Expert reacts

My React 2020 Summit experience

Reading time: ca.

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic React Summit Amsterdam 2020 first got delayed and sadly cancelled. But as an alternative, this year GitNation provided not one but two amazing remote React events. And at both events there were some great workshops led by top experts in their field, to level up your React skills. So let us get some of my insights and impressions straight!


The first React Summit 2020 Remote edition took place on April 17. Ahead of this first part, I attended two workshops: React Performance by Kent C. Dodds and Component Driven Design by Andrey Okonetchnikov.

The year before I already followed a workshop given by Kent and was amazed by how knowledgeable he is about the entire React ecosystem. Since then I started following him on Twitter and learned even more through his articles.

His React Performance workshop of this year was no different! As I myself have noticed several times during the lifetime of a project, you often have to deal with performance issues. During his keynote, Kent showed us how to use the Chrome Dev Tools to zero in on the source of these issues and get measurable statistics on your applications performance. Subsequently, he taught us how to use built-in React hooks to improve performance. Here you can find out on which dates he will give this workshop again.

My next workshop was led by Andrey Okonetchnikov, who introduced us to the different aspects of Component Driven Design and how to leverage React and React Styleguidist to create a uniform component driven design system. When the workshop started we got a crude sketch of a login form and were asked to recreate it. Everyone ended up with different styles and no real uniformity. He provided us with some insights on how to use design tokens, layout primitives and patterns to ensure your product has a uniform look and feel, creating a coherent and user-friendly experience throughout your application. The full workshop can be accessed over here.

And then it was about time for the first React Summit 2020 Remote edition, the conference part. With more than 25 speakers split into a React and an Alt Track, the event retains the title for the biggest React conference in the world. This year’s conference was being live streamed over YouTube. A full-access pass gave you entrance to discussion rooms and Q&A sessions with the speakers. For the April edition there seemed to be a lot of focus on moving away from global state management and resolving complexity issues by using a lot of Redux in our apps. Systems such as React Query allow you to move away from Redux and simplify your programming experience. But the biggest name these days is of course GraphQL. Something that I have seen very strongly emerge over the past year. Other subjects that passed were Code Quality, Edge Computing and design systems.

In the meantime, all talks have been put online and made publicly accessible. You can find them on YouTube.

He provided us with some insights on how to use design tokens, layout primitives and patterns to ensure your product has a uniform look and feel, creating a coherent and user-friendly experience throughout your application.


After the first event there was a period where it seemed to be likely an in-person conference could happen in September. After some time, however, it became clear that the global pandemic would not allow such a large event to take place. The in-person event was once again transformed into a remote meeting. And as an avid supporter of React Summit and JsNation, I again booked 2 workshops and a full-access pass.

The first workshop was led by Nader Dabit, a top expert in the area of AWS cloud and AWS Amplify. In his two-part training he introduced us to the principles of AWS Amplify and gave us a look under the hood. Afterwards, he taught us how to use Amplify to simply integrate our React apps with AWS Cognito for authentication, GraphQL for API design, S3 for storage and much more of the AWS ecosystem. This enables us to quickly make fully-fledged React applications ready for production.

During this workshop it became clear that AWS amplify is the missing part in my development experience. The easy way of setting up a very robust system using the industry standard of AWS blew me away. This is something I definitely will use much more in the future! The exercise part of his workshop can be found on GitHub.

As early as next week, it was time for the second conference part of the React 2020 Summit. We started strong with a keynote from Kent C. Dodds. His insights into how to become an educator are hugely valuable to members of the community who strive to do the same.

Subsequently, Joshua Nelson took us on a trip through the wonderful world of service workers. And the sad truth is that although they are widely supported, very useful and greatly improve the user experience, there is only a small part of the Internet that uses this API. These two speakers set the tone for all the conversations that followed. We looked in depth at the benefits of GraphQL, Accessibility and saw some amazing new frameworks.

I still have one workshop to go, so keep an eye out for an update on my React Summit 2020 experience.

Keshia Niemegeerts

February 8, 2022

Read the highlights of our blog

"Each project pushes our skills farther and expands our expertise"

Let's talk!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
We value your privacy! We use cookies to enhance your browsing experience and analyse our traffic.
By clicking "Accept All", you consent to our use of cookies.