In the 1990’s, a common language used to teach Computer Science was Pascal. It was easy to understand, and so it taught people how to program.

In the 2000s, Java replaced Pascal for that job, and until today, it’s mostly still the case. That’s at the college level.

In 2012, The Starter League launched in Chicago. It taught Ruby on Rails development and User Experience Design. It was sold to FullStack Academy in 2016, who now teaches full-stack JavaScript.

Today, React is the front-end framework taught in online courses and community colleges. It joins Pascal, Java, Rails and full-stack JavaScript in the list of de-facto starting points for writing software.

Will React be here to stay? Yes, like everything in tech, it will stick around.

And React will go out of style too.

It’s hard to take React too seriously when you look at the long term. There’s certainly a lot of frenetic energy around each of its releases, around all the ready-made components you can freely use, around how it can be used to build mobile apps and how it promises new developers that it’s the only thing they need to know.

But the enthusiasm seems suspect. Its main sponsor, Facebook, is a company whose morality is on trial. The dependency on any one company for a framework’s livelihood is something to worry about, much more when depending on a company like Facebook.

They say React is not a framework, that it’s just a library, but real-world installations treat it like an all-encompassing baseline, from the front to the back. jQuery was a library, React is not just a library. They say React’s beauty lies in that it’s just overseeing the view. In reality, you end up managing the state (the local data structure affecting the view), since the only way the view won’t break is if the state never breaks.

So maybe we’re overreacting over React. Tread lightly. Go in it with your own principles. Observe when others adopt React and be skeptical. Know the basics of JavaScript so you know how to build Web UIs that are going to last. If you’re going to pick a framework, pick one for which the people running it match your values and your tastes.

Who knows? Maybe there’s going to be another thing after React. And maybe you’ll be the one who will be inventing it.

Credits to Jean-Claude Batista for the Overreact title idea.