React starter projects can be super helpful, but they also tend to have a lot of dependencies and it can be difficult to get updates.

Facebook created create-react-app to solve these problems. It only has a few dependencies, and its easy to get updates.

If you create a new app with create-react-app, you won’t have a lot to start with though. At first, your app will look like this:

You might not know where to go from here. But if you’re like me, seeing a finished example can help a lot.

That’s why I created two complete create-react-app apps. I’ll share both with you now, with code. Both apps are extremely simple, so browsing the code should be relatively easy.

App #1: Calculator

This is a full-screen, mobile-friendly calculator app similar to the iOS calculator: ahfarmer.github.io/calculator.

Here’s the complete source code: github.com/ahfarmer/calculator.

You can either clone it and browse it on your machine, or browse the commits. The commits are in reverse chronological order, so if you want to follow along with how it was built, start at the bottom and work your way up. You can see what steps I take (and in what order) when creating a simple app like this.

This app is for searching emoji. It is not meant to be useful, but was super fun to build, and I really like how it turned out: ahfarmer.github.io/emoji-search.

More Details

BTW, each of these apps was created in a weekend. If you’d like to learn the fundamentals of React, I believe the best way is to create one (or more) simple apps.

Stay tuned for my ebook Your First React App. It will walk you through the process of creating your own tiny app. Available Jan 17.