Next.js is taking over! (Part 1)

If you've talked to me recently about programming then you know how bullish I am about Next.js. 2020 I felt was a year where React frameworks really stole the center stage for the React community. If you are familar with React, then you've probably used a primer such as Create-React-App for example, and Next.js is like such primer but with lots of bells and whistles out of the box. Some of the notable features right out the box is an intuitive file based routing system, SSR/SSG, zero config, fast refresh, and so many other features. After working on three different projects professionally, I can proudly say that not only am I drinking the Next.js kool-aid, but I've recently started serving it to others.

Ooo shiny!!

Let's start with how impressive Next.js is given that Vercel has been building this framework as pretty much pet project initially. Vercel is similar to other FE app deployment services such as Netlify and Firebase to name a few, and that was initially their core business when they were formally named Now (Zeit). Post re-branding they seemed to have expanded to providing everything you would need to build a successful front end applications. When I was at Tuft & Needle, we were early adopters of the legacy Vercel service, and we had the honor to work really closely with their team. We literally had direct Slack support at any time during the day.

On December 15th, 2020, Vercel announced $40M in new funding and it sounds like they're going to invest a lot of that into Next.js. You can read more about the annoucement here.

A trend I've been noticing in the tech industry is that there's been an explosion in collaboration. At the Next.js Conf this year, I saw some really incredible partnerships that is paving the way for the FE ecosystem that is really exciting. Near Christmas this year (2020) Dan Abramov and Lauren Tan from the Facebook team gave us an early dive into React Server Components, and a key take away from the annoucement is that it should be coming to Next.js soon thanks to the fact that FB, Next.js, and Google are working together on a Webpack plugin which makes all this possible.

Next.js is currently being used by some of the biggest names in tech including Apple, AirBnb, Trip Advisor, Hashicorp and so many more. There are so many more reasons why I think Next.js is the so relevant now but here's a very concise high level list:

  • Customer (developer) centric
  • Obsessed with speed and ease
  • Community driven
  • Adoption/mentions from notable React/FE superstars (Josh Comeau, Cassidy Williams)

Some cons:

  • Things are changing rapidly (could be a pro as well)
  • Crowded market: Remix, Gatsby.js, Create-React-App etc.

Okay Tan, you've really got me sold on Next.js, how can I learn more or get started?

First of all, the Next.js documentation is really dope with an interactive quiz to help guide you through as you build a sample app. This blog was built using that tutorial. Next, check out Mastering Next.js and React 2025 by the awesome Lee Robinson. Lastly, there is a discord you could join if you have any questions or want to just be up to date with the community.


I appreciate you taking time out of your day to read to some of my thoughts, hopefully I've peaked your curiosity on this HOT framework! Next time I'll dive into some more technical examples of some of the features.

- T