Building from scratch: Is it worth the hair pulling?

Recently I have installed and set up a web portfolio for potential employers to view. It is very simple and does the basics of what I want it to do. As I continue my journey in learning coding and venture further down PHP, MySQL and JS, I find myself regretting not just installing an OpenSource CMS like Drupal, Joomla or WordPress.

I convinced myself in the beginning that building this from scratch (my own blood, sweat & tears) that I would be a better “coder” in the end. Albeit that may be true because of the mass amounts of trial/error and learning involved, but is it worth it? By the end I may be so tired of figuring it out that I toss the entire venture in the trash. Most likely not but it is a potential outcome.

I learned CSS & HTML first. Incorporated a simple contact form with PHP and a fancy box with JS. (To be honest I didn’t write the JS, that was already existent I just modified it to suit my needs. I’ll get back to this later) and now I am at wits end jumping into Python or Ruby… I haven’t decided yet. All I know it I am still sitting on the basics and it’s driving me nuts. My grasp of the language is mediocre at best and I’m starting to lose patience. So my question I ask is, is it worth it?

With the internet resources to learn are abundant and you know what’s even more abundant? Templates & pre-written code. If I know how to piece it together then I don’t even need to know how to write the stuff. With CMS like Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress I have access to applications, modules and tools galore where I do not need to know how to code to get something to work.

So why bother with scratch? Understanding the basics. Knowing this, knowing how the web of code intertwines and works together takes you from being a webpage user to knowing how the webpage came to be. Is that enough reason to code from scratch?

For me the reason is: I now have full control on what my page looks like, what it can do and if it fails it is my code that failed. My pages are not piece-worked together, they are mine, all mine. (Queue Gollum “And then we take the precious… and we be the master!”)

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