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Talking Tech In Detroit: Working With React To Create A High-Speed News Platform

Talking Tech In Detroit: Working With React To Create A High-Speed News Platform

In this new series, Benzinga will look inward and focus on some of the technology that brings actionable news to traders and investors before anyone else. In this first installment, Benzinga head of product development Bert David explains the role the React framework plays in Benzinga’s technology.

Benzinga has a lot more to offer than just up-to-the-second news, a hilarious Twitter presence, and the most exciting annual event in fintech.

Benzinga is one of the companies driving Detroit’s tech resurgence. Benzinga is putting Detroit on the map as a hub of technology startup innovation by establishing a nationally recognized media brand.

The Motor City doesn’t just design pistons and wheels any more. Detroit’s massive engineering talent pool designs self-driving cars after decades of nurturing by companies like Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) and General Motors Company (NYSE: GM). With that engineering workforce, Benzinga is creating a high-tech news platform that competes with big players in the stock market like Bloomberg, Dow Jones and Reuters.

The Benzinga suite of products includes Benzinga Pro, a low-cost terminal that’s home to market-moving exclusives. For example, earlier this month, Benzinga quashed a rumor that Carl Icahn was initiating a position in Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ: WYNN). Additionally, Benzinga provides a range of market data sets, including manually curated earnings and analyst ratings feeds.

How Does It Work?

These products are powered by React and Redux, frameworks that sit on top of Javascript. React was originally developed by Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) to create easily-adjustable user interfaces, says Bert David, Benzinga’s head of product development.

According to David, React is useful to the Benzinga development team because it allows engineers to update only the data that changes on a web page or application, instead of having to continuously update the whole page.

After testing various frameworks for extendability and speed, the Benzinga development team decided on React when they redesigned the Benzinga Pro platform eight months ago.

“React allows you to build awesome applications,” said David. “One of the biggest challenges we had while building an extensive news and market data platform was that it would need to update quickly, and React helped solve that challenge. React-Redux has a one-way binding workflow, creating an efficient way to update elements on the page. You’re not rewriting large sections of code at a time.”

That functionality lets Benzinga Pro run smoothly, as updates don’t affect the entire platform—only the features that are being improved.

What We Create

“What we’ve created [with] Benzinga Pro is an incredibly fast platform that can showcase the unique, actionable content we produce for traders, asset managers and research institutions,” said David. “React allows us to do that as well as bring in market data that updates throughout the application very quickly.”

Familiarizing the engineering team with React was an initial hurdle, but was a successful long-term investment, said David.

If you’re a developer interested in working in React, a starter kit is available on Facebook’s Github here.

Benzinga’s engineering team is always looking for passionate new members who are eager to challenge the biggest players in the finance space. For more information, check out the postings on Benzinga’s careers page.


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