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    Teaching backend devs how to React and Redux at StubHub Boston

    "Did you learn a lot?" I asked after a two day workshop where we covered everything from wtf is destructuring to redux thunks.

    "LoL No! We barely scratched the surface, but you gave us a good head start. If this is what is required of us, we'll learn it for real.”

    That guy… that guy was funny. He was kinda cool, actually. I liked him. Skipped the 1st day of my workshop, blazed into the 2nd, and had a bunch of insightful questions that reminded me of my math teacher back in middle school.

    "Ok, that's what Redux does. But what is Redux?"

    Err… a library?

    "Thank you. Proceed.”

    My middle school math teacher would always do that. What is a square? "It has four sides, and all sides are equal, and they are at right angles.” Okay, those are a square's properties, but what is it?

    "Err… a shape?"

    Correct. You may proceed.

    Thank you, funny guy with great hair. I never even thought to mention before that Redux was a library. Never even crossed my mind, honestly.

    In my defense, I have also never before tried to teach Redux to a group of people who haven't even heard of it.

    You see, we came into this workshop, Real World React and I, thinking that we were going to train a StubHub Boston team much like we did in San Francisco. A bunch of engineers who have heard of React and Redux, played around with them, and want some quick leveling up. Get up to speed with the new direction the company frameworks are taking.

    Then people started answering our poll.

    Experience with React? None at all.

    Experience with Redux? Never heard of it.

    Experience with ES6+? What's that?

    Err… what is going on here, dear StubHub? Oh, didn't we tell you? This is our backend team. Their day-to-day is to build our API layer and data processing. Little bit of data mining and such.

    Um, what?

    Oh, and we just went through some… team changes, shall we say… you're going to be a great distraction to lift everyone's mood.

    So dance like a monkey I did and entertained 6 people for two days. In the middle, they had a huge all-hands meeting, and I grabbed some tea. It was great.

    Listening to their perspective was fascinating. I almost learned more from them than they did from me.

    We talked about how life was simpler back in 1998 when JavaScript was just a new toy on the block that was fun and whimsical. That's when most of them used it last.

    StubHub Boston day 2
    StubHub Boston day 2

    And we talked about how technologies come and go. One fellow reminisced with a tear in his eye about JWT and how he loved it and it was backed by Google and he thought it was the future and he invested a bunch of time into learning it…

    …then 2 years later, Google said, “Meh, this sucks,” and JWT was no more.

    Sad day for all.

    I got the overall impression that the engineers at StubHub Boston were grizzled old veterans. They've been in the industry for decades, they've seen it all, and it's all the same as everything before it, just in a new package.

    “React will come and go,” I felt them thinking. We're gonna learn it because the boss says so, but between you and me, we all know that next year, we'll be learning something completely new because the boss will get a new idea in his head.

    I liked them. ❤️

    PS: the weather in Boston… 👌 5 celsius or below, little bit wet, little bit chilly, just like home. I miss that.

    Did you enjoy this article?

    Published on December 7th, 2017 in Business

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