I was hoping for some opinions from some guys and girls who focus more on the backend of applications or full stack developers.
I am somewhat mixed up. I am a freelancer and I've developed several projects in Django (and also in Flask) and until now I have always used their template engines and I am happy so far. I combined it with vanilla JS, Jquery, sometimes with AlpineJs and now recently tried HTMX. To be honest, I cannot really complain since I managed to fashion all components to my and my customer's liking without any major drawbacks. Although I have to be honest and say that I sometimes have pushed AlpineJs a bit too much, beyond its original purpose of just sprinkles.
The applications I build are mostly for SMEs to automate some of their tasks. For me to stay sane and to get the project done in time I strive for simplicity in terms of project architecture.
But everywhere I go I read about React or Vue and I absolutely understand that they have their purposes and are game-changing in some fields, no doubt. Now, I always wonder for myself, should I learn a front-end framework? Will I end up as a a jack of all trades and just create one messy application after another?
AlpineJs, HTMX, etc. are very much manageable to master in a foreseeable time but every time I try to sit down and start with Vue / React I am faced with so many new variables (NPM, NodeJs, Typescript, Webpack, etc.) that I think I have to learn for at least half a year till I just understand what is going on. Specially as a freelancer I have to be able to fix things fast by myself if the shit hits the fan.
Now, does it make sense to learn Vue/React as a solo programmer or just to stick with the small frameworks like AlpineJs/HTMX? At what point do you consider a frontend framework essential and not just a feature?
Thanks in advance.