React Native EU 2023 Experience

React Native EU 2023 Experience


If you've never heard of React Native EU, it's the largest React Native conference in Europe. Whether you're new to React Native or a guru, you can learn something or gain useful knowledge from the conference.

Callstack hosts the conference throughout the year, offering both onsite and in-person events. Callstack puts together a series of in-depth talks packed with knowledge. Often, engineers from Meta will come to share updates about the latest news on React Native.

Four years ago, I attended the largest React Native conference in the US (Chain React), and it was amazing! I made lots of friends, and many of them are still part of the React Native community today.

This year, I had the opportunity to join the big React Native conference in the EU in person for the first time. (I bought a ticket back in 2020, but due to the pandemic, the onsite version was canceled. Fortunately, it was still held as an online version.)

Day 1

The event was held at Wrocław Congress Center, situated in Szczytnicki Park with a fantastic atmosphere. Upon entering the venue, I was guided to the registration area to collect my badge and gadgets. After completing the registration, I was approached by Barbara who thanked me for my efforts on the lineup blog post. We had previously met at React Advance 2022 and chatted about the conference.

Next, I took a walk around the venue. I visited the main stage first and was shocked by its size. The theme was incredible, and seeing the quote "The biggest community event in Europe" really pumped me up. Last year, I moved to the UK, and one of my goals was to attend the RNEU conference in person someday. I had watched the online version for many years, but standing there in the audience zone held special significance for me. The venue provided desserts, fruits, juices, and coffee throughout the day. They even had baristas on standby to make excellent coffee.

This year, the keynotes were delivered by Alex and Riccardo from Meta. They've shown how DevX is being improved in React Native 0.73. Can't wait for the new version to come.Then more packed talks from folks from Meta, Playstation, Callstack and Microsoft. Will write more posts about it in the future.

During lunchtime, I met some old friends, Raffel and Matt. We chat about Chain 2019 where we first met, and also what's going on with life lately. It's pretty great to meet old friends and conference and know they are still in the community. Once again I felt that conf is about connecting people more than the talks. Since most of the talks will be uploaded to the public later.

The afternoon featured talks from individuals representing Swan, BAM, Callstack, Shopify, and more. It was impressive how Charlotte managed to explain React Rendering in a simple and comprehensible manner. The presentation from Shopify was also quite interesting, discussing their integration of Storybook, Docusaurus, and UI pixel diffing test. The last talk from day one was React Navigation 7, great to see what's coming.

After the packed initial talks, the networking session begins. The venue offers draft beers, allowing attendees to enjoy a drink while socializing. I met Frank from the Microsoft Outlook team and discussed using React Native at scale, as well as interesting challenges faced during scaling. Later, I chatted with Tommy, one of the first-day speakers from Microsoft, about managing the JavaScript bundle size while scaling. He recommends trying out the tree-shaking tools offered by rnx-kit, which is open-source and maintained by Microsoft. We also discuss building React Native at scale and other related topics. Afterward, the Microsoft crew and other attendees plan to grab dinner somewhere in the city. Tommy invites me to join, and I happily say yes, meeting new people along the way.

The group of people went to a pizza place, filled with beers and laughter. Hanging out with so many geniuses was an amazing experience. We chatted about the conference, life, culture, and more. Once again, I felt the warmth of the React Native community, which is one of the best tech communities out there.

Day 2

Day 2 talks began with Demystifying the Hermes Engine, followed by an introduction to the new Static Hermes, offering a glimpse into the future. Next, guest speaker Guenther Steiner took the stage. As a Formula One fan, I often see him on the Formula One broadcasts, so it was interesting to hear him discuss engineering at the conference.

With this lineup of fantastic talks, it wasn't even lunchtime yet. After a short break, the focus shifted to Flame AI, which will speed up your next React Native upgrade process. This was followed by a presentation on Garmin linking with React Native. Finally, before lunch, there were talks from Microsoft, showcasing their impressive adoption of the technology and its use at scale!

During lunchtime, I had a chat with Radek, whom I met yesterday. It's awesome to make friends at the conference. Like me, Radek has been in the React Native community for a long time; he started in the domain even earlier than I did (I started back in v0.21). I enjoyed the chat, as the RNEU conference is the perfect place for enthusiasm to meet enthusiasm.

The afternoon talks began with exploring React Native porting to multiple platforms and the potential for porting other languages with React. This was followed by speakers from Chase UK sharing their architecture. Next, a speaker from Amazon demonstrated how React Native works seamlessly with Storybook. Although there are a few talks left, I have a booking to chat with a Callstack Specialist about app performance. I've decided to watch the remaining talks online when they are later released to the public.

The chat with Callstack Specialists was awesome; they're real pros in the domain. We discussed various practices and strategies related to profiling, and they shared some useful tools, such as Reasure and Flashlight. I highly recommend this if you have a topic you'd like to discuss with experts in the field. After the session, I managed to join in for the closing group photo. There was plenty of time before the after-party started. I took the opportunity to walk around the beautiful city and had a short rest before the party.

At the beginning of the after-party, I chatted with one of the speakers, Fernando from PlayStation. I shared some of my App scaling experiences at Shopee and learned about the tech strategies PlayStation employs. It's quite fascinating to discuss with people from large-scale companies how they handle scaling. By comparing strategies, you gain some potential insights for the future as well.

The highlight of the after-party was the KTV stage. Here, you'd see speakers from the day transform into singers by night. The people at the conference were talented. There was lots of fun, music, and neon lights in the atmosphere. KTV is a great way to let your guard down and truly forge bonds with people. This marked the perfect end to my RNEU journey.


Is it worth it? For me, definitely! It's the best conference I've ever attended. Having the opportunity to network with React Native experts from various fields was truly a privilege. Surrounded by numerous React Native enthusiasts, my love for the technology only grew stronger. Although the ticket wasn't cheap, you can always purchase it early to save more. The blind bird sale has already begun. Alternatively, you could apply to be a speaker for next year as well.

Key takeaways:

  1. Networking and socializing are valuable aspects of attending conferences.

  2. Engaging with experts from various fields can enhance your understanding of React Native.

  3. Exploring different scaling strategies from large-scale companies can provide insights for future projects.

  4. Keep an eye on RNEU's YouTube channel for conference videos and updates.

I've already got my blind bird ticket! I'll see you next year!