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15+ Meteor Tips for Beginners from Professional Developers

Working with any technology for the first time is always challenging. It’s nice to know what you should pay the most attention to. The awareness in which direction to head will help you make the most out of your time. Recently we have asked leading JavaScript programmers what Meteor tips they would give to developers working on their first Meteor project. And here’s what they answered:

Meteor Tips Sacha Greif
Sacha Greif - designer, coder and entrepreneur, http://sachagreif.com/

My first tip would be to take the time to *really* understand how publications and subscriptions work. Most new developers don't understand why you can't just do "Posts.find()" on the client and expect to get a list of all your database's posts.

My second tip would be to use as few Meteor packages as you can. Now that Meteor supports NPM out of the box, there's no reason for using a Meteor package if an NPM package will do the same job. For example, I would recommend using React Router over FlowRouter.

And my third tip would be to not get too attached to Meteor. Even though Meteor is awesome, as a developer you don't want to pigeon-hole yourself. So that's why it's important to also get familiar with things like React, Redux, Apollo, and so on. Plus, that's just the direction the ecosystem as a whole is moving in.

Meteor Tips Vasyl Samusiev
Vasyl Samusiev - developer at JSSolutions

The most complete information about any technology is stored in its documentation. That’s why to get started with Meteor I would suggest the officcial tutorial + 1 or 2 video courses on Meteor (not more) + guide.meteor.com + docs.meteor.com. It’s necessary to apply the knowledge you get practically!

I’d recommend you first to create the projects from the official tutorial and from the video course(s).

After that you should create your own simple project. You can take the ideas from your everyday life (e.g. a notepad, a cookbook, a player for your cell phone, etc.). If you struggle with finding your own idea for the project, take a look at your favourite websites or apps and try to create something similar to them (not their copy, just a model).

Meteor Tips Dean Witcraft
Dean Witcraft - software engineer

Start with the default implementation (Blaze/Mongo) and the Discover Meteor book, although it's starting to be somewhat dated it's still very useful.

Use the Meteor Guide. It will help you to stay close to the current state of Meteor. There's a lot of out-of-date information online.

Get involved with the https://forums.meteor.com and The Meteor Chef https://themeteorchef.com/ and their Slack channel. There's almost always someone online who can answer beginner's questions assuming you've done your homework first.

Meteor Tips Michael Mazurczak
Michael Mazurczak - founder of situation.io

Learn JavaScript! Meteor is changing, you might go with another framework later on, but javascript will still be there.

Don’t invest too much in Blaze, Meteor is clearly putting it in maintenance mode. Go with Angular or React asap, so you don’t feel abandoned in a year or so.

Read the Mongodb docs, lots of performance issues are due to lack of indexes or inefficient queries.

Meteor Tips Tom Brückner
Tom Brückner - founder of guzz.io

Go for React as the view layer, as this seems to be the future of Meteor. If you’re in a hurry and need a quick MVP, you may choose Blaze instead.

Select your community packages carefully. Not all of them are maintained well, and it may happen that their support will be dropped in future Meteor versions (as it happened with CollectionFS). Have a look at the number of open issues and PRs.

Read the tutorials and then the excellent Meteor Guide.

Meteor Tips Tomas Hayes
Tomas Hayes - web developer, www.feriaferio.cl

It’s better to begin with Blaze as it’s so much easier to comprehend compared to React and Angular. Try to stick with the technologies you know and learn new ones at one step at a time.

Experiment a lot with some small project to get your head around mongoDB.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help on forums! Later your question may also help someone else.

Meteor Tips Scott Tolinski
Scott Tolinski - creator of Level Up Tutorials

Have fun, make something interesting to you, don’t be afraid to write bad code.

Good luck with your projects! Feel free to add your own Meteor tips and share your development experience in the comments. We would love to hear from you!