Asking the Question
Before I start any project, I always ask myself Self, should I use a framework for this project? Even with a simplified framework like Shipwright, there are times the answer is a resounding No, and it is up to us a developers to listen to that No. A month ago, I was given a single page web-app that needed front-end development. After asking myself the initial question and weighing in pros and cons, I decided for this project, the answer was No. So I started work on this web-app’s front end dev, and a mere 2 and a half hours later, I was finished.
Honestly, if I had used Shipwright, the timeline most likely would have been about the same, but there would have been the added bulk of Shipwright added to the project. Shipwright is still pretty light at 46kb of CSS. But this webapp I created; it’s CSS was only 18kb. There has to be time that you can develop out out whole cloth versus relying on a framework, ANY framework.
Examining The Why’s
Another example I have is where I was working on a project site, and there was a single landing-page being added to the site. The rest of the site was developed by me, while this one landing page was developed by another developer. Prior to the development of this landing page, the whole site’s stack was rather light. This landing page could have been, and probably should have been, developed with no framework. Unfortunately, it was developed with Bootstrap, simply because this other developer was simply ‘comfortable’ with Bootstrap.
A ‘Bootstrap Developer’
Or, if we’re willing to examine the truth, he was a ‘Bootstrap Developer’, not a ‘Web Developer’. This simple act of adding another framework also quadrupled the site’s size. This is yet another trend I’ve noticed with most web developers I’ve met; they’re usually dependent on the framework and tools they were taught and, once out of their comfort zone, seize up. I still hold a lot against the way devs are taught, and again think that frameworks, the way they are taught, are more of a detriment than a solution to a problem. Or, more likely, it’s a problem looking for a solution.
When You Have a New Hammer…
There’s an old saying my dad taught me. When you have a new hammer, everything will start looking like a nail. What this means is whenever you’re taught a new technique or tool, you want to use it whenever or where ever you can, regardless if it’s the right tool for the job. You’d be surprised at how many development jobs you do that require only a stylesheet, an HTML file, and some good old coding know-how versus an out-and-out framework.