Do you remember when you got your first car? Did your life change? I bet it did. You might not count this as a life-changing event, you probably won’t talk about it to your friends and family at your retirement party as a monumental day in your journey to success, but I’d put money that it definitely changed your life. For me it meant I could go anywhere whenever I wanted, and most of the time quicker than before (not entirely due to my lead foot). I didn’t have to ask my parents for a ride or ask for their car, I didn’t have to wait for the bus, I didn’t have to walk or skateboard if I didn’t want to; I could just grab my keys and go on my own schedule. Without my car I could still get to most places that I wanted to get to in a reasonable time, but the convenience of my own car was awesome! This is a lot like the front-end world that we live in today.
There are dozens of well-known and production-ready front-end
libraries and frameworks,
), if not every day, but think back to when you weren’t using any of these tools.
“Okay Tyler, there are a whole bunch of these frameworks and libraries, some are awesome. So what’s your point?
-Harrison Ford (may or may not have actually said this to me
Time to go shopping
When you got your first car was it the best car available? For some it could have been, but for most it wasn’t, and you had to make it work in the best way it could for your specific situation until it no longer fit your needs. That’s how I approach all of these frameworks and libraries. I’ve test driven some, I’ve rented some, and there are a handful that I love and use for most of my work. For me, LESS, AngularJS, Underscore, some NodeJS if the project allows, and jQuery when I absolutely need it are the ones that I almost always use on a project, but that doesn’t mean I’m ignorant of all of the other ones. Others that I’ve used include Backbone, Ember, SASS, and D3.
I can lay it all out for you in four points:
- Today’s front-end development very much includes using any number of the many front-end libraries and frameworks that are useful, tested, and active.
- Be careful not to use these tools as a big set of crutches. Most of these are extremely helpful but each may or may not be useful to the project you’re on.
- You don’t have to learn every single one inside and out, but it will be beneficial to learn features and differences of many of them so you can decide what is right for you and your project.
- Once you find one (or a few) that work well for you, don’t stop learning it just to learn something else. In this business it’s very beneficial to you to be T-shaped and not a “jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none” type.
“Please avoid this”