I am still new to front-end developer (as you can see from my name), and I wonder whether I should spend lots of effort to learn how to use Bootstrap efficiently. I heard my friends say that even though Bootstrap provide good-looking framework for a website, they prefer hand-coded, customized CSS.
Can I ask for your opinion on this? Which method do you prefer and why? Should I still learn how to use Bootstrap then?
I appreciate any answers,
Thanks a lot!
That’s the key there. Getting a solid handle on pure CSS will give you a HUGE advantage over just learning Bootstrap. Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t go on and learn BS after learning the core mechanics of CSS. BS basically (besides producing good looking sites out of the box) was made to speed up development by streamlining the process. You got your built in styles, you got your built in responsiveness and scripting functionality, it’s undeniably handy.
But you’d be seriously limiting yourself by only learning how to build with it. I give this scenario a lot but imagine you get hired by a firm that doesn’t use BS, or uses another framework entirely. You’d be stuck. Now let’s say you know both straight up CSS and BS, you’d be fine. In fact your CSS knowledge will probably help you learn any framework they might be using otherwise. Makes sense right?
My advice is make CSS your best friend and then branch out your development social circle with stuff like bootstrap, flexbox, and css grids.
I would say to learn both. Bootstrap is one of the most popular libraries on the planet. People love to mock and belittle whatever is popular. Right now, the biggest libraries on the internet are Boostrap and jQuery. Guess which two libraries get attacked the most?
It’s not as bad as it used to be. When BS and JQ came along, they were lifesavers. Now CSS and JS have caught up a bit and one could argue that BS and JQ aren’t as needed as they used to be. But they are still very popular.
I think it’s a little easier to start with BS. It’s a little easier to build a great looking site and more importantly it will show you what is possible. Then you can attack CSS and leverage things like CSS Grid and Flexbox to get similar results.
Learning BS doesn’t mean you aren’t going to learn CSS. It just means you’re going to put it off a bit until you get your bearings.
Thanks for the insight guys! I have one more question: if I already know a bit about CSS Grid and Flexbox, should I just focus on learning those, and not to learn Bootstrap at all?
Again, I would recommend learning both. There are employers that will insist that you you use BS - it looks good, works well, and is very well tested. And there will be employers that insist that you build it from scratch, making something more lightweight and customizable.
But learning the basics of BS will take a lot less time. To learn how to make something that looks as good as BS and is as responsive and dependable with vanilla CSS and JS - that will take a long time to learn. Is it worth learning how to do? Absolutely! But I don’t think (imho) it is the best use of time for someone just starting out. You will pick up a lot of CSS and JS as you learn so when you start to try to build your own view library, you’ll be much better equipped.
Just my $.02.