React Finland

One workshop day + two days of presentations

Your chance to learn more about React up north - Helsinki (24-26.4.2018)

Learn More about React, Explore Finland#

React Finland logo

React Finland combines the Finnish React community with international flavor. The first of its kind in Finland, the event consists of a workshop day and two days of presentations around the topic.

In this single track event you will learn more about React and surrounding topics while meeting some of the leading talents of the community.

The event will be held between 24th and 26th of April 2018 in Helsinki, the capital of Finland. In addition to enjoying the event, this is your chance to explore Finland.

If there's enough demand, we'll organize a guided tour that helps you understand this mysterious country not many seem to know a lot about. You might have heard of Nokia or Linux but there's more to the country than that.


The program of the event has been carefully curated. In true Finnish style, we rather focus on quality than quantity. There is no call for papers and the speakers have been chosen with care.

24.04 - Tuesday - Workshops#

So far, the following workshops have been confirmed. Each session will take four hours and they are arranged twice so you have a chance to choose two. A session is capped to twenty people.

  • Babel – Learn Babel thoroughly with Sven Sauleau, a core developer.
  • Reactive State Machines - Learn how to refactor an old application to use state machines with David Khourshid.
  • ReasonML – See the reason in ReasonML with Nik Graf and Patrick Stapfer.
  • Style Guides in React – Learn to develop style guides for your React application with Andrey Okonetchnikov and Artem Sapegin.
  • Universal React with Next.js – Learn how to develop React in Universal way with Sia Karamalegos.
  • Webpack – The Good Parts – Learn more about webpack from one of its core developers, Juho Vepsäläinen.

The following four hour workshops are arranged only once:

  • Testing React – Learn how to test React with Sara Vieira.
  • Detox – Learn graybox E2E testing with Rotem Mizrachi-Meidan, the author of the tool.

We also have full day workshops (eight hours including a lunch):

  • React Native with Gant Laborde and Shay Keinan.
  • State Management with Michel Weststrate, the author of MobX and Mobx-State-Tree.

25.04 - Wednesday - React#

In Finnish style, we start each day early. We also eat lunch early. This way we'll have time to visit sauna, the holiest place of our culture.

The first presentation day has a strict focus on React itself. Each session ends with a brief break and we have a couple longer breaks in between:

08:00 - 09:00
Registration, Finnish breakfast. Trust me, it's the best.
09:00 - 10:00
Keynote by Ken Wheeler.
10:00 - 11:00
Styled Components, SSR, and Theming with Kasia Jastrzębska.
11:00 - 11:30
Four lightning talks.
11:30 - 12:30
Lunch. It's functional. You are not supposed to like it.
12:30 - 13:00
Panel discussion.
13:00 - 14:00
Declarative state and side effects with Christian Alfoni.
14:00 - 15:00
Universal React Apps Using Next.js with Sia Karamalegos.
15:00 - 16:30
Testing with Sara Vieira and Rotem Mizrachi-Meidan.
16:30 - 17:00
Coffee break. We don't mind if you drink tea, though. Water is available as well.
17:00 - 17:30
Four lightning talks.
17:30 - 18:00
Panel discussion to end the day in style.

There will be Fun after the panel.

26.04 - Thursday - More React#

The second day of the event continues where the first one left off:

08:00 - 09:00
Registration, Finnish breakfast. Trust me, it's the best still.
09:00 - 10:00
Keynote by Jani Eväkallio.
10:00 - 11:00
ReasonML with Patrick Stapfer.
11:00 - 11:30
Four lightning talks.
11:30 - 12:30
Lunch. You might like it better this time.
12:30 - 13:00
Panel discussion.
13:00 - 14:00
Reactive State Machines and Statecharts by David Khourshid.
14:00 - 15:00
React Native Ignite with Gant Laborde.
15:00 - 16:30
ReactVR with Shay Keinan and Nik Graf.
16:30 - 17:00
Coffee break. Other beverages are available too although black coffee is our favorite.
17:00 - 17:30
Four lightning talks.
17:30 - 18:00
Panel discussion to end the conference.


Andrey Okonetchnikov - Style Guides in React#

To be announced.

Andrey Okonetchnikov About Andrey Andrey is a front-end engineer and UI designer from Russia who lives in Austria and works on modern user interfaces using web technologies. As an active Open Source contributor, he contributed to Webpack, React.js, and Jest; designed the PostCSS official website and created a bunch of logos for other OSS projects.

Andrey is a co-organizer of the ReactVienna community, designer, and co-creator of ColorSnapper. He loves mountain biking, snowboarding, and specialty coffee.

Artem Sapegin - Style Guides in React#

To be announced.

Artem Sapegin About Artem Artem is a frontend developer living in Berlin, passionate photographer and owner of crazy dogs. Creator of React Styleguidist.

Juho Vepsäläinen - Webpack - The Good Parts#

In this high-level overview you'll learn how to configure Webpack. Even if you know it already, there might be some surprises in store as you gain insight to the tool you otherwise might miss.

