Gabriel Peal (Software Engineer @ Airbnb) recently wrote a detailed string of articles on their experience with React Native at Airbnb after using the somewhat “new kid on the block” the past 2 years.

Full article can be found on Medium here.

We at Stackworx have used React Native extensively over the past 2 years as well, from our initial decision to trial it on a 2-sided network project called Cognition, to supporting more than half a dozen applications today that span single purpose operational applications to much more complex applications in aviation that need to deal with very specific constraints and limitations.

We have had our fair share of frustration and late nights with React Native, but at the end we are totally behind the framework and it is our mobile framework of choice.

“This doesn’t work, why doesn’t it work?”

“This works! But WHY does it work?” 

– David Van Zyl

Some recent React Native projects we have developed and deployed.

Some of the React Native applications we have recently built and deployed.

A key decision for us was deciding to pivot to a primarily Javascript stack, after the heavy investment in React Native the transition to ReactJS (Web) made sense and we were able to easily transition team members over, this led to us adopting NodeJS as our new application/server-side language of choice completing the entire Javascript ecosystem for Stackworx with the obvious additional architecture and CI pieces.

“React Native does not mean you never will write native code, in fact you should. Creating re-usable native libraries is a must have skill” 

– Ciaran Liedeman

Things change quickly in React Native and having to stay up to date can be tough but recently React Native switched to a monthly instead of fortnightly release cycle which makes releases more stable.


PRO: we have found as we develop internal skills in our team that on-boarding new members onto a single underlying language (being Javascript) across ReactJS, React Native & NodeJS has great benefits in the speed of learning and promotes collaboration across projects.

CON: tooling is catching up and is already much better than 2 years ago, however there are certain ease of working pros for going Native that can’t be ignored.

PRO: there is a massive and ever-growing community of developers and enterprises (Facebook, Airbnb, Skype to name but a few) backing React Native, this means releases are quick and often and there is a large and active community of developers contributing to the knowledge base.

“It worked yesterday, but it broke when I fixed it” 

– Evan Nienaber

Some of the tools we use daily in combination with React Native to make development life easier:

  • Jest (Javascript testing solution)
  • Storybook (Integrated Javascript UI Development Environment)
  • Flow (adding types to Javascript)
  • Typescript (language or flavor of Javascript that promotes types inherently and compiles to Javascript)
  • React Navigation (Routing & navigation library for React Native)

Storybook in action.

Want to chat about a project or have any questions about how we use React Native? Get in touch here:

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