bootstrap clearly is popular and practical - but like most libraries and frameworks it is not essential and just one of many choices
True. But I don’t think Bootstrap is going anywhere anytime soon. And even if it does, there are plenty that are Bootstrap-like - learning Bootstrap will help. And even if it is replaced, there will be a lot of legacy Bootstrap code out there - I still see calls for programmers in COBOL and ForTran.
And how do you duplicate a grid system in vanilla HTML/CSS? With
table elements? They’re clunky, and unresponsive, and no one uses them anymore. Sure, with a lot of hard work, you could probably implement something that got some of the functionality, but in the process you run the risk of making a lot of errors, you’re going to have to duplicated that for every web page you do, and you just spent a lot of time reinventing the wheel.
And part of being a modern programmer is learning to implement what others have written. Learning how to implement libraries and frameworks is part of what you need. And as a teacher, I get nervous when students start telling me, “I don’t want to do it that way, I want to do it my own way.” Often that is a way to avoid something with which they aren’t comfortable. It becomes a “sour grapes” thing where the convince themselves that they are really avoiding the thing for “good” reason. I always tell my students, “Learn to do it the way I asked, then you can try and do it your way.”
True, FCC is pretty loose about what frameworks you can use. But I think that is more like, “If you are experienced with some other library/framework that does the same thing, then go ahead and use that.” It is not meant to mean “If you want to figure it out on your own because you are secretly not comfortable with what we’ve taught you.”
I don’t know the level of the OP. Maybe he’s an experienced web dev and he knows Bootstrap but prefers something else. Or maybe he’s brand new and Bootstrap scares the hell out of him so he’s trying to avoid it. I don’t know.
I do know that not learning one of the most popular frameworks in web dev would be doing him a disservice. I just went on indeed.com and did a search for “bootstrap” and got 6056 hits. One of it’s competitors, flexbox, got 58.
Learning to be a web dev means learning to work with unfamiliar technologies. Beginners often imagine themselves as a lone alchemist, choosing his/her tools and crafting what s/he needs. But often you are part of a team and the tools are chosen for you. That is an important skill.