The basics of React is pretty simple to learn if you are not completely new to programming. The guides and tutorials are pretty straight forward and creating your own simple components is not that hard. But when you want to take the next step from a simple tutorial application, to something more advanced there is a lot to learn at the same time. Things quickly gets complex when you introduce Webpack, Redux, MobX, ES6, NPM, node, etc. The experience at this point is overwhelming.
What is the minimum thing you should learn and use?
There are three things you need to focus on.
There is an official tool to create React apps with no build configuration. It’s called create-react-app. Use that and forget about configuration for now. Focus on building the app you want to build with React and Redux. Keep the focus and don’t get distracted.
There are many options to Redux, but Redux is most widely used and has biggest community. Only when you have a good understanding of Redux basics should you consider using an alternative instead.
The key take away here is that to transcend the overwhelming chaos, you need to have a super focus on the most important things. The things that get you the most value for your time. The things that solves problems for you and makes the product your users will love to use.