I have to admit that as much as I like low-level middleware or backend development there is certain level of satisfaction when I am working on building some UI. Maybe it’s a quick turnaround of making a change and visually confirming that your gadget got a new color or displaying rounded corners, ultimately looking cooler with every run. But no matter how much time I spent refining and tweaking my CSS I could never make it look as cool as professional web design. The reason is trivial – I am no graphic artist, I am a programmer. I suck at drawing or picking colors, I mean, any 12 year old girl could do a better job than me. Plus let’s face it, CSS is the whole another world that you have to know in order to create cool web designs. When spending so much time writing Linq queries, WCF interfaces, and business logic who has time to perfect all the CSS tricks?

Hopeless? It was, until Bootstrap came along. CSS, HTML, and JavaScript library with classes describing layout and not content. “Originally created by a designer and a developer at Twitter, Bootstrap has become one of the most popular front-end frameworks and open source projects in the world” (bootstrap/about). Bootstrap library was originally developed to encourage consistency for the web design, but it became more than that. Bootstrap was so popular that web designs became too consistent to the point of boring, which started sites like bootswatch with the holy purpose of saving the web from default bootstrap. But it got even better, Bootstrap marketplace sites like wrapbootstrap or themeforest, or bootstrapmade became the next logical step in the bootstrap evolution, where you can buy a compete design for just a few bucks. No longer you have to worry about tweaking CSS to the point of insanity, instead you can concentrate on the functional aspect of the project and the result can still look amazingly cool. The idea of ready HTML templates is not new, of coarse, but I do not recall it’s even been so easy to incorporate 3rd party template into your project.

bootstrap liberator

This is why I think of a Bootstrap library like a bolt cutters tool given to me to cut free from the ball and chain of web design dryness. I can take the template drop it into the Content folder of my MVC project, make few adjustments to the view, and voila – professional looking web site with all the cool CSS eye candies.