RRU 047: Expo with Charlie Cheever

React Round Up



  • Nader Dabit
  • Justin Bennett
  • Charles Max Wood

Special Guest:  Charlie Cheever


This episode of React Round Up has the panelists talking to Charlie Cheever, a former Facebook employee, who currently works on Expo.  The panel discusses Charlies article called “Should we be using React Native?”,  Airbnb sunsetting their React Native app, and the nature of the Expo app. Charlie describes Expo as the easiest way to do React Native using just JavaScript, and making it as easy and powerful as possible. Expo works kind of like a web browser for JavaScript, and is available on iOS, Android, and and Google app stores. Expo CLI has replaced Create React Native CLI because Expo is more user friendly. Many features are already included in Expo, including OTA updates, dealing with fonts, video player, Facebook ad and Google ads, barcode scanner, Native maps, and much more. To get started on your computer, go to snack.expo.io or download the Expo app on your phone.

The panelists chat about the success of Charlie’s company and how he has attracted so many great programmers to his company. Charlie gives a history of how Expo got started. Charlie gives advice on how to start a business around a free tool, and the goal of Expo to make every service available on the app before focusing on making money. The panel discusses sustainability in the software world, as making people pay for things can drive them to write their own stuff.

They talk about the benefits of using Expo and its ability to cross platforms, and enterprise companies such as Youtube and Instagram shifting over to using React. Charlie attributes this shift to two things; the increase in software developer salaries driving down the number of available software engineers, which makes it difficult for smaller companies to hire engineers, thus pushing them to use things like React and Expo to make up for it. Last, the panelists talk about the possibility that the world is moving towards a future characterized by a “write once, run everywhere” and more uniform experiences across operating systems.







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