Frameworks are a boon to the modern web development. A framework provides easy to follow guidelines that can be utilised to remove a lot of complication.
However, we all must understand the difference between using and following a framework. I remember when I started with Laravel. Given my heavy PHP background, I would see every opportunity to hard code some PHP over the framework. I was just using it as a way to give some structure, but basically doing what I felt was good and came easy to me. One of the most heavily affected areas were my database models. Laravel came with its own ORM, but I was comfortable with the queries to the database. I was happy to see that Laravel allowed me to do that easily in a very clean syntax.
I was just using the framework to my advantage and do what I already knew in a bit cleaner and organised way.
Fortunately I had great mentors, who showed me the light and gave me a glimpse of the great promise that the ORM holds. But it came with a catch. To use ORM I needed to follow the framework. Organise the code the way it is required. Follow the best practices and use the functionality to find the solution for a problem. I would recall how easily I could do this in the queries. But somehow I stuck and kept pushing and slowly I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.
A few days back, my clients asked me to add some filtering to one of the very heavily used feature. That day, I was glad I moved over to the ORM. It was just as simple as adding a new line into the existing workflow that would add the filter query scope into my statement. To top it off, I knew when ever there would be a need to update the filtering, it would be changes to just one part of the system.
And that is just one of the benefits of following a framework, rather than just using it.