Third-Party Libraries: Benefits and Disadvantages

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Among the specifics of coding and extensive terminology, developers in the tech industry are not short on tools and resources at their disposal. Programming is a vital aspect in which all software is built on. Developers in the modern world must be able to construct software, apps, websites, and more both quickly and effectively. Thus, third-party libraries an excellent asset.

Over time, developers created and committed to memory a few acronyms:

  • You Ain’t Gonna Need It (YAGNI)

This is to remind them to look at what they currently need and not anticipate what they might need in the future.

  • Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY)

As it suggests, this acronym represents the significance of convenience. Having to repeatedly type out code multiple times can be time consuming, particularly when there are tools that eliminate that repetition.

  • Keep It Simple, Stupid (KISS)

Similar to the previous acronym, this addresses the unnecessity of using complex functions, features, or tools. Increasing any amount of these will make the file size of a project larger, which can ultimately slow down the performance and function of the software, app, or website.

Fun Acronyms Aside…

While these acronyms are a fun way to remember tips, there is another ‘unspoken rule’ of sorts: Don’t try to solve problems that already have a solution. Time management and utilization is crucial in the programming world. This is where third-party libraries come in.

Third-party libraries contain solutions to problems that other developers have discovered. The purpose of these is to make things easier for developers moving forward. There are extreme benefits to them just as there are important disadvantages.

Benefits of Third-Party Libraries

Libraries have been contributed to by developers and the creators of those libraries. They collect knowledge, among other benefits such as:

  • Saving developers valuable time
  • Providing pre-tested code for public use
  • Gives experience with modular code via the library

Disadvantages of Third-Party Libraries

Although they seem like a perfect resource, third-party libraries do indeed have some disadvantages, including:

  • Dependence to a certain library
  • Libraries can be abandoned
  • Using multiple libraries
  • Vulnerable to hackers (for open-source libraries)

Finding the Best Library to Use

There is no specific library that is better over others. That is the most common aspect of any part of the programming world. However, there are things to consider and questions to ask to find out which fits a project best.

  1. Look at the library’s popularity.

If a library is popular in the developer community, it will be active and updated frequently. This ensures that developers have access to the latest information.

  • Is the library’s system up-to-date and organized?

Just being updated isn’t enough to consider a library useful. It should also be structured and setup for functionality. Clarity and accessibility to important information is vital as well.

  • What is the personal reason for using a third-party library?

A developer should understand what he or she is using the library for. This will factor into which one they may choose.


There is no mistake that third-party libraries are extremely useful. They are designed to be that way. Developers who take advantage of what libraries do offer will see a difference in how their project comes together.