Cam Jackson

- Full stack developer

- DevOps evangelist

- Consultant

Profile picture

Latest posts

9 things every React.js beginner should know

I've been using React.js for about 6 months now. In the grand scheme of things that's not very long at all, but in the ever-churning world of JavaScript frameworks, that just about qualifies you as a bearded elder! I've helped out a few people lately with React starter tips, so I thought it would be a good idea to write some of them up here to share more broadly. These are all either things that I wish I'd known when I started out, or things that really helped me 'get' React.


Server-Side Rendering with React

Over the last 6 months I've been using React in a single page app project, and I've fallen in love with it. Of course, a big part of what makes React great is the magic it does in the browser with its Virtual DOM, but even for simple static pages it has some properties that make it ideal for server-side rendering:

  1. Familiar syntax: Compared with templating languages like Jade or Handlebars, there's almost no new syntax or API to learn (assuming you use JSX, which you absolutely should!). It's just HTML and Javascript with some minor differences.

My skills


I create online experiences to engage and delight users. I work best with:

HTML5, ES6, SASS, React, Flux/Redux, Bootstrap


I build APIs and command-line tools that are simple, secure, and scalable. Skills include:

Ruby, Node.js, Python, Java, Rust, Go, SQL, MongoDB


I own my apps in production, and have worked in the enterprise maintaining infrastructure for hundreds of developers. I have experience with:

Linux, AWS, Docker, Puppet, Chef, Logstash


I love working with teams that are constantly striving to improve, using practices like:

Agile, Lean, DevOps, Continuous Delivery, Test-Driven Development


I consider people skills just as important as technical ones. As a consultant I've learned critical skills such as:

Leadership, Communication, Facilitation, Coaching & Training, Stakeholder Management

Public speaking

I enjoy sharing my experiences, and have spoken for audiences large and small, including:

1stConf, DevOps Melbourne, Melbourne Functional Users Group, Melbourne & Monash Universities