All this talk about frameworks the past two Wednesdays, and yet we did not talk about what qualities you should look for when you chose to use one. Many businesses have their favourites and ask that you as a potential employee are comfortable around them and can work with them. In this article we are going to outline the five questions you should ask yourself when determining which framework to use on a project.
Does the framework have enough popularity? Popularity will open a lot of opportunities for you personally. It will offer you support from a community that has a variety of skills and experience. It will also offer you up to date files, with glitches fixed quickly. There is also a higher chance that companies are looking for people familiar with this framework.
Is the framework under active development? Are people updating weekly? monthly? semi – annually? or is there no one there even making a change. If the framework is not under active development it will quickly turn into a mess of glitches. You want to avoid that like the plague. It will make it a lot harder for you to work.
Does the framework offer good documentation? Good documentation is always important. It will help you understand the framework better and it also shows that the framework is not just another hot mess. The documentation is kind of like people. The better one can express themselves the easier it is for them to get their shit together. Same with documentation. The better the documentation, the more it has its shit together and actually has a game plan and direction of where it is heading.
Has the framework reached maturity? By maturity I mean has it be successfully used in real life projects. If it has not yet been used and tested then you can feel free to play around with it. however to use it on professional projects with no proof that it works would be unwise.
What is the framework’s level of specificity? A more generic frameworks is much easier to work with compared to a framework with high-level specificity. To avoid overwriting presets it is always best to choose a framework that has minimal styles applied because it is much easier to customize. If you stick to overriding settings you will increase your page load time and the size of the CSS will be unnecessarily high.
If you are still unsure you can easily classify the frameworks you are considering into these categories, and then rate them based on how well you feel they fit your needs and your project. Give them a rating from 1 – 10, and add up the scores.
- Simplicity to learn
- Volume of external resources
- Browser support
The last resort is attempting a mix-match approach. If one framework doesn’t satisfy your needs, you can take bits and pieces from each project.
What are your thoughts? Do you use frameworks? Which is your favorite? Let me know in the discussion below.