a Full-Stack Developer and an Industrial/Mechanical Designer. I have work experience in Industrial Design, 3D printing, and teaching. I am experienced in Python, JavaScript, and SolidWorks CAD. Follow me on LinkedIn

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