Learn the libraries or reinvent the wheel?

For the most part of my time working with PHP, I’ve done things my own way. I don’t use a lot of libraries or read too many articles or books about how to "correctly" develop web applications. I know that most developers stay up to date with the latest libraries that help alot with development. There are also a lot of premade free packages out there that can give you a content management system in minutes such as Word Press. And there are probably a lot of things I’m doing wrong since I’m self taught. Yet I’m still doing my own thing and dread the idea of doing it any other way.

And for a long time I felt like I was an inferior web developer because I wasn’t taking that approach to web development. It’s like I’m reinventing the wheel, the same wheel thousands of other developers have already made.

But an interesting thought occured to me today. With music, I typically don’t like to read sheet music when I play the piano, despite being fairly quick at sight reading. I’d rather figure out the notes myself by ear and then rearrange the music in a different way. And when I do it this way, I understand the music far more than if I had learned it through sheets and it becomes more enjoyable to play.

So maybe that’s my nature; figuring it out for myself. Maybe it’s because I’m a creative person. It seems more fun to me to build an app myself rather than just downloading an existing app and customizing it or plugging in this library with that library.

So here’s to all you reinventers of the wheel out there!

But I make an exception for Javascript. It’s too much of a pain in the ass to write it myself and I’m going to use jQuery to do all the heavy lifting. F*** you, you stupid DOMĀ and your stupid nuance differences in browsers! I HATE writing Javascript!


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