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React is the most popular web development library in the word. There are a number of reasons for this, but I think the most important reason is that it’s approachable as a technology. While some libraries and frameworks invent novel ways to solve targeted problems that plague web application developers, they often come with cognitive overhead that eventually outweighs the benefits of the tech.

As with any library or framework, additional tooling is required to get the most of them. In the case of React applications, this includes things like configuring Webpack, having a dev server in place to enable rapid development cycles, and managing production builds. The React team addressed many of these problems with the introduction of the create-react-app tool.