Blog Post #4

When I first began learning how to code, course instructors enforced a rule that we, as students, shouldn’t use third party libraries to aid us in our programs. This rule makes sense from an educational perspective. In order to build a proper foundation for understanding code, we should start with the absolute basics. For example, it is important to know how vanilla Javascript manipulates an HTML page before letting a framework like React or Vue do all the heavy lifting.

This rule instilled in me the habit of wanting to minimize external dependencies in my projects. If I want to implement a certain feature, I always attempt to write it out myself first. More often than not, I end up with a lackluster implementation that is nowhere as robust or clean as what third parties can offer. After several hours of head-scratching and smashing bugs, I would reluctantly install a new package and complete the feature in a fraction of the time.

This was basically what happened to me this week while working on my capstone project. I had the task of building some front-end UI, which included creating a dropdown menu. After spending more time than I’d like to admit pouring over CSS documentation, I gave in and installed a UI library. Within minutes, the feature was complete and I moved on to the next task.

Throughout my journey of learning how to code, I also often heard the phrase that there is no need to “reinvent the wheel.” If a good implementation of a feature I need is available, I might as well make use of it. While I want to maintain my habit of minimizing dependencies, I should remind myself that the benefits of an extra dependency can outweigh the cost of doing it myself.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.