Juho Vepsäläinen About Juho Juho Vepsäläinen is behind the SurviveJS effort. In addition to being a core developer of Webpack, he has been active in the open source scene since the early 2000s. Blue Arrow Awards winner.

Michel Weststrate - State Management#

In this workshop we will dive into the basics and more advanced usage patterns of Mobx-State-Tree (MST) in combination with React. MST is a tool that helps to model complex problem domains and combines the best features of the modern state technologies out there.

  1. The state tree philosophy.
  2. Modelling your data structures and state
  3. Views & actions
  4. Asynchronous processes
  5. Composing trees and types
  6. Connecting to GraphQL
  7. Writing your own middleware
Michel Weststrate About Michel Full-stack tech lead and open source evangelist at Mendix. Author of MobX and MobX-State-Tree. On a quest to make programming as natural as possible.

Sara Vieira - Testing React#

In this workshop I will be going through unit testing in Javascript, how you can make it fun and meaningful for your app.

We will start by learning all the things about unit tests and how to implement very simple tests for your functions.

We will then move to React/React Native territory and learn about snapshot testing and components testing to keep regressions from happening.

By the end, we will implement all of this in continuous development with GitHub and Travis so you can leave with the exact idea on how to go about implementing extensive tests in your app without shedding a single tear.

Sara Vieira About Sara Front-End Developer at @YLDio, open sorcerer, maker of useless modules, Blogger, Drummer and horror movie fan girl.

Sven Sauleau - Babel#

The Babel workshop demystifies how the JSX syntax works in Babel and shows how to create your first plugin using code transformation, type analysis, or other compiler buzzwords.

Sven Sauleau About Sven Sven is a software engineer living in France and mostly working with Golang and JavaScript. OSS enthusiast and one of the persons behind Babel.


Jani Eväkallio - To be announced#

To be announced.

Jani Eväkallio About Jani Jani, a veteran of the Frontend Framework wars, has earned his battle scars writing JavaScript on the bleeding edge for the last decade. Today, he leads a team building cross-stack React mobile and web apps at Formidable London.

He gets childishly excited about beautiful user interactions and design tools. In his spare time, he performs improvised comedy and speaks at conferences advocating for the React ecosystem, particularly React Native and GraphQL.

Ken Wheeler - To be announced#

To be announced.

Ken Wheeler About Ken Ken is the Director of Open Source at Formidable, the author of several popular open source libraries, and a frequent conference speaker often focusing on alternative uses of React.

He is the creator of libraries such as Spectacle, react-music, react-game-kit and Webpack Dashboard. He also maintains a healthy Twitter presence, and enjoys red meat, whiskey and recreational archery.


Christian Alfoni - Declarative state and side effects#

Writing declarative code for our UIs is so common that we do not even think about it. But when it comes to writing logic for managing state and side effects it requires a lot of discipline to get the same benefits. We are going to talk about how we can get help writing our business logic in a declarative manner and see what benefits it gives us.

Christian Alfoni About Christian Christian has been crunching JavaScript for about 8 years. In the recent years open source and writing articles has become a passion. Throwing bad and not so bad ideas out there to see what is valuable to people. Author of Cerebral, created Webpackbin and JSBlog... amongst other things.

David Khourshid - Reactive State Machines and Statecharts#

Managing the many user interface states of an application easily becomes complicated. We'll discover how some historical and important computer science concepts – state machines and statecharts – and a functional + reactive approach can make it much easier to understand, visualize, implement, and automatically create tests for complex user interfaces and flows.

The topic is discussed in greater detail in a workshop!

David Khourshid About David David Khourshid is a Florida-based web developer for Microsoft, a tech author, and speaker. Also a fervent open-source contributor, he is passionate about JavaScript, CSS, animation, innovative user interfaces, and cutting-edge front-end technologies. When not behind a computer keyboard, he’s behind a piano keyboard or traveling.

Gant Laborde - React Native Ignite#

Life can be simple again. Haven’t we built the same house, or given the same haircut over and over? 80% of mobile app development is the same old song. So why is mobile so difficult/expensive? It’s not with React Native.

Let's look at how simple it is to get started in React Native using Ignite CLI. Using Ignite, you can jump in with a popular combination of technologies, OR brew your own. Ignite is the freedom to learn and automate your mobile app.

Gant Laborde About Gant Gant is a New Orleans-based force of nature. Not satisfied to be “just” an experienced programmer in an array of disciplines, he’s also a prolific writer, an award-winning public speaker, and an adjunct professor.

A self-improvement aficionado, he takes every opportunity to connect with people and share knowledge through education and outreach. In the zombie apocalypse, Gant will run our much-needed bar, offering up advice, encouragement, and libations in equal measure.

Kasia Jastrzębska - Styled Components, SSR, and Theming#

All you need to know to become hero of CSS-in-JS with styled-components. We will go through the new API, performance improvements, server side rendering with Next.js and the theming manager available with v2 of styled-components.

