Why Is React So Hard To Learn? + Resources To Learn Quicker

So you want to know why it’s so hard to learn React? Well, there are a few reasons why you might find React difficult to learn. In this article, we are going to discuss what those reasons are and what you can do to surpass these hurdles and become the React pro you were always meant to be!

What Makes React Difficult To Learn?

Inexperienced In HTML, CSS & JavaScript

The first major reason you might find React hard to learn is that you don’t actually have a solid grasp of HTML, CSS, and/or JavaScript. Although you might think you do. If you find the basics of React confusing, it is because you don’t feel really confident building non-trivial applications in pure HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

This was the main reason I had trouble learning React originally. I didn’t have a great foundation in the basics and was eager to keep pushing forward when I wasn’t ready.

When I was learning React, I had a hard time distinguishing what was truly React code and what was pure JavaScript code. Which you will write a lot of within React.

Sound familiar to your situation? Well, then you might have to spend more time learning the basics. Try building a few basic applications with the three core languages and completely dismiss the idea of learning a frontend framework like React until you feel pretty confident with those.

The amount of time it takes you to learn React will decrease dramatically once you have the basics down like the back of your hand!

Advanced Topics

On the other hand, if you do have a good grasp on the basics, you need to keep in mind that React has its own way of thinking and uses advanced topics. In React, you will be introduced to many functional programming concepts like currying, immutable functions, and higher-order functions [although you should have learned this in pure JavaScript anyways].

You will also be introduced to concepts like a virtual DOM & reconciliation, prop drilling & context state, and components and how they communicate. Not to mention that you may be learning how to use React in conjunction with a backend framework like Express and Node. Which, by the way, you don’t need to learn at the same time.

Then finally, let’s tack on the fact that React is almost always used in conjunction with other 3rd party software such as Redux, Jest, or TypeScript. This is because React is a library and not a true framework. It needs other tools to build complex software.

Get the point yet?

When you are learning React, you are inadvertently learning many things at once! This is why you find React difficult to learn. It is difficult to learn if you haven’t been exposed to another frontend framework or these concepts before.

Resources To Help Learn React

So how do you make learning React easier? Well, the first tip I want to give you is that it simply takes time to learn. I promise, if you practice writing React applications every day for 1-3 hours for a month, you will see a lot of improvement in that time frame. You won’t become a master at React in a day, it. takes .time!

With that in mind, here are some resources I would use to learn React if I were to start over.

Read The Documentation and Step-By-Step Guide

The first place I would start is by reading the React getting started tutorial and main concepts guide. The first is a step-by-step guide that you can code along with. Allowing you to learn React the way the developers of the frontend framework intend for you to learn it. The second resource, the main concepts guide, will give you a good foundation for what React really is.

Watch Video Courses

Although this guide is a great place to get started, it doesn’t show many practical applications of React. In addition, it’s always good to grab information from multiple sources because they will explain the concepts differently. Some explanations might click with you instantly, while others just don’t help.

Here are some top courses that have really solid explanations of React.

Personally, I would check out the courses by Meta first. You can audit [and complete] them for free and they are created by the team that created the framework. They will be the most knowledgeable instructors to teach you the framework.

Remember, you should choose a learning resource that explains the concepts in a manner that you understand best. Even if it’s a random youtube video!

Make Projects

Finally, and I cannot stress this enough, you should create your own React projects! It is by far the most efficient way to become a professional React developer as soon as possible. If you can create a basic project with React [and a bit of help from StackOverflow] you will start to progress really quickly!

You will start to realize that many software projects are created in a similar way and that there are many problems you have solved in the past that will be easy to solve again moving forward.

However, I understand that not everyone is at the skill level where they feel comfortable doing this. So the resources above should help you get to this level and see how software is built by professionals. After you learn that, it should be easier to start building your own projects.

Additional Tips

In another article, I also share some additional tips to keep in mind if you want to approach learning React the smart way. You can find it here.


To summarize, most people find React hard to learn because they don’t have a really solid grasp of HTML, CSS & JavaScript. However, React is also difficult because it deals with advanced concepts like functional programming, compartmentalizing and passing state, using it with backend frameworks, and using it in conjunction with 3rd party software.

If you want to learn React, the most important thing is to get started today and don’t quit. It can take a long time to learn React, but you will learn it if you are persistent! Start with reading the documentation and get a base understanding. Then watch some follow-along coding videos like the ones mentioned above. Finally, build your own projects. Once you can do that, you can start calling yourself a React developer!

As always, happing coding and good luck!

Grant Darling

Grant is a full-stack / frontend software developer passionate about writing & coding. He has many years experience working in the tech industry both as a freelancer and as an employee.

The Code Bytes is all about providing people with honest information about programming. To learn more about Grant, read his about page!

If you’re interested in freelance coding / writing services or want to partner with The Code Bytes, you can get in touch with me here!