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Build an Epic React App 🚀 EpicReact.Dev

Building a full React application

The React and JavaScript ecosystem is full of tools and libraries to help you build your applications. In this (huge) workshop we’ll build an application from scratch using widely supported and proven tools and techniques. We’ll cover everything about building frontend React applications, from the absolute basics to the tricky parts you'll run into building real world React apps and how to create great abstractions.

Learn React from Start to Finish

Build Status All Contributors GPL 3.0 License Code of Conduct


  • You'll want experience with React before going through this material. The lessons get progressively more advanced. Once you hit something you're unfamiliar with, that's your cue to go back and review the other parts of EpicReact.Dev.

System Requirements

  • git v2.13 or greater
  • NodeJS 12 || 14 || 15 || 16
  • npm v6 or greater

All of these must be available in your PATH. To verify things are set up properly, you can run this:

git --version
node --version
npm --version

If you have trouble with any of these, learn more about the PATH environment variable and how to fix it here for windows or mac/linux.


If you want to commit and push your work as you go, you'll want to fork first and then clone your fork rather than this repo directly.

After you've made sure to have the correct things (and versions) installed, you should be able to just run a few commands to get set up:

git clone
cd bookshelf
node setup

This may take a few minutes.

If you get any errors, please read through them and see if you can find out what the problem is. If you can't work it out on your own then please file an issue and provide all the output from the commands you ran (even if it's a lot).

If you can't get the setup script to work, then just make sure you have the right versions of the requirements listed above, and run the following commands:

npm install
npm run validate

If you are still unable to fix issues and you know how to use Docker 🐳 you can setup the project with the following command:

docker-compose up

It's recommended you run everything locally in the same environment you work in every day, but if you're having issues getting things set up, you can also set this up using GitHub Codespaces (video demo) or Codesandbox.

Running the app

To get the app up and running (and really see if it worked), run:

npm start

This should start up your browser. If you're familiar, this is a standard react-scripts application.

You can also open the production deployment:

Running the tests

npm test

This will start Jest in watch mode. Read the output and play around with it. The tests are there to help you reach the final version, however sometimes you can accomplish the task and the tests still fail if you implement things differently than I do in my solution, so don't look to them as a complete authority.

Working through the exercises

To get started, run:

node go

This will allow you to choose which exercise you want to work on. From there, open the file and follow the instructions.

If you'd like to work on an extra credit, but you want to skip the preceding steps, you can run node go again:

node go

This will let you choose the next exercise or you can choose which part of the exercise you'd like to work on. This will update your exercise files to the correct version for you to work on that extra credit.


The exercises are in different branches. Each branch changes the file to contain instructions you need to complete the exercise.

The purpose of the exercise is not for you to work through all the material. It's intended to get your brain thinking about the right questions to ask me as I walk through the material.

Helpful Emoji 🐨 💰 💯 📝 🦉 📜 💣 💪 🏁 👨‍💼 🚨

Each exercise has comments in it to help you get through the exercise. These fun emoji characters are here to help you.

  • Kody the Koala 🐨 will tell you when there's something specific you should do version
  • Marty the Money Bag 💰 will give you specific tips (and sometimes code) along the way
  • Hannah the Hundred 💯 will give you extra challenges you can do if you finish the exercises early.
  • Nancy the Notepad 📝 will encourage you to take notes on what you're learning
  • Olivia the Owl 🦉 will give you useful tidbits/best practice notes and a link for elaboration and feedback.
  • Dominic the Document 📜 will give you links to useful documentation
  • Berry the Bomb 💣 will be hanging around anywhere you need to blow stuff up (delete code)
  • Matthew the Muscle 💪 will indicate that you're working with an exercise
  • Chuck the Checkered Flag 🏁 will indicate that you're working with a final
  • Peter the Product Manager 👨‍💼 helps us know what our users want
  • Alfred the Alert 🚨 will occasionally show up in the test failures with potential explanations for why the tests are failing.


  • Checkout the exercise branch
  • Read through the
  • Start exercise
  • Go through every mentioned file and follow the instructions from the emoji
  • We all come back together
  • I go through the solution and answer questions
  • Move on to the next exercise.
  • Repeat.

App Data Model

  • User

    • id: string
    • username: string
  • List Item

    • id: string
    • bookId: string
    • ownerId: string
    • rating: number (-1 is no rating, otherwise it's 1-5)
    • notes: string
    • startDate: number (
    • finishDate: number (

For convenience, our friendly backend engineers also return a book object on each list item which is the book it's associated to. Thanks backend folks!

/me wishes we could use GraphQL

If your "database" gets out of whack, you can purge it via:

  • Book

    • id: string
    • title: string
    • author: string
    • coverImageUrl: string
    • pageCount: number
    • publisher: string
    • synopsis: string


Running "node go" does not list any branches

This means there was something wrong when you ran the setup. Try running:

node ./scripts/track-branches.js

If you're still not getting the branches, then you can do this manually:

git branch --track "exercises/01-bootstrap" "origin/exercises/01-bootstrap"
git branch --track "exercises/02-styles" "origin/exercises/02-styles"
git branch --track "exercises/03-data-fetching" "origin/exercises/03-data-fetching"
git branch --track "exercises/04-authentication" "origin/exercises/04-authentication"
git branch --track "exercises/05-routing" "origin/exercises/05-routing"
git branch --track "exercises/06-cache-management" "origin/exercises/06-cache-management"
git branch --track "exercises/07-context" "origin/exercises/07-context"
git branch --track "exercises/08-compound-components" "origin/exercises/08-compound-components"
git branch --track "exercises/09-performance" "origin/exercises/09-performance"
git branch --track "exercises/10-render-as-you-fetch" "origin/exercises/10-render-as-you-fetch"
git branch --track "exercises/11-unit-testing" "origin/exercises/11-unit-testing"
git branch --track "exercises/12-testing-hooks-and-components" "origin/exercises/12-testing-hooks-and-components"
git branch --track "exercises/13-integration-testing" "origin/exercises/13-integration-testing"
git branch --track "exercises/14-e2e-testing" "origin/exercises/14-e2e-testing"

git pull --all


Thanks goes to these wonderful people (emoji key):

Kent C. Dodds

💻 📖 🚇 ⚠️

Vojta Holik

🎨 💻

Richard B. Kaufman-López


Sekib Omazic


Justin Dorfman


Nash Kabbara

📖 💻 🐛





Artem Zakharchenko


Leonardo Elias


Oluwaseun Oyebade


Wes Bos


Jesse Jafa


Huy Dang


Gabriel Abud


Kody Clemens




Emmanouil Zoumpoulakis


Christian Schurr

💻 🐛

Bob Massarczyk


Deepak Chandani


Juliano Farias


Robbert Wolfs

📖 💻



Michaël De Boey

📆 💻

Marco Moretti


Vasilii Kovalev

💻 📖

Peramanathan Sathyamoorthy


William BEUIL


Andrew Li


Tony Khaov


Stijn Geens


Andrés Gallego


Michal Juriš








Peter Hozák


Chris Chuang

💻 🐛

Valentin Hervieu


~Sami Triki


Ryan Boone


Juan Latorre


Roch Goszczyński

💻 🐛

Hendrik Mittrop




Jelte Homminga


Omri Dagan


Justin Domingue


Marc-Antoine Ferland


This project follows the all-contributors specification. Contributions of any kind welcome!

Workshop Feedback

Each exercise has an Elaboration and Feedback link. Please fill that out after the exercise and instruction.

At the end of the workshop, please go to this URL to give overall feedback. Thank you!