When to Use Components vs. Writing Code

In the ever-evolving world of software development, the choice between using pre-built components and crafting your code from scratch is a common dilemma. Thanks to the Node Package Manager (NPM), we have a treasure trove of libraries and components at our disposal. However, the question remains: when should you employ a component, and when should you roll up your sleeves and write your own code? Let’s explore this decision-making process to help you find the right balance for your projects.

The DIY Approach: Writing Your Own Code

Writing code from scratch can be a rewarding endeavor. It gives you complete control over your application’s logic and behavior. Here are some scenarios where opting for a custom solution might be your best bet:

1. Simplicity and Control

If you understand the full scope of the code required and it’s relatively simple to implement, it often makes sense to write it yourself. This approach can minimize the final amount of code used in your application. By crafting your code, you have complete control and can tailor it to your specific needs without the baggage of unnecessary features.

2. Customization

When your project demands a high level of customization that may not be readily available in existing libraries, writing your code becomes a compelling choice. Tailoring your solution ensures that it fits seamlessly into your application’s architecture.

3. Learning and Skill Development

Writing code from scratch offers a valuable learning experience. It allows you to delve deep into the mechanics of programming and helps improve your problem-solving skills. If you’re aiming to enhance your development skills, writing your code can be an excellent exercise.

Leveraging Libraries: When to Use Components

When considering whether to use pre-built components and libraries, it’s essential to recognize that many of these tools are developed and maintained by specialists in the field. These experts have honed their skills in tackling complex tasks and have poured their knowledge into creating these libraries. Here’s why you should consider relying on these expertly crafted resources:

1. Expertise and Specialization

Libraries and components are often developed by experienced developers who specialize in specific domains. For example, when it comes to data fetching and management in a React application, the React-Query library is an excellent choice. The developers behind React-Query have spent countless hours fine-tuning it to handle complex scenarios, such as caching, pagination, and background data synchronization. By using React-Query, you benefit from the expertise of these specialists and can tap into their solutions for common challenges.

2. Maintenance and Updates

One of the significant advantages of relying on established libraries is the ongoing maintenance and updates provided by the open-source community. Libraries like React-Query receive regular updates, bug fixes, and security patches. This means that your application can stay current with the latest best practices and security standards without requiring constant manual intervention.

3. Community Support

Popular libraries often have vibrant communities of developers who contribute to forums, provide documentation, and share their experiences. This wealth of community support can be invaluable when you encounter issues or need guidance. You’re not alone in troubleshooting problems or implementing complex features – the collective knowledge of the community is there to assist you.

4. Time Efficiency

Leveraging libraries can significantly accelerate your development process. Instead of investing considerable time and effort in building complex functionalities from scratch, you can integrate a well-established library into your project. This time efficiency can be a game-changer, especially when working on tight deadlines or large-scale applications.

5. Reducing Error Risk

Writing complex code from scratch increases the risk of errors and bugs. Specialized libraries, on the other hand, are thoroughly tested by both their creators and the community. This extensive testing helps identify and rectify issues, making it less likely for your application to encounter unexpected problems.


In the world of software development, the choice between using components and writing your code depends on the specific requirements of your project. The key is finding the right balance. If you can fully grasp the scope of your code and it aligns with your project’s simplicity and customization needs, writing your code can be a rewarding and efficient choice. However, when tackling more complex tasks or leveraging standardized functionality, leaning on libraries and components can save you time, reduce potential errors, and provide tested solutions.

In summary, when considering whether to use components and libraries, it’s important to recognize that these tools are not just pieces of code; they represent the collective knowledge and expertise of developers who specialize in solving complex problems. By embracing libraries like React-Query, you can harness the power of specialization, benefit from ongoing maintenance, tap into community support, save time, reduce error risk, and ultimately deliver more robust and efficient software solutions to your users. It’s a strategic choice that can elevate the quality and efficiency of your development projects.

Ultimately, your decision should consider factors like project complexity, time constraints, and your familiarity with the task at hand. The beauty of modern development is the wealth of options available. So, whether you’re writing your code or embracing pre-built components, remember that the goal is to create robust and efficient applications that meet your users’ needs.