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JavaScript

Pete Arevalo
Pete Arevalo
12,653 Points

Is it okay to rely on bootstrap and jquery as a beginner?

I have really enjoyed this site a lot, and I am understanding much better how everything works. I was just wondering if I am cheating myself by relying on pre-existing libraries instead of writing out the js code myself. My goal is to be a professional developer, would I be looked down upon because I could not develop all these awesome tools myself?

6 Answers

Nicholas Olsen
seal-mask
.a{fill-rule:evenodd;}techdegree
Nicholas Olsen
Front End Web Development Techdegree Student 19,342 Points

The bottom line is, effectiveness is more important than tooling.

If you can create a successful website that accomplishes a specific goal that matters to someone, it really doesn't matter if that website is made with bootstrap or custom coded from scratch. No matter what organization you work for, you can bring value to them by helping them achieve their business objectives efficiently.

For example, perhaps a non-profit in your area is trying to raise $50,000 in 6 months. If you can help them do that under budget with a website, do you really think they'll care if the website is made with bootstrap or custom coded from scratch by you? I don't think so.

Or maybe you are just trying to find a way to make some extra money, so you create an online presence for your eBay store grow the store to $3,000 in revenu/month in 1 year. If you put that on your resume, do you think it will matter to your employer if the website you made used jQuery or hand coded javascript? No.

What matters is that you pick a goal, find a way to measure it and then work toward accomplishing that goal. The rest is just details.

Pete Arevalo
Pete Arevalo
12,653 Points

I think this makes a lot of sense. I am currently trying to build a portfolio, and I have a couple people interested in getting good cheap sites, and I am just too tempted to not use a framework.

Andrew Shook
Andrew Shook
31,709 Points

For a production site I agree with you, but for learning I still think it's better try to hammer thing out.

And just for the sake of context, I think we can say using frameworks doesn't necessarily make a website less appealing, or even functional.

HTML5 Templates Made with Bootstrap

Andrew Shook
Andrew Shook
31,709 Points

Thats a loaded question. Yes you are cheating your self by using libraries, but you're also learning to use common libraries so that's a plus. I always recommend this to people you are just starting out, "If there is a deadline use a library, if not then try to do it your self and then use a library". Simple put, libraries aren't bad things, but they can limit your learning if you rely on them to much without knowing what's going on in the background. That's why I recommend hand coding things first and then use a library anyways. Sure it takes infinitely longer, but you learn the fundamentals of what the library is trying to do so that when you use the library you know whats going on.

Edit: Don't try and recreate jQuery. It'll take forever and it still might not be as good. It you want to learn what's going on inside the jQuery object, mess around with the source code.

Pete Arevalo
Pete Arevalo
12,653 Points

Thanks for your reply Andrew, I figured as much. I am probably trying to get ahead of myself, mainly because I would like to switch career fields fairly soon, but I still want to know how everything works. Can you get jobs as a bootstrap developer? I guess my reasoning is that if I had a job like that I would focus on that during the day as my full time job, then when I get home I could be learning all the mechanics. Or is that a bad way of doing it?

Hey Pete, I'd agree with Andrew, but this is an often debated subject. Below are some links that should help you know when to use them, their drawbacks, and benefits.

Conclusions from Using Frameworks

Pete Arevalo
Pete Arevalo
12,653 Points

Great! thanks for the links, I will check them out

I would say no. We believe it's important to understand how things work, and then use the 'magic' :) That's why we teach the basics of JavaScript first, then move on to jQuery and also why we teach the basics of CSS and HTML before we teach frameworks like Bootstrap or Foundation.

The order of the Front End Web Dev Track really demonstrates this.

Hey Ryan! Loved the latest email—very exciting. :smiley:

Cheers Dustin Matlock! :)

Pete Arevalo
Pete Arevalo
12,653 Points

Thanks Ryan, I know there is so much to learn, but I just want to make something cool now! I feel like if I have a basic understanding of how everything works, it will make it much easier when I start going more in depth.

On a side note, I have to say this site lays everything out super well, I went from doing a little coding a day or two a week to doing some almost everyday. Y'all rock.

Melad Javadi
Melad Javadi
15,299 Points

It really depends on you. If that is what makes you feel comfortable and you create a better product that way then go for it!.

that being said, if you are trying to learn and get a better grasp of the techniques behind frameworks then it might be better to get a good understanding of Javascript/CSS and how they work and what they do before using a framework. That way you will be able to use the frameworks better.

Matt Lewis
Matt Lewis
5,970 Points

I think there's a balance between the two. Learning Bootstrap and Foundation are a great way to start, and I believe there's no reason to feel like you're "cheating" by using them if you understand how they work. They're built to speed up your projects, not be used as a theme. The more you use it, the more you'll find that you're creating own code to work on top of it. Take what you need from it and just that. I only really use it for the responsive grid, but at the same time I understand media queries and building fluid layouts. For some things, there's no reason to build what's already there and ready for you, just never rely 100% on it.