React is Dead. Long live Reactive Rails! Long live StimulusReflex and ViewComponent!
Let me tell you about the feeling that I get when I encounter something poised to revolutionize my work as a software developer. A specific, tangible physical sensation in my bones; a tingle in my skin and a buzz in my fingertips. Like having done a little too much cocaine, if you know what I mean.
Apparently this mania hits me approximately every 5 years.
The first time was in 2000 when I read The Pragmatic Programmer and Kent Beck’s first XP book and they totally upended my ideas of what it meant to be a software engineer. Before that, to be honest, I was just thrilled with the money I was making, but craftsmanship and extreme programming turned me into such an evangelist I ended up founding Agile Atlanta.
The second time was in February 2005 when I wrote my first Ruby on Rails app together with Carlos Villela at ThoughtWorks. It was a clone of OkCupid, but for matching up people to be staffed together on consulting project teams, not romantically. I’m serious; it was called TWIX. (I still think it’s a cool idea!) Then I went on to lead some of the first paid “enterprise” Ruby on Rails projects in the world, and the rest is history.
I got the mania again in a big way in 2015 when the release of AWS Lambda made me an early and enthusiastic evangelist of serverless app design and got me so excited that I wrote a book about it. I was convinced it would be the next Rails for me, but life got in the way and trying to write a book about something that was changing so rapidly just didn’t work out. (I do plan to finish it someday, but I’m going to need some help to do so.)