Kasia Jastrzębska About Kasia Frontend developer with over 6 years of experience around various frameworks and libs knowledge in my basket (such as React+Redux, Polymer, Ember, Backbone). Always eager to go deeper ;D

Nik Graf - React VR#

To be announced.

Nik Graf About Nik Nik cares about good UX and development tools. He co-created several popular open source projects like DraftJS Plugins and Polished. Nik participated in Stripe’s Open Source Retreat and joined Serverless Inc. to deploy auto-scaling infrastructures. In his spare-time he enjoys writing code in Reason and play with WebVR as well as organising the ReactJS Vienna meetup.

Patrick Stapfer - ReasonML#

To be announced.

Patrick Stapfer About Patrick Patrick Stapfer is a JavaScript Software Engineer and freelancer, mostly known for his contributions to the Flow type checker ecosystem and his recent work at Runtastic, where he spent most of his time working on the Mobile News Feed feature (built in React Native). Most of his Open Source time is dedicated to the ReasonML and OCaml platform to build robust, type-safe JS applications.

Rotem Mizrachi-Meidan - Detox#

High velocity native mobile development requires us to adopt continuous integration workflows, which means our reliance on manual QA has to drop significantly. The most difficult part of automated testing on mobile is the tip of the testing pyramid – E2E. The core problem with E2E tests is flakiness – tests are usually not deterministic.

React Native makes flakiness worse due to the asynchronous nature of the bridge. We believe the only way to tackle flakiness head on is by moving from blackbox testing to graybox testing and that’s where detox comes into play. The library synchronizes with the lifecycle of the app, including React Native core, making tests finally deterministic.

The topic is discussed in greater detail in a workshop!

Rotem Mizrachi-Meidan About Rotem Rotem is a Software Engineer, open source advocate, passionate about Android, React Native, mobile performance, writing developer tools and Lego! In his current position at Wix, Rotem is working with React Native, writing infrastructure and testing tools.

Sara Vieira - React Testing#

To be announced.

Sara Vieira About Sara Front-End Developer at @YLDio, open sorcerer, maker of useless modules, Blogger, Drummer and horror movie fan girl.

Shay Keinan - ReactVR#

To be announced.

Shay Keinan About Shay Shay is an experienced developer with a rich background in developing complex user interfaces, both for 2D and 3D. Currently Shay works at 500Tech on various projects, trains and consults companies and organizes the ReactJS meetup community.

Sia Karamalegos - Universal React Apps Using Next.js#

Every user’s hardware is different, and processing speed can hinder user experience on client-side rendered React applications. Server-side rendering and code-splitting can drastically improve user experience by minimizing the work that the client has to do.

It’s easy to get lost in the lingo, so come learn what it all means and how to easily build universal React apps using the Next.js framework. We’ll walk through the concepts and use code examples to cement your understanding. You’ll get the most out of this session if you’re comfortable with React and ES6 syntax.

The topic is discussed in greater detail in a workshop!

Sia Karamalegos About Sia Sia Karamalegos is the founder and lead developer for Clio + Calliope Web Development. She has over 15 years of experience in technology, strategy, project management, and operations from small startups to large corporations across multiple industries, especially high-tech and education. She leverages her depth of experience with software engineering to build high-value applications.

Lightning Talks

Varya Stepanova - How to use React, webpack and other buzzwords if there is no need#

The best way to study a new development approach is to do it in practice. But good projects built with modern technologies most often require developers with experience in these technologies. One of the options to get this is a side project. What can it be in React?

Varya will show how to generate a multilingual static website using Metalsmith, React and other modern technologies and tools. For over a year, she has been using this stack to build her personal blog and it turned out to be expressive, fast and convenient. After all, it’s our beloved React.

Varya Stepanova About Varya Varya Stepanova is a developer enthusiast for modular web and pattern libraries. She loves automation, also in the development processes, strongly believes in open-source community and likes social media. Originally from Russia, she now lives in Helsinki with her family and two cats.

About the Organization

The event is run by the non-profit React Finland ry organization – by developers, for developers. We have seen our share of better and worse events and will put the experience gained towards building the best conference we can organize.

Our goal is to connect our valued speakers with our local community in the most fruitful way we can and provide Finnish hospitality to our conference visitors. We hope to create something unique by combining our northern traditions with speakers and visitors from all around the world.


Aarni Koskela You can reach Aarni Koskela through Twitter at @akx.
Aleksi Pousar Aleksi Pousar works on the app and is the treasurer of the association. You can reach Aleksi Pousar through Twitter at @AleksiPousar.
Juho Vepsäläinen Juho Vepsäläinen put together the conference schedule, handles speaker relations and marketing. You can reach him through Twitter at @bebraw.
Samuli Hakoniemi You can reach Samuli Hakoniemi through Twitter at @zvona.
Toni Ristola You can reach Toni Ristola through Twitter at @toniristola.