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React Day Berlin 2019 recap

· 3 min read
Leon Roth

On the 6th of December, I was given the opportunity to attend my first React Day in Berlin. It is one of the largest React focussed conferences in the world, with ~500 attendees this year.

After registration, I took a stroll around the amazing venue at “Kosmos” in Berlin. It has a large main stage and a smaller, cinema-like (as in comfy chairs) off-stage. The main stage was host to the more web focussed talk and the off-stage was host to mostly React Native talks.

After completing my round across the venue, talking to the different sponsors (and also grabbing a lot of freebies), drinking coffee and looking for people to socialize with, we were asked to gather on the main track for the opening. The MCs introduced themselves in a very pally way which instantly created a friendly and chill atmosphere among the attendees.

The keynote talk was by Max Stoiber, the creator of styled components, a very awesome CSS-in-JS library, and that was also the topic of his talk, which was very interesting. I had already checked the talk schedule the day before so I knew I was mostly going to stay on the main track. The following talks were about accessibility and performance anxiety, which highlighted very cool ways to improve your apps performance and user-friendliness.

Lunch break was a great opportunity to discuss the first talks of the day with fellow react fans as well as grabbing some nice lunch from the salad buffet, which was delicious!

After lunch break, the main track continued hot with a talk about IPFS (InterPlanetary FileSystem) which blew the minds of everyone who had not heard of it before. Following was a talk about internationalization and data visualization which pointed out the different ways users across the globe perceive colors and other visualizations and encouraged to reconsider the assumptions we have about our users. After this, a round of lightning talks took place on both tracks, and I switched over to the off-track, because those talks were about hobbies and I already knew some of the speakers had extremely cool hobbies like high-speed drone racing, extreme scuba diving or combining coding with engineering to create self-crafted hardware game consoles!

After a small break with coffee and snacks, the main track continued with a talk about the parallels of writing fictional books and writing react components. It gave insights to a very unusual approach to writing components!

The following talk sheds light on some common testing principles and how to apply them to testing your react applications. The talk after was my personal highlight of the conference, it was about Reactfire, a library that combines the development tools of Firebase with the newest, state-of-the-art react features!

Closing the day were talks about error handling and audio exploration with react, which unfortunately did not go as much into detail as I had hoped, but were very interesting nonetheless. After a 2-hour pause in which we went to grab some food in the nearby restaurants and had epic discussion sparked by the topics of the talks, the after-party took place. There were DJs which used react and javascript in general to produce music (epic!!) and drinks and good times!

Overall React Day Berlin 2019 was a very pleasant experience and I'm absolutely hyped for next time!
PS: The whole event was streamed to YouTube, so if you are interested you can find all the talks here: